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Examines the work placement as a site for “contested” learnings. Co‐operative education (co‐op) programmes, while almost universally supported by students, also provide opportunities for critically examining ambiguities between informal learning outcomes from periods of work placement, and the formal learnings acquired through the university course. A preliminary review of the co‐op literature suggests too little research has been done into what students learn during their placement or “sandwich” degrees. A 12‐month project to develop a generic resource for co‐op programmes (for students, university staff and workplace supervisors), uncovered evidence of “contested” learning at four levels ‐ policy, administration, programme implementation and learning outcomes. Focused group discussions with samples of students suggested that contestation of learnings was experienced at both sites ‐ the workplace and the university classroom. The challenge for co‐op directors will be to “market” and trial the use of better teaching resources that provide a resource for managing and enriching workplace learning. The implication for work‐based trainers and educators is to make use of “contested” learnings to ensure they add value to students’ understandings of their work placements in context.
Examines the concerns profiles of 243 front‐line managers within TelecomAustralia who were engaged in implementing two related innovations: (a)a new service policy called…
Examines the concerns profiles of 243 front‐line managers within Telecom Australia who were engaged in implementing two related innovations: (a) a new service policy called “Fix‐It‐First‐Time” and (b) a change in the functional role of front‐line managers. Results were considered to be broadly consistent with a developmental and stage model of concerns. However, the importance of concerns for this sample of workers was different from that suggested by previous research. The impact of innovations on colleagues, on clients and on their job security was paramount in this group, reflecting the fact that innovations occurred within a period of major retrenchment and redundancy. Results also confirmed a higher order structuring of concerns which occurs in the workplace and which goes beyond the original seven stages to encompass broadly defined personal concerns and impact concerns of the innovation. The implications of these findings are examined briefly in terms of an emerging critique of change management models for the 1990s.
Discusses the Karpin Report which suggests that the development of management skills is the key to workplace reform. To achieve a breakthrough in management skills will require a new model of learning and a new model of change for middle management. Managers will need to learn how to learn about change, particularly during the implementation phases of any programme change. Describes a model of change management which successfully integrates action learning skills in the workplace with the manager’s networking style. Briefly outlines five key elements of the “concerns‐based networking” model of change. This change model was successfully “tested” in two large organizations, through participatory action research. Uses case study data from 30 middle managers involved in various action research projects to illustrate how the networking model works.
A national report on the management skills for the future of the housing construction industry in Australia suggests a number of innovative management training pathways…
A national report on the management skills for the future of the housing construction industry in Australia suggests a number of innovative management training pathways. Three pathways are considered here as alternatives to traditional MBA courses: using portfolios for accrediting workplace competences in management development; coaching and mentoring through networks or learning partnerships with master builder; and adapting models of “action learning” in the workplace as practical means for gaining formal, management qualifications. The challenge facing the building industry (particularly housing construction) is finding flexible modes of delivery of management training that will attract the majority of small builders and contractors. Alternative pathways must also be integrated into a national management development framework. One key, therefore, is to construct workable, alternative models that can be supported by all stakeholders in this industry.
A major report on management development in Australia raises new questions about how it will be implemented. Many factors have been found to contribute to the successful…
A major report on management development in Australia raises new questions about how it will be implemented. Many factors have been found to contribute to the successful implementation of new policies and programmes. One of the keys to successful programmes of change management development is the involvement of managers in action learning. Uses a content analysis methodology to examine the coherence among the Karpin report’s recommendations and the research evidence to support them. Examines two levers for change ‐ cultural diversity and management learning ‐ as case studies for future management development programmes, using action learning. Suggests that action learning, as a cyclical, management‐development process, could be used to: review their (implicit) models of change; use a problem‐based methodology and check out the types of interventions that are planned for implementation action, and then consider what they learnt from implementing the report’s recommendations. Uses case study data from one industry to develop a model of implementation of a report through action learning.
Many organizations now utilize action learning, and it is applied increasingly throughout the world. Action learning appears in numerous variants, but generically it is a…
Many organizations now utilize action learning, and it is applied increasingly throughout the world. Action learning appears in numerous variants, but generically it is a form of learning through experience, “by doing”, where the task environment is the classroom, and the task the vehicle. Two previous reviews of the action learning literature by Alan Mumford respectively covered the field prior to 1985 and the period 1985‐1994. Both reviews included books as well as journal articles. This current review covers the period 1994‐2000 and is limited to publicly available journal articles. Part 1 of the Review was published in an earlier issue of the Journal of Workplace Learning (Vol. 15 No. 2) and included a bibliography and comments. Part 2 extends that introduction with a schema for categorizing action learning articles and with comments on representative articles from the bibliography.