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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2003

Peter A.C. Smith and Judy O’Neil

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

2507

Abstract

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.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 February 2012

Joseph A. Raelin

The purpose of this paper is to make the case, firstly, that democratic leadership, referred to as “leaderful practice,” should be the fundamental form of leadership that…

9624

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to make the case, firstly, that democratic leadership, referred to as “leaderful practice,” should be the fundamental form of leadership that characterizes participatory organizational change. The parties affected by change are those engaged who seek to reflect upon their own tacit collective practices. Their mode of communication is a dialogue or deliberation that involves the responsible parties to decision making without privileging particular stakeholders because of their status or authority. Thus, it is purported, secondly, that the three practice elements of democratic leadership, dialogue, and deliberation should be included among the bedrock principles of participatory organizational change.

Design/methodology/approach

A critical conceptual examination is undertaken of the contribution of three alternative literature streams – leaderful practice, dialogue, deliberation – to participatory organizational change.

Findings

Dialogue, an authentic exchange between people, and its decision‐making cousin, deliberation, can become the communication modes associated with participatory organizational change. They are each characterized by equality of participation; thus they are inherently democratic processes that should substitute for top‐down or monologic discourses, which are inimical to participatory practice.

Practical implications

If organization development and comparable participatory change processes claim at their core to be democratic processes, their exponents would endorse a leadership and communication that would preferably match their value system. There would be a shared communication by all those who are involved in the change activity, wherever they may sit within the organizational bureaucracy. The communication would become a multiple‐party reflective conversation that is captured in the mode called dialogue.

Originality/value

By focusing on critical reflection, the dialogic perspective with its emancipatory interest challenges common sense assumptions that are likely to be historical and cultural as psychological. Ultimately, dialogue supports democratic leadership at a core interpersonal level in which participants learn to engage through a reflective practice that allows them to observe and experiment with their own collective tacit processes in action.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 August 2011

Joseph A. Raelin

Although readers of this journal are familiar with work‐based learning and with leadership, they may not have entertained the link between them. The paper aims to contend…

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Abstract

Purpose

Although readers of this journal are familiar with work‐based learning and with leadership, they may not have entertained the link between them. The paper aims to contend that the link is that the former changes the latter. The authentic practice of work‐based learning produces a more collective form of leadership, matching the former's founding principles and practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Guided by the author's long‐standing research of both work‐based learning and leadership, he searches for commonalities in their underlying conditions, proposing a means to identify their relationship. The author's model invites both further study by researchers and field replication by practitioners.

Findings

A number of compatible principles and practices undergird the fields of work‐based learning and collective leadership; namely, their mutual commitment to dialogic processes based on nonjudgmental inquiry; their accentuation of the state of genuine curiosity – even doubt; their acceptance of critical challenge; and their willingness to disturb preconceived world views on behalf of a common good.

Practical implications

Managers and executives taking advantage of work‐based learning, when offered as an authentic practice, may acknowledge its powerful impact on leadership, but as in the case of learning, they must be willing to sustain its collaborative nature to release its potential.

Social implications

When people in a community or organization authentically share leadership, it ignites their natural talent to contribute to the growth of that community and it also elevates the value of trust by bringing genuineness to the community.

Originality/value

Practitioners in the development and learning field already know the value of work‐based learning for learning purposes, but in this article, it is shown to impact leadership in a profound way – it changes it. As a collective and reflective practice, it responds to contemporary needs to find ways to release people to contribute their natural talents on behalf of mutual action.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 1991

Joseph A. Raelin

In 1957 at an earlier time when there was a chorus of criticism against business education but for different reasons than today, President Clark Kerr of the University of…

Abstract

In 1957 at an earlier time when there was a chorus of criticism against business education but for different reasons than today, President Clark Kerr of the University of California, himself a professor of business, in addressing his colleagues made the now‐famous statement that, “business administration was busy searching for its soul”. Today, there is still a chorus of criticism against business education. In the United States the field is also known to have become too academic, too technical, too narrow, and as a result, responsible for graduates who are not prepared to be future leaders in a world‐wide economy (Cheit, 1985). In a less well‐known part of that same speech, President Kerr may have pointed to the reason for business education losing its way. He also said that the managers of that day work “….within a context given to them”. That is to say, they don't tend to question the purpose of their mission.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 14 no. 7/8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2011

Joseph A. Raelin

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how US institutions of higher education make appreciable use of work‐based learning options, but their attention to experiential…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how US institutions of higher education make appreciable use of work‐based learning options, but their attention to experiential education as a learning vehicle is relatively limited. The connection between the work experience and the on‐campus curriculum is only loosely formed, and students are not often given a chance to reflect concurrently and collectively on their workplace lessons. Some changes in higher educational policy have been initiated to augment the pedagogical contribution of a work‐based learning, but notable institutional barriers remain.

Design/methodology/approach

Essay based on policy and literature review.

Findings

Work‐based learning epistemology has demonstrated that knowledge may be equally, if not even more effectively, acquired through reflective discourse within the very activity of practice. Aside from discourse's lens into social structure, it can also be used as a means to expand knowledge for improved action in the world.

Research limitations/implications

Students make sense out of their workplace experiences and construct knowledge through a process of negotiation between these experiences and their own cognitive frameworks.

Originality/value

Students learn by doing real work that is often designed to support and integrate with learning in the classroom and also to promote the acquisition of broad transferable skills. The paper shows that by equipping young adults with work‐related skills, work‐based learning promotes a high level of work role identification and efficacy, which in turn positively influences their successful transition into the work environment.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 4 March 2014

267

Abstract

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

Article
Publication date: 1 December 1998

Joseph A. Raelin

This paper depicts a prototypical learning program based on the author’s model of work‐based learning. The model is premised on the simple idea that learning can be…

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Abstract

This paper depicts a prototypical learning program based on the author’s model of work‐based learning. The model is premised on the simple idea that learning can be acquired in the midst of practice. It deliberately merges theory with practice and acknowledges the intersection of explicit and tacit forms of knowing. There are eight learning modalities in the model of work‐based learning. The paper concentrates on three somewhat popular action strategies that are typically presented in isolation: action learning, action science, and communities of practice. The paper demonstrates how corporate educators and facilitators might distinguish between these approaches and yet offer them in a meaningful sequence based upon their preferences, skill, and comfort level as well as upon the needs of their managerial clients.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 10 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 October 2011

Ruth Helyer

The purpose of this paper is to examine UK higher level skills gaps. UK universities now have many students who were already learning at a higher level about, for, or…

2191

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine UK higher level skills gaps. UK universities now have many students who were already learning at a higher level about, for, or through, their activities at work, and have decided to formalise this via a higher education (HE) programme; for these students learning mostly takes place away from the university and is sometimes categorised as “work‐based”. Due to the increasingly flexible and hybrid profile of all contemporary students it is more realistic to align those undertaking work‐based study with those choosing more traditional study routes, as all students need to enhance their workplace and life skills in order to better fit them for employment and life after university. There are blurred, not solid, boundaries between the differing kinds of students and between working and studying, and it is useful and productive to acknowledge this continuum.

Design/methodology/approach

A researched overview of relevant policy, data and literature including a research project into higher level skills gaps.

Practical implications

Employers cite the crucial nature of employability and subject‐based skills and the need for employees who understand how to learn, and furthermore how to build upon and maximise the usefulness of what they learn by making connections and solving problems.

Originality/value

The paper shows how HE is shifting, due to demographics, an evolving world picture and a tough economic climate. Technological advances intensify globalisation causing rapid changes and greater competition for jobs and resources. The pressure on HE graduates is greater than ever before. The Government states that individuals require skills with a high economic value and to be prepared to undertake jobs in industries which do not exist yet; they must be changeable and adaptable to meet the challenges of the jobs market and willing to continuously develop themselves.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

David Cromb

419

Abstract

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Nigel Edwards

539

Abstract

Details

Management Decision, vol. 41 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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