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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2008

Marjolein Berings, Rob Poell and John Gelissen

The purpose of this paper is to gain more insight into employees' on‐the‐job learning. Its specific purpose is to develop and validate a classification of on‐the‐job

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2292

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to gain more insight into employees' on‐the‐job learning. Its specific purpose is to develop and validate a classification of on‐the‐job learning activities and learning themes, focusing on the nursing profession in particular.

Design/methodology/approach

Two successive studies were conducted for this purpose. In the first study in‐depth interviews with 20 Dutch nurses were analysed using a grounded theory approach. The content validity of the categories found in the first study was investigated in the second study by interviewing 17 supervisors and eight educators from different hospitals in The Netherlands.

Findings

The paper finds that the main categories of learning activities are: learning by doing one's regular job, learning by applying something new in the job, learning by social interaction with colleagues, learning by theory or supervision, and learning by reflection. First‐order learning activities and second‐order learning activities can be distinguished. The main categories of on‐the‐job learning themes are: the technical‐practical domain, the socio‐emotional domain, the organisational domain, the developmental domain, and a pro‐active attitude to work.

Research limitations/implications

The validation study was conducted by the same researchers as the first study. The findings are based on one profession (nursing) in one country (The Netherlands).

Practical implications

The categories can be used by nurse educators and health sector managers/trainers to develop comprehensive and structured intervention methods for the improvement of on‐the‐job learning which do justice to the complexity and diversity of on‐the‐job learning by nurses. HR (development) professionals can use the classification as part of a competence management and development system.

Originality/value

The study provides a detailed, complete and multi‐dimensional explication of nurses' on‐the‐job learning activities and learning themes, grounding the classification and framework in empirical data and using multiple data sources.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Content available
Article
Publication date: 21 November 2019

Xu Du, Juan Yang, Brett Shelton and Jui-Long Hung

Online learning is well-known by its flexibility of learning anytime and anywhere. However, how behavioral patterns tied to learning anytime and anywhere influence learning

Abstract

Purpose

Online learning is well-known by its flexibility of learning anytime and anywhere. However, how behavioral patterns tied to learning anytime and anywhere influence learning outcomes are still unknown.

Design/methodology/approach

This study proposed concepts of time and location entropy to depict students’ spatial-temporal patterns. A total of 5,221 students with 1,797,677 logs, including 485 on-the-job students and 4,736 full-time students, were analyzed to depict their spatial-temporal learning patterns, including the relationships between identified patterns and students’ learning performance.

Findings

Analysis results indicate on-the-job students took more advantage of anytime, anywhere than full-time students. Students with a higher tendency for learning anytime and a lower level of learning anywhere were more likely to have better outcomes. Gender did not show consistent findings on students’ spatial-temporal patterns, but partial findings could be supported by evidence in neural science or by cultural and geographical differences.

Research limitations/implications

A more accurate approach for categorizing position and location might be considered. Some findings need more studies for further validation. Finally, future research can consider connections between other well-known performance predictors (such as financial situation, motivation, personality and major) and the type of learning patterns.

Practical implications

The findings gained from this study can help improve the understandings of students’ learning behavioral patterns and design as well as implement better online education programs.

Originality/value

This study proposed concepts of time and location entropy to identify successful spatial-temporal patterns of on-the-job and full-time students.

Details

Information Discovery and Delivery, vol. 47 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6247

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Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2017

Maria Ferreira, Annemarie Künn-Nelen and Andries De Grip

This paper provides more insight into the assumption of human capital theory that the productivity of job-related training is driven by the improvement of workers’ skills…

Abstract

This paper provides more insight into the assumption of human capital theory that the productivity of job-related training is driven by the improvement of workers’ skills. We analyze the extent to which training and informal learning on the job are related to employee skill development and consider the heterogeneity of this relationship with respect to workers’ skill mismatch at job entry. Using data from the 2014 European Skills and Jobs Survey, we find – as assumed by human capital theory – that employees who participated in training or informal learning show greater improvement of their skills than those who did not. The contribution of informal learning to employee skill development appears to be larger than that of training participation. Nevertheless, both forms of learning are shown to be complementary. This complementarity between training and informal learning is related to a significant additional improvement of workers’ skills. The skill development of workers who were initially underskilled for their job seems to benefit the most from both training and informal learning, whereas the skill development of those who were initially overskilled benefits the least. Work-related learning investments in the latter group seem to be more functional in offsetting skill depreciation than in fostering skill accumulation.

Details

Skill Mismatch in Labor Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-377-7

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2007

Rick Holden and John Hamblett

This series of papers aims to explore the transition from higher education into work. It reports on research undertaken over a period of two years and which sought to…

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5179

Abstract

Purpose

This series of papers aims to explore the transition from higher education into work. It reports on research undertaken over a period of two years and which sought to track a number of young graduates as they completed their studies and embarked upon career of choice.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach adopted is defined and discussed as one of “common sense”. Alongside the notion of “common sense” the paper deploys two further concepts, “convention” and “faith” necessary to complete a rudimentary methodological framework. The narratives which are at the heart of the papers are built in such a way as to contain not only the most significant substantive issues raised by the graduates themselves but also the tone of voice specific to each.

Findings

Five cases are presented; the stories of five of the graduates over the course of one year. Story lines that speak of learning about the job, learning about the organisation and learning about self are identified. An uneven journey into a workplace community is evident. “Fragmentation” and “cohesion” are the constructs developed to reflect the conflicting dynamics that formed the lived experience of the transitional journeys experienced by each graduate.

Research limitations/implications

Whilst the longitudinal perspective adopted overcomes some of the major difficulties inherent in studies which simply use “snap shot” data, the natural limits of the “common sense” approach restrict theoretical development. Practically speaking, however, the papers identify issues for reflection for those within higher education and the workplace concerned with developing practical interventions in the areas of graduate employability, reflective practice and initial/continuous professional development.

Originality/value

The series of papers offers an alternative to orthodox studies within the broader context of graduate skills and graduate employment. The papers set this debate in a more illuminating context.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 49 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 12 January 2015

Lilla Hortovanyi and Adrienn Ferincz

– The purpose of this paper is to analyse the relationship between on-the-job learning and information and communication technology (ICT).

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1669

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the relationship between on-the-job learning and information and communication technology (ICT).

Design/methodology/approach

Action research methodology was applied to study 62 small- and medium-sized corporations, and to interview over 200 knowledge workers and managers. The qualitative, textual data collected were transformed into 16 variables and analysed by multidimensional scaling.

Findings

The paper provides insights into the optimal use of ICT in intra-organizational knowledge transfer and learning. We found that it is essential to use the right combination and number of technologies, aligned with the organization’s internal processes. Four different types of organizations with sub-optimal usage of ICT and possible strategies for them to reach the optimal zone were identified. For successful organizational learning, however, more is needed: the individual must also understand the value of learning and must be motivated to take part in it.

Research limitations/implications

On-the-job-learning can be facilitated with ICT tools but only if the organization invests in the right levels of ICT. Too much technology can be as destructive to on-the-job learning as too little. Future research should look at other contexts (size, age, industry, etc.) to validate these findings.

Practical implications

The paper demonstrates the effective use of ICT in knowledge transfer and on-the-job learning.

Originality/value

The paper extends our understanding of human–computer collaboration. It highlights that finding the optimal level of ICT is essential for successful knowledge transfer and on-the-job learning.

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Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2017

Giovanni Russo

We investigate the relationship between job complexity and skill development of adult workers in Europe using the Cedefop European Skills and Jobs Survey.1 The results…

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between job complexity and skill development of adult workers in Europe using the Cedefop European Skills and Jobs Survey. 1 The results suggest that challenging workplaces in which jobs are designed to include complex tasks that place high demands on workers’ skills also stimulate skill development. Increasing the degree of job complexity has positive and robust effects on the degree of skill development. Skill development is also positively linked to job tenure. The analysis stresses the importance of on-the-job learning and contextual workplace characteristics for adult workers’ skill development.

Details

Skill Mismatch in Labor Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-377-7

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2015

Tobias Giesbrecht, Birgit Schenk and Gerhard Schwabe

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the face-to-face citizen service encounter in public administrations’ front offices, and present a novel qualification approach…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the face-to-face citizen service encounter in public administrations’ front offices, and present a novel qualification approach to empower service personnel on-the-job, and thereby deepen the knowledge on the role of information and communication technology for advancing governmental reforms.

Design/methodology/approach

The presented study follows a design science research methodology, conducted in collaboration with the public administration of a major German city. Data were collected using multiple quantitative and qualitative methods, including questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and video analysis.

Findings

A novel on-the-job qualification approach for empowering public employees in their job-related skills, building on the concept of affordances, is developed. Thereto, six design principles for equipping artifacts with counseling affordances are presented. Evaluations in real-world environments provide first evidence that “learning with counseling affordances” constitutes an effective qualification measure to initiate experiential learning on-the-job, helping employees in the resource-restricted work environment of public front offices to obtain the skills to provide superior advisory services.

Research limitations/implications

The “learning with counseling affordances” approach was developed in collaboration with an individual major German city and the paper provides first evidence of its effectiveness and suitability. Hence, the study’s insights should be approved by further research to strengthen generalizability.

Originality/value

The paper highlights the previously neglected aspects of employee’s skills and qualification for promoting governmental transformation. By highlighting the beneficial relationship between affordances and on-the-job learning, the paper provides novel insights on the role of information and communication technology to promote governmental transformation.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2001

Lidewey van der Sluis‐den Dikken and Ludwig H. Hoeksema

The central challenge of management development is to control and manage the learning process of managers, focused on individual development and career success and/or…

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2406

Abstract

The central challenge of management development is to control and manage the learning process of managers, focused on individual development and career success and/or reaching organisational goals. This article examines the two seemingly opposed assumptions that either management development comes with experience, job‐rotation and learning on the job or as a result of coaching, mentoring and tacit development programmes that tend to attract younger recruits. It concludes that each assumption includes a part of the truth. Thus, the job, the work environment, and the individual employee characteristics play a role. The article seeks to improve the understanding of the influence of these factors. It focuses on the interaction between developmental characteristics of the job, the learning behaviour of individuals, and the consequences of this interaction for career success of managers.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2017

Rolf van der Velden and Dieter Verhaest

The explicit assumption in most literature on educational and skill mismatches is that these mismatches are inherently costly for workers. However, the results in the…

Abstract

The explicit assumption in most literature on educational and skill mismatches is that these mismatches are inherently costly for workers. However, the results in the literature on the effects of underqualification or underskilling on wages and job satisfaction only partly support this hypothesis. Rather than assuming that both skill surpluses and skill deficits are inherently costly for workers, we interpret these mixed findings by taking a learning perspective on skill mismatches. Following the theory of Vygotski on the so-called “zone of proximal development,” we expect that workers who start their job with a small skill deficit, show more skill growth than workers who start in a matching job or workers with a more severe skill deficit. We test this hypothesis using the Cedefop European skills and jobs survey (ESJS) and the results confirm these expectations. Workers learn more from job tasks that are more demanding than if they would work in a job that perfectly matches their initial skill level and this skill growth is largest for those who start with a small skill deficit. The learning opportunities are worst when workers start in a job for which they have a skill surplus. This is reflected in the type of learning activities that workers take up. Workers with a small skill deficit are more often engaged in informal learning activities. Finally, workers who started with a small skill deficit are no less satisfied with their job than workers who started in a well-matched job. We conclude that a skill match is good for workers, but a small skill deficit is even better. This puts some responsibility on employers to keep job tasks and responsibilities at a challenging level for their employees.

Details

Skill Mismatch in Labor Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-377-7

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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2019

Ann Minton and Jane Lowe

The purpose of this paper is to review a range of mechanisms used by universities to support employers to facilitate effective “on the job learning” for apprentices. It…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review a range of mechanisms used by universities to support employers to facilitate effective “on the job learning” for apprentices. It reflects on how these mechanisms can be used to address some of the challenges, reported in the literature that employers face to in supporting apprentices in the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

A short questionnaire administered to colleagues prior to attendance at a workshop, identified a range of activities, at various stages of engagement with employers that were used by universities to facilitate effective workplace learning and also to address some of the challenges faced by employers. These activities were then discussed and explored within the workshop to identify areas of best practice from the HEI sector to promote effective workplace learning.

Findings

Engagement with employers needs to occur from the outset of the development of the apprenticeship. Embedding the on the job learning within the design of the academic programme, with explicit links between the theoretical learning (knowledge element of the apprenticeship standard) and practical application of learning (skills and behaviours within the apprenticeship standard). Regular interactions with a range of staff within the employer ensure that there is a clear understanding throughout the apprentice’s journey, of how to promote an effective learning environment for the apprentice within the context of the organisation. The role of the workplace facilitator/mentor key. A range of approaches to providing training and ongoing support for facilitators/mentors was identified.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to the participants within the workshop at the conference, a self-selecting group from a relatively small number of HE providers. The HEIs represented provided apprenticeships in a range of subject areas, working with both public sector and private sector providers. Further studies are required to encompass a broader range of providers, including drawing on best practice from the FE and independent sector, and applying principles used there in the context of HE.

Practical implications

Engagement with employers from an early stage of the development of the apprenticeship is imperative, viewing the apprenticeship holistically, rather than as an academic programme with some work-based activities. Resources need to be devoted to regular and frequent contact with a range of personnel within the employer organisation, so that a partnership approach to supporting learning is developed. Training and ongoing support for work-based mentors/facilitators continues to be a key success factor. This needs to be managed to balance the learning needs of the mentors with the potential impact on workplace productivity.

Social implications

The paper identifies a range of approaches that will enhance the effectiveness of learning in the workplace. This will both enhance the apprentice’s learning experience and ensure that higher and degree apprenticeships are developed holistically, meeting the academic requirements of the university and the workplace needs of the employer. This, in turn, will enhance success rates and reduce attrition rates from apprenticeships, which, in turn, may encourage more employers to engage with higher and degree apprenticeships.

Originality/value

The paper collates a range of best practice from the sector to promote effective workplace learning.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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