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Article
Publication date: 31 January 2020

Lee Fergusson, Luke van der Laan, Bradley Shallies and Matthew Baird

This paper examines the relationship between work, resilience and sustainable futures for organisations and communities by considering the nature of work-related problems…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the relationship between work, resilience and sustainable futures for organisations and communities by considering the nature of work-related problems (WRPs) and the work-based research designed to investigate them. The authors explore the axis of work environment > work-related problem > resilience > sustainable futures as it might be impacted by work-based research.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper introduces two current real-world examples, one in Australia and one in Asia, of work-based research projects associated with higher education aimed at promoting resilience and sustainability, and discusses the research problems, questions, designs, methods, resilience markers and sustainability markers used by these projects.

Findings

Work-based research, when conducted rigorously using mixed methods, may contribute to increased resilience of organisations and communities and thereby seeks to promote more sustainable organisational and social futures.

Practical implications

Work-based research conducted in higher education seeks to investigate, address and solve WRP, even when such problems occur in unstable, changing, complex and messy environments.

Social implications

Resilience and sustainable futures are ambiguous and disputed terms, but if work-based research can be brought to bear on them, organisations and communities might better adapt and recover from challenging situations, thus reducing their susceptibility to shock and adversity.

Originality/value

While resilience and sustainability are commonly referred to in the research literature, their association to work, and specifically problems associated with work, have yet to be examined. This paper goes some of the way to addressing this need.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2007

Emma Nicholls and Margaret Walsh

This case study aims to provide a critical evaluation of the decision by the University of Wolverhampton's School of Legal Studies to develop a number of work‐based

Abstract

Purpose

This case study aims to provide a critical evaluation of the decision by the University of Wolverhampton's School of Legal Studies to develop a number of work‐based learning modules, offered as part of the undergraduate programme. It seeks to examine why the School has taken the approach of embedding work‐based learning into what has traditionally been a purely theoretical programme.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a case study which evaluates the decision by the School of Legal Studies to implement a range of work‐based learning modules.

Findings

Initial findings suggest that there are clear benefits for students undertaking work‐based learning modules.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed to establish whether there is a clear link between students electing the work‐based modules and a positive impact on graduate employability.

Practical implications

Institutions could consider work‐based learning as part of the response to the employability agenda, in a climate where competition for jobs is fierce, particularly in the area of law.

Originality/value

This case study will be of value for those institutions which are considering introducing work‐based learning modules for law students.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 49 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 10 September 2020

Jonathan Garnett

The article identifies and examines key elements of a work-based learning framework to consider their use as part of the higher education response to the apprenticeship…

Abstract

Purpose

The article identifies and examines key elements of a work-based learning framework to consider their use as part of the higher education response to the apprenticeship agenda for the public sector in England.

Design/methodology/approach

This article draws upon work-based learning academic literature and the authors 28 years’ experience of the development and implementation of work-based learning at higher education level in the UK and internationally.

Findings

The article suggests that while the experience of work-based learning at higher education level appears to offer many ready-made tools and approaches for the development and delivery of higher and degree apprenticeships, these should not be adopted uncritically and in some cases may require significant repurposing.

Research limitations/implications

This article is intended to inform practitioners developing degree apprenticeships. Given the degree apprenticeship is still at a relatively early stage in its implementation, this has limited the extent to which it has been possible to review entire degree implementation to the point of participant graduation.

Practical implications

The article draws upon real-life implementation of innovative curriculum design and is of direct practical relevance to the design and operation of work-based learning for degree apprenticeships.

Social implications

Degree apprenticeships have the potential to increase productivity and enhance social mobility. Effective design and implementation of degree apprenticeships in the public sector has the potential to make a significant impact on the quality of public services.

Originality/value

The article provides an informed and sustained examination of how degree apprenticeships, especially those designed for public sector employees, might build upon previous higher education experience in work-based learning.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 July 2020

Deborah Scott

The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential of creativity in work-based research and practice to yield deeper understanding of practice situations. Unexpected…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential of creativity in work-based research and practice to yield deeper understanding of practice situations. Unexpected insights can lead one (or a team) to identify new approaches, tackling workplace issues differently, leading to unexpected outcomes of long-term impact.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on work conducted for a doctoral thesis, investigating the impact of work-based learning for recent masters graduates of a work-based learning programme. Fiction was incorporated into analysis of the data, creating play scripts to represent key aspects of the researcher's perceptions and interpretations for each participant.

Findings

Research participants experienced personal, professional and organisational impact, although there was considerable variability between individuals. Additionally, societal impact was wished for and/or effected. The approach to representation of analysis, which involved fictionalising participants' experiences, created a strong Thirdspace liminality. This appeared to deepen awareness and understanding.

Research limitations/implications

Such approaches can transform the researcher's perspective, prompting insights which lead to further adventure and development in work-based research and practice.

Practical implications

Managers and employees taking creative approaches in the workplace can prompt wide-ranging development and, with professional judgement, be constructive.

Social implications

Managers and employees taking creative approaches in the workplace can prompt wide-ranging development and, with professional judgement, be constructive.

Originality/value

The creation of play scripts, representing an interpretation of participants' stories about their work-based learning experience, is an innovative feature of this work.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Vincent Carpentier, Norbert Pachler, Karen Evans and Caroline Daly

The purpose of this paper is to explore efforts to bridge conceptualisation and practice in work‐based learning by reflecting on the legacy and sustainability of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore efforts to bridge conceptualisation and practice in work‐based learning by reflecting on the legacy and sustainability of the Centre for Excellence in Work‐based Learning for Education Professionals at the Institute of Education, University of London. The Centre was part of the national CETL (Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) initiative (2005‐2010) and focussed on exploring ways of transforming current models of work‐based learning (WBL) in a bid to respond to the diversity of professional learning needs within education and beyond.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents three case studies which are representative of the Centre's approach to drive theoretical development in WBL.

Findings

The three projects featured contributed to the development of WBL through synergetic cross fertilisation while operating independently from each other. Also, they are characterised by sustainability beyond the end of the CETL initiative. The Putting Knowledge to Work project developed and operationalised the concept of recontextualisation for WBL in successfully moving knowledge from disciplines and workplaces into a curriculum; and from a curriculum into successful pedagogic strategies and learner engagement in educational institutions and workplaces. The London Mobile Learning Group developed a research dynamic around theory and practice of learning with mobile media which contributed to the development of new approaches in (work‐based) learning. The Researching Medical Learning and Practice Network created a community of practice bringing together educational researchers with medical education practitioners and researchers resulting in a greater understanding of how professional attitudes and practices develop in both undergraduate and postgraduate contexts.

Originality/value

The experience of the WLE offers an example of innovative ways to continue to develop our understanding of work‐based learning and inform practice. The impact of the WLE activities on theory, policy and practice is evident in the creation of national and international platforms strengthening existing institutional links.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2019

Lee Fergusson, Luke Van Der Laan, Craig White and June Balfour

The purpose of this paper is to explore the work-based learning (WBL) ethos of a professional studies doctoral program, a higher degree by research program implemented in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the work-based learning (WBL) ethos of a professional studies doctoral program, a higher degree by research program implemented in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a preliminary case study of one higher degree by research program and two doctoral candidates participating in the program to explore the ethos and outcomes of the program.

Findings

The program has sought to develop a different type of higher education ethos, one characterized by an open-door communications policy, a critical friend philosophy, an emphasis on teamwork, pro tem supervision and a new model for doctoral supervision, self-designed work-based projects, self-directed research programs and the development of professional identity.

Originality/value

The characteristics and contributions of WBL programs at the doctoral level have been well documented in the academic literature, but the unique ethos, if there is one, of such programs has yet to be fully examined. This study goes some of the way to answering the question of whether such programs have a unique ethos and if so what are its features and how might it contribute to student development.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 April 2019

Tove Lafton and Anne Furu

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how kindergarten, as a learning arena equal to a university college, creates learning spaces that engage or intervene in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how kindergarten, as a learning arena equal to a university college, creates learning spaces that engage or intervene in the professional learning of student teachers in early childhood education.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on narratives from students in work-based education.

Findings

The paper addresses the complexity of education by outlining how the concept of learning is applied in earlier research on work-based learning (WBL).

Research limitations/implications

This earlier understanding is complemented this with two theoretical lenses (sociocultural and sociomaterial thinking) to analyse a constructed narrative from the students.

Originality/value

The two theoretical positions open up to examine knowledge development and potentially enrich the picture of learning spaces in experiential WBL, going beyond the student as an individual learner.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2020

Jacks Bezerra, Fábio Batista Mota, Michele Waltz Comarú, Luiza Amara Maciel Braga, Leonardo Fernandes Moutinho Rocha, Paulo Roberto Carvalho, Luís Alexandre da Fonseca Tinoca and Renato Matos Lopes

During the last few years there has been an increase of interest in work-based learning (WBL), which can be understood as a process of both developing workplace skills and…

Abstract

Purpose

During the last few years there has been an increase of interest in work-based learning (WBL), which can be understood as a process of both developing workplace skills and promoting labor force productivity. This paper aims to map the scientific landscape related to WBL research worldwide.

Design/methodology/approach

combined bibliometrics and network analysis techniques to analyze data of scientific publications related to WBL indexed at the Web of Science (WoS) Core Collection.

Findings

results show an increase of publications over time: Education & Educational Research as the most frequent research area to which the articles were assigned, the UK and Australia as the main countries and Monash University (Australia) and Middlesex University (England) as the main organizations producing knowledge on WBL.

Originality/value

By offering a global scientific landscape of WBL research published so far, the authors aimed to contribute to future academic debates and studies in this field of knowledge.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2012

Ainhoa Urtasun and Imanol Núñez

This paper aims to identify the work‐based competences associated with better career prospects in the Spanish labour market.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify the work‐based competences associated with better career prospects in the Spanish labour market.

Design/methodology/approach

The relationship between employee‐based competencies and employment prospects is investigated through the lens of the competence‐based approach. The partial least squares (PLS) methodology is applied on a sample of over 5,000 Spanish employees.

Findings

The analysis establishes that skill, motivation, participation in decision‐making and the performance of non‐routine and complex tasks are associated with more favourable career prospects. Finally, it has also been found that human capital dimensions valued by firms vary with occupation, as clear differences have been observed between white‐ and blue‐collar occupations. In particular, social skills and motivation appear to be more relevant for blue‐collar workers than for white‐collar workers.

Originality/value

For the first time, this paper analyses employees' career prospects using work‐based competences as predictors. Additionally, the analysis is based within a very uncertain labour market, Spain, where high unemployment and an extensive use of temporary contracts seriously hinder workers' career prospects.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 41 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 22 October 2019

Lee Fergusson

Work-based research is the applied form of work-based learning (WBL) and has been described as the systematic and methodical process of investigating work-related…

Abstract

Purpose

Work-based research is the applied form of work-based learning (WBL) and has been described as the systematic and methodical process of investigating work-related “problems”. Such problems can either be associated with specific workplaces and domains of practice or may more broadly be described as practical, social or real-world in nature. However, the specific characteristics of work-related problems for organisations and society have yet to be explained, and inadequate problem definition, multiple and competing goals, and lack of agreement on cause-effect relationships have hampered understanding. The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of work-related problems and provides examples from real-world contexts in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides models and examples of standard and non-standard work-related problems based on prior research and current practice.

Findings

Research paradigms view work-related problems as either definable and solvable or ill-defined, complex, difficult to describe and not easily rectified. The former view is concerned with “high ground problems” associated with traditional research methods; the latter with “lowland, messy, confusing problems” more frequently associated with the social sciences. Irrespective of orientation and definition, work-related problems have one thing in common: they are typically messy, constantly changing and complex, and many are co-produced and wicked.

Originality/value

Despite difficulties with identifying and isolating the various types of work-related problem, the paper establishes the importance of doing so for the practitioner. The definition and examination of work-related problems contribute to an evolving formulation of WBL and its application to private organisations, government agencies and work more generally.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

Keywords

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