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Article
Publication date: 6 September 2013

Kam Jugdev and Gita Mathur

This paper aims to present a high‐level conceptual framework to strengthen the conceptual bridge between project management and workplace learning by applying situated…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a high‐level conceptual framework to strengthen the conceptual bridge between project management and workplace learning by applying situated learning theory to project management practice to guide shared learning within and between projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper bridges situated learning theory from the workplace learning literature and the resource‐based view (RBV) of project management from the strategic management literature, using them as lenses to view two learning mechanisms in the project management domain, project reviews and communities of practices.

Findings

The paper finds that situated learning theory can be applied to project management to highlight processes that enable capability development through shared project learning.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is conceptual in nature and intended to make a case for empirical research that draws on workplace learning literature which is useful to project management as there remains the challenge of leveraging these perspectives for project management practice.

Practical implications

The paper believes that situated learning theory offers insights that can be leveraged to make project management environments more effective through improved intra‐project and inter‐project shared learning.

Originality/value

This paper presents a high‐level conceptual framework to bridge situated learning theory to the RBV of project management. The paper finds that situated learning theory is well suited to contribute to an understanding of shared learning in projects and justifies future research.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 25 April 2020

Sebastian Maximilian Dennerlein, Vladimir Tomberg, Tamsin Treasure-Jones, Dieter Theiler, Stefanie Lindstaedt and Tobias Ley

Introducing technology at work presents a special challenge as learning is tightly integrated with workplace practices. Current design-based research (DBR) methods are…

Abstract

Purpose

Introducing technology at work presents a special challenge as learning is tightly integrated with workplace practices. Current design-based research (DBR) methods are focused on formal learning context and often questioned for a lack of yielding traceable research insights. This paper aims to propose a method that extends DBR by understanding tools as sociocultural artefacts, co-designing affordances and systematically studying their adoption in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The iterative practice-centred method allows the co-design of cognitive tools in DBR, makes assumptions and design decisions traceable and builds convergent evidence by consistently analysing how affordances are appropriated. This is demonstrated in the context of health-care professionals’ informal learning, and how they make sense of their experiences. The authors report an 18-month DBR case study of using various prototypes and testing the designs with practitioners through various data collection means.

Findings

By considering the cognitive level in the analysis of appropriation, the authors came to an understanding of how professionals cope with pressure in the health-care domain (domain insight); a prototype with concrete design decisions (design insight); and an understanding of how memory and sensemaking processes interact when cognitive tools are used to elaborate representations of informal learning needs (theory insight).

Research limitations/implications

The method is validated in one long-term and in-depth case study. While this was necessary to gain an understanding of stakeholder concerns, build trust and apply methods over several iterations, it also potentially limits this.

Originality/value

Besides generating traceable research insights, the proposed DBR method allows to design technology-enhanced learning support for working domains and practices. The method is applicable in other domains and in formal learning.

Details

Information and Learning Sciences, vol. 121 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Hugh Munby, Joan Versnel, Nancy L. Hutchinson, Peter Chin and Derek H. Berg

In the face of research that shows that workplace knowledge and learning are highly contextual, calls for the teaching of generalizable skills for the workplace have been…

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3209

Abstract

In the face of research that shows that workplace knowledge and learning are highly contextual, calls for the teaching of generalizable skills for the workplace have been widespread. While the authors reject the usefulness of teaching generalizable skills, they believe that there are commonalities in workplace knowledge that can be taught. These commonalities are related to metacognition rather than simple cognition, and the approach in this paper is to explore the potential of metacognitive instruction for workplace learning. Specifically, the concept of routines is used to develop an instructional theory derived from the inherent metacognitive functions of routines themselves. The paper draws upon contemporary cognitive theory and on recent research on workplace learning, and it builds on studies the authors have conducted on learning in the workplace and on the observation of routines at work.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

Bridget N. O'Connor

Building on the conceptual foundations suggested in the previous two papers in this issue, this article describes the application of a workplace learning cycle theory to…

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4571

Abstract

Building on the conceptual foundations suggested in the previous two papers in this issue, this article describes the application of a workplace learning cycle theory to the construction of a curriculum for a graduate‐level course of study in workplace education. As a way to prepare chief learning officers and heads of corporate universities, the piece argues, one can engage students in the process of analyzing the learning and knowledge‐use in a work environment through the lenses of the pedagogical and curricular concepts in these and other writings. Moving beyond the traditional concept of “training” for specified competencies, the graduate program aims to enable students to understand and use the more generative concepts of workplace knowledge‐use, and to promote learning as an essential feature of organizational life.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2020

Md Shariful Alam Khandakar and Faizuniah Pangil

The purpose of this paper is to explain the mediation effect of affective commitment on the relationship between human resource management practices and informal workplace

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain the mediation effect of affective commitment on the relationship between human resource management practices and informal workplace learning.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper develops a conceptual framework along with propositions by integrating comprehensive literatures, in the field of human resource management, affective commitment and informal workplace learning. Through the review of detail literature and based on the situated learning theory (Lave and Wenger, 1991) and organizational support theory (Eisenberger et al., 1986; Rhoades and Eisenberger, 2002; – and Eisenberger, 2006), it is proposed that eight human resource practices could affect informal workplace learning. Moreover, it is also argued that affective commitment could mediate the relationship between HRM practices and informal workplace learning.

Findings

This paper provides a conceptual framework on human resource management practices and informal workplace learning which is mediated by affective commitment.

Originality/value

None of the models presented in the literature details the mediation of affective commitment on the relationship between human resource management practices and informal workplace learning which is mediated by affective commitment as indeed the most recent research on the subject envisages.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Richard Griffin

This paper seeks to argue that workplace learning evaluation theory and practice is still an emergent field and that this creates a number of challenges for practitioners…

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3267

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to argue that workplace learning evaluation theory and practice is still an emergent field and that this creates a number of challenges for practitioners and researchers alike.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a descriptive paper based on a critical review of existing approaches and the research literature.

Findings

While programme evaluation has a long history, workplace learning evaluation is yet to establish itself as a distinct field. This has a number of consequences including the lack of a single or settled view on how workplace learning should be evaluated or what specific aspects of learning should be investigated.

Practical implications

The need to demonstrate a return on investment in organisational learning is as pressing as ever. To become more effective training evaluation methods need to be grounded in a theory. This article aims to provide an informed perspective on the current state of workplace evaluation along with insights into how evaluation can be placed on firmer theoretical foundations in order to produce robust findings in a practitioner friendly way.

Originality/value

This paper provides original insights into the development of workplace evaluation approaches and the challenges the field faces.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 35 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 8 September 2014

Thomas Thijssen

The present study aims to focus on workplace learning and understanding learning as creation (Kessels, 1995, 1996, 2001; Verdonschot, 2009; Billett and Choy, 2013) to…

Abstract

Purpose

The present study aims to focus on workplace learning and understanding learning as creation (Kessels, 1995, 1996, 2001; Verdonschot, 2009; Billett and Choy, 2013) to bridge the gap between education and practice addressing the complex real world issue of poverty and social exclusion in The Netherlands. When researchers and practitioners are confronted with the dynamic complexity of the real world (Mahoney and Sanchez, 2004), it becomes evident how limited the ability of researchers and managers is to fully comprehend, describe, explain and (perhaps) predict the world as it is and as it is becoming. A mission of reconnecting theory-building from the outside and theory-building from the inside requires a process of interconnected research and practice in which interactions between managers and researchers have a purposeful focus on theory-building.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is an example of engaged scholarship as proposed by Van de Ven and Johnson (2006) and a baseline study of a time series design from 2001-2008 comparing the effects of a “current treatment” in social work in The Netherlands at t0; explaining the collaborative design between practitioners, innovation consultants and scholars of a “new treatment”; and measuring the effects on social quality at t1.

Findings

The paper provides insight in the level of social quality of clients in a situation of poverty and social exclusion. Lessons learned from workplace learning as creation in social work practice provides input for improving work practices through training and development of social workers.

Research limitations/implications

Early notions for a potential new “treatment” have clearly not been fully dealt with in this baseline study. As stated this base-line study aims at overcoming the lack of insight in the client’s life-world and open the black box to gain fresh insights. This is clearly just a first step of a much longer learning and creation process. Now that more insight in the clients life world is available, engaged researchers have proposed a new, more productive mindset of clients in a situation of poverty and social exclusion that they should not be regarded as a “granite base”, but rather as “architects and builders” of their own life–worlds, with the social services as the “main contractor” to build trust, empower by helping to explicate personal survival strategies and planning for social inclusion (Van Damme, 1999). The limited number of respondents (N = 31) in this study is a limitation of this study, and findings cannot be generalised. Findings are no more than early indications and are not representative for other populations. Further research on a larger scale and in other research settings is needed.

Practical implications

Implications are that design principles for a new and more participatory and socially oriented approach for workplace learning as creation should include the role of building trust in establishing relational quality between the public service organisation, other institutions and the client. First indications are that trust and empowerment may better enable clients in a situation of poverty and social exclusion to take charge of the design of their own lives and to construct and co-construct it accordingly. The role of actors from social services to build trusted relations, empower and co-construct an improved reality bear both elements of social learning, through dialogue (construct and co-construct knowledge = to know) and elements from social empowerment as part of the social quality concept (to act). Understanding the effects of the “current treatment” as input for workplace learning allows for an improved connection between practice and theory on workplace learning and social quality, thereby making a decisive contribution in closing the gap between real-world complex issues and education.

Social implications

A better understanding of the aspects of social quality and social exclusion from theory and from social work practice.

Originality/value

The original contribution of the research is the provision of insight into the complexity of workplace learning in social work when dealing with poverty and social exclusion. The focus on both the process of learning, as well as the outcome of learning, can be considered original.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 26 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Genevieve Armson and Alma Whiteley

The purpose of this paper is to investigate employees' and managers' accounts of interactive learning and what might encourage or inhibit emergent learning.

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3048

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate employees' and managers' accounts of interactive learning and what might encourage or inhibit emergent learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken was a constructivist/social constructivist ontology, interpretive epistemology and qualitative methodology, using grounded theory method. Data collection included semi‐structured interview, “complete this sentence” and “scenarios” from 51 respondents: 22 managers and 29 employees in four private sector organisations. As respondents' theories emerged, these informed the next round of data collection, this process named “theoretical sampling”. Managers and employees were asked about perceptions of their own role and the other's roles in learning.

Findings

Reciprocity and participative learning involving managers and employees emerged. There was dynamism to the data and evidence of both Billett's notion of affordances and Stacey's patterns of local interactions. Employees encouraged learning through peer discussions, and motivation/personal initiative. Managers encouraged learning through have a go coaching, formal training opportunities and working with company structure and resources. The data support the idea of complex and integrated learning.

Practical implications

The data informed both managers and employees in such a way as to highlight the dynamic and complex interactions around learning processes. One practical implication is employee and manager training in emergence and complexity as learning environments. Ideas of complex responses and patterns of local interaction resonated with the data more than particular typologies of learning.

Originality/value

This paper captures insights, especially from employees, into the dialogue and dynamism of their learning opportunities, whilst supporting existing theories. The need for managers to “learn” employees' local interaction patterns emerged as a future research agenda, alongside the need to penetrate the social space of employee learning more deeply.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 22 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Book part
Publication date: 29 August 2017

Jan Gustafsson and Per-Olof Thång

This chapter deals with aspects of the overall criticism in regard to higher education and its growing discrepancy between theory and practice, and the meaning of…

Abstract

This chapter deals with aspects of the overall criticism in regard to higher education and its growing discrepancy between theory and practice, and the meaning of problem-based and authentic learning. The chapter is based on two specific cases that illustrate how higher education is organized in Sweden, and how education could be organized to correspond to the demands of authentic learning and a new form of knowledge production. Work-based learning started as an alternative to the ordinary three-year nursing program at a university college in the western part of Sweden. One main finding was that the students experienced the relation between the different types of teaching in the program as weak, and the different learning contexts in the program as being separate from each other. Higher Vocational Education (HVE) is a market-oriented vocational higher education program with close cooperation between an educational provider and working life. Work-based learning is a cornerstone of HVE, and authentic learning in a real-life setting constitutes a single course governed by its own syllabus. One main finding, was that students experienced a lack of progression in the work tasks and the subject content of the school-based education was not advanced enough. Workplace learning can serve as a structuring resource in education, but it can also be problematic because knowledge is inherent in routines and technologies.

Details

Work-Integrated Learning in the 21st Century
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-859-8

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Book part
Publication date: 29 August 2017

Narelle Patton

Many forms of modern life are united by their fragility, temporary nature, vulnerability, and inclination to constant change (Bauman, 2012). The complex and fluid nature…

Abstract

Many forms of modern life are united by their fragility, temporary nature, vulnerability, and inclination to constant change (Bauman, 2012). The complex and fluid nature of 21st century society requires expansion of competence and skills focused university curricula. Academic institutions are challenged to rejuvenate curricula to encompass – besides the development of students’ technical and cognitive skills – the development of students’ ability to engage with and drive their own learning, thereby developing graduates who can thrive in a fluid world. Work-integrated learning (WIL) is increasingly being embraced as a possible remedy to answer this call for career-ready graduates (Goulter & Patrick, 2010). Consideration of specific work-integrated learning pedagogies underpinned by situated and workplace-learning theories that privilege student participation in workplace activities is required (Patton, Higgs, & Smith, 2013). The critical contribution of student disposition to the shaping and reshaping of workplace learning spaces and the central position of students in driving – not just receiving – workplace learning must be part of the pedagogical change. Building on my doctoral research that used photo-elicitation techniques to explore physiotherapy students’ learning in clinical workplaces (Patton, 2014), as well as contemporary literature, this chapter introduces visual spaces as a pedagogical strategy to assist students to drive their own unique learning in workplaces.

Details

Work-Integrated Learning in the 21st Century
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-859-8

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