As policy makers increasingly focus on workplace learning as a way of improving organizational performance, the debate about the learning organization has grown. Counterbalancing the often over-optimistic assumptions made about the future of work and learning, this book argues that without a contextualized analysis of the field, our understanding of the learning environment is limited. It reconsiders the true role and nature of workplace learning in context.
Grounded in original research, the book features case studies which illuminate how the workplace environment can provide both barriers to and opportunities for learning. It explores learning in different organizational contexts and different countries, sectors, types of public and private sector organization, and by different occupational groups. This multi-disciplinary approach provides a coherent perspective of the institutional, organizational and pedagogical contexts of workplace learning, and as a result, policy-makers, trainers, trade unionists and educators alike will welcome this groundbreaking text, as it gives the intellectual tools required to understand how learning in the workplace can be improved.
Table of Contents
Part One: The Context of Workplace Learning 2. The Political Economy of Workplace Learning 3. The Employment Relationship and Workplace Learning 4. The Quality of Work and the Quality of Learning: The Case of Italian Small Firms 5.The Context of Learning in Professional Work Environments: Insights from the Accountancy Profession 6.The Assessment of Workers' "Basic Skills": A Critical Examination of Late Twentieth Century Trends Part Two: The workplace as a learning environment 7 Learning Through Work: Workplace Participatory Practices 8 Expansive Learning Environments: Integrating Organisational and Personal Development 9 The New Generation Of Expertise: Seven Theses 10 Supporting Learning in advanced Supply Systems in the Automotive and Aerospace Industries Part Three : Skills, Knowledge and the Workplace 11 Conceptualising Vocational Knowledge 12 Transfer of Knowledge between Education and Workplace Settings 13 Learner Biographies: Exploring Tacit Dimensions of Learning And Skills 14. The Conceptualisation and Measurement of Learning at Work 15. The Complexities of Workplace Learning: Problems and Dangers in Trying to Measure Attainment Part Four: Research and Policy 16. The Relationship between Research and Policy: The Birthpangs of a New Workforce Development Policy in Britain 17. Conclusion
Helen Rainbird is Professor of Industrial Relations at University College, Northampton and an Associate Fellow at the Industrial Relations Research Unit at the University of Warwick.
Alison Fuller is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Labour Market Studies at the University of Leicester.
Anne Munro is a Reader at the School of Management at Napier University.