Improving Workplace Learning

By Karen Evans, Phil Hodkinson, Helen Rainbird, Lorna Unwin

© 2006 – Routledge

214 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415371209
pub: 2006-08-31
US Dollars$58.95
Hardback: 9780415371193
pub: 2006-09-14
US Dollars$180.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Across the western world, there is a growing awareness of the importance of workplace learning, seen at the level of national and international policy, as well as in the developing practices of employers, training providers and Trades Unions. Authoritative, accessible, and appealing, it presents key findings on work-based learning, bringing together conclusions and investigating a variety of workplace contexts to show how such learning can be improved. An extensive practical treatment, brought to life with illustrations from both the public and private sectors, this book has a unique combination of breadth of coverage and depth of understanding.

Grounded in rich and detailed empirical studies, this volume challenges conventional thinking. An important new addition to the Improving Learning series, it focuses on guidelines for improving learning by marrying the very best theory and practice to provide an accessible and authoritative guide to workplace learning. Practitioners, policy makers, students and academics with an interest in learning at work will find this an invaluable addition to their bookshelves.


'The book's main theme is to encourage and develop workplace learning and frameworks that can be applied to continuing professional development. It is therefore invaluable for all nursing professionals, as well as those working in human resources, providers of work-based learning and health policy makers.' - Hazel Courtney, learning and development manager, Manchester Primary Care Trust for Nursing Standards

'This book has the great strength of being based on an extremely rich and detailed foundation of research data. Because of this, it is able to firmly locate workplace learning within the wider settings of the employment relationship and widely differing organisational strategies. It should be required reading for all involved in public policy on skills.' - Professor Ewart Keep, Deputy Director of the ESRC Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organizational Performance, University of Cardiff, UK

'Improving Workplace Learning represents one of the most inclusive approaches yet to understanding these complex processes. The book combines attention to macro-social and situational organizational conditions with sensitivity to individual workers’ often conflicting experiences and dispositions. It deserves the attention of all interested in practical job redesign to enhance both workplace learning and fulfilling work.'- David W. Livingstone, Canada Research Chair in Lifelong Learning and Work as well as Head of the Centre for the Study of Education and Work at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada

'Karen Evans et al gives me a confidence, as an industrialist, that ‘high performance work organisations’ can be developed from within to raise the quality and profile of integrated learning that will make a difference to business and public organisations. There are opportunities and benefits in the research covered in this book for all employees, employers, colleges, universities and private providers.' - Alan Hearsum, Chief Executive of the Glass Training Board, Pilkington; Autoglass

Table of Contents

Part 1: 1. Workplace Learning: Perspectives and Challenges Part 2: 2. Expansive and Restrictive Learning Environments 3. Applying the Expansive Restrictive Framework 4. Learner Biographies, Workplace Practices and Learning 5. How Individuals Influence Workplace Practices, and Work can Change Worker Dispositions and Identities 6. Workplace Learning: The Direct and Indirect Impact of Policy Interventions 7. The Direct and Indirect Impact of Policy Interventions - Case Studies from the Research Part 3: 8. Improving Workplace Learning: An Integrated Approach. Appendix on Research Methodology.

About the Series

Improving Learning

The Improving Learning series showcases findings from projects within ESRC’s Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) – the UK’s largest ever coordinated educational research initiative. Each book is explicitly designed to support ‘evidence-informed’ decisions in educational practice and policy-making. In particular, they combine rigorous social and educational science with high awareness of the significance of the issues being researched.



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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Human Resources & Personnel Management
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior