NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1014189
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2046-9012
Hard Times for HRD, Lean Times for Learning?: Workplace Participatory Practices as Enablers of Learning
Warhurst, Russell
European Journal of Training and Development, v37 n6 p508-526 2013
Purpose: This article aims to show how in times of austerity when formal HRD activity is curtailed and yet the need for learning is greatest, non-formal learning methods such as workplace involvement and participation initiated by line managers can compensate by enabling the required learning and change. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative cross-sectional design using a photo-elicitation interview method was used with middle-manager respondents within two case-study organisations. These organisations, UK local authorities, were selected on the basis of the severity of the austerity measures being imposed and the significance of the learning needed/changes required. Middle managers were the focus, being a managerial cadre with dual responsibilities for both implementing and initiating change. Findings: Managers' narratives of their managerial practices are analysed and show strong intentions to facilitate the learning of individuals through, for instance, enabling learning from experience and also to promote social learning within communities of practice. Narratives of community learning suggest that the managers were also supporting the creation of new forms of practice within their teams. Research limitations/implications: The research involved volunteer respondents who were MBA educated and who may, therefore, have been atypical. Nonetheless, implications for HRD policy and practice are proposed, including the need for more recognition of the role of line managers in enabling both individual and organisational learning and the need for developing managers as workplace educators. Originality/value: This paper is an in-depth qualitative study of workplace activities including participation and involvement practices using the lens of situated learning theory to highlight the importance of line managers as facilitators of non-formal learning in times of austerity. Empirical conclusions are drawn upon in refining situated learning theory. (Contains 2 plates.)
Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, West Yorkshire, BD16 1WA, UK. Tel: +44-1274-777700; Fax: +44-1274-785201; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A