NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1062976
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-1874-785X
Sales Assistants in the Making: Learning through Responsibility
Reegård, Kaja
Vocations and Learning, v8 n2 p117-133 Jul 2015
The paper investigates how learning and processes of becoming are shaped and enacted in retail apprenticeship in Norway. The analysis draws upon a qualitative study of managers and apprentices in different retail sub-sectors. The empirical point of departure is managers who, more or less deliberately, throw apprentices into tasks from day one. Thus, the apprentices have to handle tasks with limited instruction and guidance. The paper argues that the level of trust the apprentices are shown, and the responsibility they assume, fosters emotional engagement conducive to learning. The concept of learning environment is applied to understand the relationship between affordances and engagement. In linking the organisation of work to learning processes, emphasis is placed on how "being responsible" is not merely a capacity residing within the individual, but embedded in and constituted by institutionalised work roles, task allocation and trust relations. The paper aims to nuance prevailing accounts of lack of guidance as purely detrimental to workplace learning. However, the weakly established tradition of vocational training in Norwegian retail requires a critical look into the kind of learning this practice implies. Contentious issues of throwing apprentices into the deep end are discussed.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway