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ERIC Number: EJ1250787
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2020
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2046-9012
Firm Size and Workplace Learning Processes: A Study of the Restaurant Sector
Bishop, Daniel
European Journal of Training and Development, v44 n2-3 p305-320 2020
Purpose: The purpose of this paper asks how workplace learning environments change as firm size increases, and how employees respond to this. In doing so, it looks beyond an exclusive focus on formal training and incorporates more informal, work-based learning processes. Design/methodology/approach: The study uses a comparative, qualitative research design, using semi-structured interviews with an under-researched group of workers -- waiting for staff in restaurants. The data were collected from six restaurants of different sizes. Findings: As formally instituted human resource development (HRD) structures expand as firm size increases are more extensive in larger firms, this leaves less room for individual choice and agency in shaping the learning process. This does not inevitably constrain or enhance workplace learning, and can be experienced either negatively or positively by employees, depending on their previous working and learning experiences. Research limitations/implications: Future research on HRD and workplace learning should acknowledge both formal and informal learning processes and the interaction between them -- particularly in small and growing firms. Insights are drawn from the sociomaterial perspective help the authors to conceptualise this formality and informality. Research is needed in a wider range of sectors. Practical implications: There are implications for managers in small, growing firms, in terms of how they maintain space for informal learning as formal HRD structures expand, and how they support learners who may struggle in less structured learning environments. Originality/value: The paper extends current understanding of how the workplace learning environment -- beyond a narrow focus on "training" -- changes as firm size increases.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A