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ERIC Number: EJ801537
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-1366-5626
Bureaucratic Boundaries for Collective Learning in Industrial Work
Kira, Mari; Frieling, Ekkehart
Journal of Workplace Learning, v19 n5 p296-310 2007
Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to explore individual and collective workplace learning and the connections between them in the contemporary industrial work. Design/methodology/approach: Two case studies were carried out in the Finnish package-supplier sector. The research methods applied were standardized observations and qualitative interviews. Findings: The cases show that the socio-technical influences have created learning-conductive work at the individual level, but failed to create optimal possibilities for collective learning. The still-prevailing bureaucratic power relations prevent employees from fully contributing to collective learning and organizational development. Research limitations/implications: Workplace-learning research should study more rigorously the connections between individual and collective learning and, especially, the ways in which the prevailing power relations influence them. Integrating concepts from chaordic systems thinking to the workplace-learning theory seems fruitful and could be pursued further. Practical implications: In order to become organizations in which internal and external development may take place at the individual and collective levels alike, the case companies should directly address their shared mental models regulating employees' participation opportunities rather than leave those models to develop in a non-reflected way. Originality/value: The paper contributes to the field of workplace learning by presenting a conceptual model on sustainable development building on concurrent individual and collective learning. With the help of this model, founded on several theoretical traditions, strengths and weakness in an organization's approach to workplace learning can be detected. (Contains 1 table, 1 figure and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland