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ERIC Number: EJ801688
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1366-5626
Learning at Work: Organisational Affordances and Individual Engagement
Bryson, Jane; Pajo, Karl; Ward, Robyn; Mallon, Mary
Journal of Workplace Learning, v18 n5 p279-297 2006
Purpose: The purpose of this research is to explore the interaction between organisational affordances for the development of individuals' capability, and the engagement of workers at various levels with those opportunities. Design/methodology/approach: A case study of a large New Zealand wine company, using in-depth interviews. Interviews were held with staff at all levels working in the vineyards or winery--the two core functions of the organisation. Transcripts were analysed drawing on Billet's notion of workplace affordances, Fuller and Unwin's restrictive-expansive continuum, and the concept of proactive personality. Findings: Development opportunities were differentially experienced according to level in the organisational hierarchy and function, with those higher in the organisation experiencing a more expansive environment than those in lower-level jobs. However, where individuals were proactive, a seemingly restrictive development environment was experienced as far more expansive; just as a potentially expansive environment could be experienced as restrictive by those who did not take initiative. Research limitations/implications: The conventional limitations of case study research apply. In particular, concerns over generalisability to other industries and organisational settings. Practical implications: The research highlights for managers' the important role of job design and organisational characteristics that foster expansive work environments for the promotion of employee learning and development. For employees it highlights how proactive behaviour can provide opportunities for development in otherwise restrictive environments. Originality/value: Previous research has identified differences in workplace affordances for development across organisations. The paper extends this work by showing that such differences are also evident within organisations and are associated with hierarchical position. Moreover, the paper integrates the notion of proactive behaviour, a construct that fits well with interactionist perspectives on workplace learning that emphasise the dual and reciprocal nature of contextual influences and individual agency. (Contains 1 note.)
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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
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand