Learning in-between, across and beyond workplace boundaries

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 2012, 12 (1-2), pp. 61 - 76
Issue Date:
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In this paper, we challenge conventional theories underpinning the practice of human resource development (HRD) that typically focus on the objects of learning - individuals, skills, jobs - or separate the contexts of work (performance) from learning (training). Using case study research from a public utility and a winery, we found similarities in workers' experiences of various organisational practices despite different objects of learning. These practices were, firstly, temporarily occupying (acting up) in a more senior position and, secondly, collaborating across functions. Unlike notions of boundary-crossing or job rotation, we argue that learning 'in-between' develops interactional competence that is grounded within the work practices of interacting individuals. This relational view opens up possibilities for redirecting the focus of HRD practice towards integrating work and learning in ways that develop the potential for learning in-between, across and beyond the boundaries of work. © 2012 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
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