Learning organizational practices that persist, perpetuate and change: A Schatzkian view

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Practice, learning and change: Practice-theory perspectives on professional learning, 2012, 1, pp. 233 - 247
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In this chapter, we connect and challenge two conventional assumptions in workplace learning research and organizational change research: that learning can be understood isolated from its interrelationship with work and that managing change is a process to revert organizations back to desirable forms of stability. We believe the nexus of learning and change in organizational work lies in unpacking the apparent paradox between how work practices regularly get carried forward (persist and perpetuate), yet also adapted (change) by workers to achieve the purposes of work. We draw significantly from the theoretical writings of Schatzki and argue that practice theory has much to contribute in conceptualizing more dynamic views of organizing, work and learning. We illustrate our use of Schatzkian concepts by discussing how workers at an Australian utility company using safety practices to learn how to become new kinds of safe workers.
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