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Exploring Learning Discrepancies

  • 7 Pages
  • Published On: 20-12-2023
Examine how organisations use learning and development to support creativity and innovation in the workplace.

The study of learning in the workplace has garnered a new interest in the last few decades in literature, in order to understand how much education affects the encouragement and creativity in the workplace. New studies on educational outcomes, especially at the tertiary level, has revealed that there is a disconnect between the information required at work and the knowledge and skills gained through formal training (Lonka et al, 2006; Stenstorm, 2006). Eraut (2004) classifies the different forms of skills that technical and professional education programmes claim to provide. He describes the five forms of knowledge which an individual acquires as; theoretical knowledge, methodological knowledge, practical knowledge, generic skills and general knowledge about the professional line they are in. While the majority of these sources of learning are defined as transferable, he claims that there is little data on the degree to which students learn conceptual knowledge, key competencies, and general knowledge about a profession, as well as the likelihood of theoretical knowledge and technical experience being translated into the work place.

Hence, in order to understand what are the implications of knowledge in the workplace, one needs to understand how knowledge is acquired there and whether or not it leads to tangible benefits in the development of an employee’s abilities. The following report is going to look into that inquiry, consulting relevant literature about work place knowledge acquisition and how it leads to both work place and employee development. Additionally, this report will also examine what are the methods which are best effective for acquiring knowledge in the workplace.

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Using Learning for Development at Workplace: Concepts

Learning is now commonly recognised as a process that occurs within a particular cultural framework. As a result, learning in the workplace is distinct from learning in a school or university setting. One of the most significant distinctions between learning in the formal school system and learning at the work place is that the former is focused on formal, purposefully planned educational programmes, while the latter is more informal (Marsick and Watkins, 1990). The idea of informal work-based learning is unplanned and unconscious, often cooperative and contextualised, with unpredictable academic achievements and learning outcomes, while school learning and structured education which workers receive on the job, are often structured, planned, largely explicit, and based on individual learning, with predictable results (Hager, 1998, 2004). The differences between workplace and classroom learning can be seen as both strengths and weaknesses. After all, the aim of formal training is to educate general skills that can be applied and adapted to a wide range of circumstances. To be a certifiable productive worker in the workplace, one must cultivate set of circumstances which are specific to the situation and that should be the norms of expertise, which can only be achieved in authentic circumstances. How, in that case, does one make the circumstances authentic? One good way of doing that in the workplace is by encouraging the managers and bosses to initiate educational reforms inside the workplace, which would give the educational reforms legitimacy as well as help develop skills in the worker which are directly relevant to the work place.

Using Learning in the Work Place

Regarding firms in the global market place, Lundvall and Nielson (2007) argue that that organisations that prioritise learning, growth, and innovation are more likely to implement creative solutions, which is a prerequisite for surviving a competitive environment. Making strides in employee-driven innovation are a very important and effective resource for development, which is frequently ignored, and the viewpoint in the current problem is that employees, in employee-driven innovation, are a very important and effective resource for innovation. A pertinent mistake that some employers make when approaching development by disseminating knowledge is by under-valuing employees as resources. Societies and businesses do not depend solely on experts and specialised agencies, such as R&D innovation (Evans et al, 2007; Hoyrup, 2010).

The idea of innovation is intricately linked to the idea of development and innovation as well, as creativity is also something which needs to be developed in the workplace. Creativity can be developed either through encouragement of general skills education or by encouraging specifically this. In the case of the latter, there are two types of creativity perspectives: internal and outer-directed. The former refers to organisational principles and people management practices, such as how work is coordinated, decisions are taken, skills are built, and which leadership and collaboration styles are prevalent. As a result, this viewpoint is important for organisational research (Chesbrough, 2003).

A particular form of innovation in education that employers can encourage in a employee-body is non-R&D innovation .Although it uses the phrase "non-R&D innovation," a recent EU study places employee-driven innovation in a wider sense. This type of innovation is critical because, as the report points out, many businesses and countries depend heavily on non-R&D research (UNU Merit, 2008). Employee-led innovation is similar to very high involvement innovation in that it is driven by employees. According to Tidd and Bessant (2009), everybody in the business should have the creative skills and abilities in solving problems that underpin creativity, implying that the firm's overall innovative capacity is immense. Hence, two forms of innovation-led education which can lead to a boost of creativity in the work place could be non-R&D innovation and employee-led innovation.

Evans et al. (2006) created a paradigm based on the expansive and restrictive spectrum, which defines aspects of the atmosphere or job situation that affect the degree to which the work place as a whole provides opportunity for education or obstacles to learning. Participation, reflection, recognition, and collaboration are all essential considerations in both the organisation and the students learning as learning conditions, according to the structure. In this way, learning is not solely a personal endeavour. Learning occurs as a result of the social environment. This kind of learning process is also reiterated upon by Lave and Wegner (1991), who further specific that learning, in this view, is a method of becoming a member of a social unit, acquiring skills, experiencing the sense of a common work task, and taking practical action that contributes to the common job role.

Hence, it is important to understand the changing nature of learning at the work place, since the social and cultural environment that a work place exists in keeps changing too. The most significant factor in effectively conducting employee training programs is how you perform your training. Newer generations, such as the Millennials and Generation Z, are accustomed to interactive learning environments. A learning management system is a perfect way to build this environment (continu.com). One of the strategic training and development programmes that can help a new employee integrate easily is a mentorship programme. Mentors may assist in the teaching of new skills as well as the ins and outs of a specific business. Furthermore, this partnership provides a different dynamic than a boss or coworker, providing a different perspective that is often required (continu.com). Another great way to incorporate social aspects of learning is working in communities, whether in the physical or virtual world, brings out the best in the employees. It allows them to talk about things, think about things, and come up with ideas that they would not have thought of if they were working alone. With this in mind, the employers and/or trainers sure that tasks need teamwork and have social content (efrontlearning.com).

Another effective and more informal method of learning at the work place is using the Empowered Work Group Sessions, which are informal gatherings of like-minded practitioners who share experience and best practises in specific fields. Participants in the community are encouraged to collaborate, mentor, and foster learning on a regular basis, taking turns as both learners and coaches. There is no established coach or trainer in this framework, where by it is believed that everyone in the community is expected to have something to contribute to the group that will help each worker. One of the basic criteria of a good work group is that everyone in the group has faith in each other's learning (Mani, 2011).

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Conclusion

Tynjälä (2008) elucidates that work place related learning should be a part of any programme and should be connected to other courses. Hence, apprenticeship or practise cycles are not distinct from classroom instruction in other courses, but rather are intertwined. Hence, learning is a process which must continue as long as one is an employee. This basic knowledge drives employee learning in a the workplace, encourages initiatives in learning and also drives employers to launch educational programmes which may be beneficial to the overall learning of the employee.

References

Continu.co. 2021. Top 16 Strategic Training and Development Initiatives for Employees. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 April 2021].

Continu.co. 2021. Pre-Onboarding: Creating a New Employee Welcome Packet. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 April 2021].

eFront Blog. 2021. 7 powerful teaching strategies for engaged corporate learners. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 April 2021].

Nasscom.in. 2021. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 April 2021].

Tynjälä, P., 2008. Perspectives into learning at the workplace. Educational research review, 3(2), pp.130-154.

Eraut, M., 2009. Transfer of knowledge between education and workplace settings Knowledge. Values and Educational Policy: A Critical Perspective, pp.65-82.

Tynjälä, P., Slotte, V., Nieminen, J., Lonka, K. and Olkinuora, E., 2006. From university to working life: Graduates’ workplace skills in practice. Higher education and working life: Collaborations, confrontations and challenges, pp.73-88.

Stenström, M.L., 2006. Polytechnic graduates working life skills and expertise. Higher education and working life: Collaborations, confrontations and challenges, pp.89-102.

Marsick, V.J. and Watkins, K., 2015. Informal and incidental learning in the workplace (Routledge revivals). Routledge.

Hager, P., 1998. Understanding workplace learning: General perspectives. Current issues and new agendas in workplace learning, pp.30-42.

Hager, P., 2004. 14 The conceptualization and measurement of learning at work. Workplace learning in context, p.242.

Lundvall, B.Å. and Nielsen, P., 2007. Knowledge management and innovation performance. International Journal of Manpower.

Evans, K., Hodkinson, P., Rainbird, H. and Unwin, L., 2007. Improving workplace learning. Routledge.

Høyrup, S., 2004. Reflection as a core process in organisational learning. Journal of workplace learning.

Chesbrough, H.W., 2003. Open innovation: The new imperative for creating and profiting from technology. Harvard Business Press.

Europe, P.I., 2009. European innovation scoreboard 2008: Comparative analysis of innovation performance. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

Tidd, J. and Bessant, J.R., 2020. Managing innovation: integrating technological, market and organizational change. John Wiley & Sons.

Lave, J. and Wenger, E., 1991. Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge university press.


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