Applying the Survey Method to Learning at Work: A Recent UK Experience: Learning as Work Research Paper, No. 3 September 2004

Alan Felstead, Alison Fuller, Lorna Unwin, David Ashton, Peter Butler, Tracey Yeadon-Lee, Sally Walters

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

The skills debate in many European countries has for many years been preoccupied with the supply of qualified individuals and participation in training events. This emphasis is reflected in the sources of systematic data currently available to policy-makers and academics in the field.
However, recent case study work suggests that qualifications and training are partial measures of skill development as most learning arises naturally out of the demands and challenges of everyday work experience and interactions with colleagues, clients and customers. This paper argues that the ‘learning as acquisition’ and ‘learning as participation’ metaphors aptly capture these two competing intellectual traditions. Despite the substitution of the word ‘learning’ for ‘training’, the preoccupation with measuring exposure to conscious and planned events which are set up to impart knowledge and skills remains as strong as ever and typifies the ‘learning as acquisition’ approach. This paper outlines an experiment that was designed to give the ‘learning as participation’ metaphor a firmer survey basis than it has hitherto enjoyed. The resulting survey of 1,943 employees carried out in February 2004 in the UK highlights the importance of social relationships and mutual support in enhancing individual performance at work, factors which individual acquisition of qualifications and attendance on courses ignores. The paper also confirms the importance of work design in promoting and facilitating learning at work in all its guises.
LanguageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Leicester
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004

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work research
learning
experience
qualification
participation
metaphor
event
substitution
customer
employee
supply
experiment
interaction
performance

Cite this

Felstead, A., Fuller, A., Unwin, L., Ashton, D., Butler, P., Yeadon-Lee, T., & Walters, S. (2004). Applying the Survey Method to Learning at Work: A Recent UK Experience: Learning as Work Research Paper, No. 3 September 2004. University of Leicester.
Felstead, Alan ; Fuller, Alison ; Unwin, Lorna ; Ashton, David ; Butler, Peter ; Yeadon-Lee, Tracey ; Walters, Sally . / Applying the Survey Method to Learning at Work: A Recent UK Experience : Learning as Work Research Paper, No. 3 September 2004. University of Leicester, 2004.
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Felstead, A, Fuller, A, Unwin, L, Ashton, D, Butler, P, Yeadon-Lee, T & Walters, S 2004 'Applying the Survey Method to Learning at Work: A Recent UK Experience: Learning as Work Research Paper, No. 3 September 2004' University of Leicester.

Applying the Survey Method to Learning at Work: A Recent UK Experience : Learning as Work Research Paper, No. 3 September 2004. / Felstead, Alan; Fuller, Alison ; Unwin, Lorna; Ashton, David; Butler, Peter ; Yeadon-Lee, Tracey; Walters, Sally .

University of Leicester, 2004.

Research output: Working paper

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N2 - The skills debate in many European countries has for many years been preoccupied with the supply of qualified individuals and participation in training events. This emphasis is reflected in the sources of systematic data currently available to policy-makers and academics in the field.However, recent case study work suggests that qualifications and training are partial measures of skill development as most learning arises naturally out of the demands and challenges of everyday work experience and interactions with colleagues, clients and customers. This paper argues that the ‘learning as acquisition’ and ‘learning as participation’ metaphors aptly capture these two competing intellectual traditions. Despite the substitution of the word ‘learning’ for ‘training’, the preoccupation with measuring exposure to conscious and planned events which are set up to impart knowledge and skills remains as strong as ever and typifies the ‘learning as acquisition’ approach. This paper outlines an experiment that was designed to give the ‘learning as participation’ metaphor a firmer survey basis than it has hitherto enjoyed. The resulting survey of 1,943 employees carried out in February 2004 in the UK highlights the importance of social relationships and mutual support in enhancing individual performance at work, factors which individual acquisition of qualifications and attendance on courses ignores. The paper also confirms the importance of work design in promoting and facilitating learning at work in all its guises.

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Felstead A, Fuller A, Unwin L, Ashton D, Butler P, Yeadon-Lee T et al. Applying the Survey Method to Learning at Work: A Recent UK Experience: Learning as Work Research Paper, No. 3 September 2004. University of Leicester. 2004 Sep.