Worlds within worlds: the relationship between context and pedagogy in the workplace

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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1194 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the different ways in which people engage in ‘teaching’ and learning in the workplace. There is now much more awareness of the symbiotic relationship between workplace learning, the organisation of work, level of employee involvement, and organisational performance, and the broader economic, regulatory, and social context, within which organisations have to operate. Context (external and internal) is, therefore, central to our understanding of the nature of pedagogical practice within any workplace setting. It can help unlock the mystery of why organisations adopt different practices, who they allow to ‘teach’ and learn, and why they create such different learning environments. The paper draws on initial findings from a multi-sector study in the UK, which is employing a range of qualitative and quantitative methods to examine these issues in a range of case study sites. It argues that the contexts within which organisations operate are the analytical starting point for building a meaningful picture of the learning that takes place within organisational settings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Learning Potential of the Workplace
EditorsW. J. Nijhof, L. Nieuwenhuis
PublisherSense Publishers
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9789087903718
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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