How Managers Learn in Work
thesisposted on 05.05.2011, 13:07 by Carole Brigid Hogan
The purpose of this research is to examine how various dimensions of context influence how managers learn in work and the processes and agents that facilitate this learning. Despite the importance of facilitating manager learning in work there is limited research addressing this specific question. In this study, manager learning in work in conceptualised as being distinct from the concepts of workplace learning and learning at work, as these concepts imply learning in a bounded, identifiable place whereas learning in work is considered as spatially and temporally fluid (Fenwick, 2008). Learning for managers lie with the challenges of work itself (Berings et al., 2004) as managers are coping in a rapidly changing and chaotic work environment and may require learning strategies focused in work that is vital for changing situations (Buckley and Monks, 2008). A qualitative study was conducted among a sample of ten managers based in an innovative and successful entrepreneurial organisation in Ireland, engaged in the financial services sector. In-depth semi-structured interviews were carried out in conjunction with a learning diary which was completed by all ten managers. The diary facilitated self reflection and was reported to have benefits in terms of creating a focus on learning in work. Macro contextual issues were identified as the external context strategy, structure, culture and leadership. Micro contextual issues were identified as the team context and the manager’s job together with agents that facilitate learning in work.