Situated Knowledge in the Workplace
thesisposted on 11.11.2010, 11:07 by Margaret Mangion
This study has a single main objective: the investigation of factors that enable the transfer of situated learning at the workplace. This objective is achieved by first carrying out an exploration of ‘transfer of learning at the workplace’ and the existing notions pertaining to this field. This search led to the discovery of a number of models that so far have mainly been used for the transfer of formal learning. A proposed model was developed as a framework for data collection and analysis with the intention of pinning down ‘some’ aspects of situated learning at the workplace. The research methods employed, namely empirical data for descriptive statistics and qualitative data offered the possibility of exploring two emerging research questions focusing on how the application of informal learning can be promoted at the workplace and what contextual factors can encourage and facilitate the transfer of learning. Two small-medium-sized firms in the Information Technology sector were used for the study. Offering insight in the understanding of informal learning at the workplace, this research ultimately concludes that the extent to which situated learning is successfully transferred at the workplace is dependent on a number of factors at individual and organisational levels. A suggested typology builds on the situated learning transfer model and the research findings from the study to further support findings related to the enhancement of the application of learning within the workplace. The research concludes that a great deal of learning takes place in informal settings at the workplace. It was also confirmed that factors related to the individual and the organisation impinge on how this learning is then applied. Focusing on situated learning at the workplace, especially on the study of factors that facilitate the application of this learning makes this study original since it does not specifically and solely address transfer or training from formal learning interventions similarly to most research carried out in the past.