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Conceptualizing industrial workplace learning: an information systems perspective
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics. (LINA iAIL)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1424-8651
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics. (LINA iAIL)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6101-3054
2022 (English)In: Journal of Workplace Learning, ISSN 1366-5626, E-ISSN 1758-7859, Vol. 35, no 9, p. 1-21Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify the constituent parts of learning in the manufacturing work context and understand why these parts are key in the learning of the employees. Design/methodology/approach: The data was collected from two sources: a literature review of the Information Systems literature to establish an initial picture of what learning in relation to digital technologies entails and in-depth interviews with engineers in the automotive industry whose knowledge-intensive work is exposed to substantial digital transformation. Findings: The authors first identified three constituent parts for learning: change, reflection and deliberation. When the authors cross-checked the initial findings through in-depth interviews with the engineers, it was found that these three themes trigger learning through three different mechanisms, that is, balancing newness, finding point of reference and organizing actively. Thus, the findings of this paper extend beyond a categorical identification of what constitutes learning to also illustrate why learning entails these constituent parts. Research limitations/implications: This paper implies that progressive learning requires active organizing of learning stages. The data is limited to the review of the Information Systems field. The authors have also only focused on the automotive industry as the representative sector in the manufacturing industry. Practical implications: Applying the model of progressive learning can be a primary way to actively plan and organize learning opportunities for employees. This is key for supporting learning culture in organizations that are exposed to continuous and disruptive changes. Social implications: A significant part of social sustainability is based on sustainable employability and feelings of contentment at work. This paper is an attempt to highlight how sustainable employability can be achieved by providing effective learning opportunities at work. Originality/value: The originality of this paper emerges from two sources. First, the authors conducted the literature review and in-depth interviews by devising innovative methods because of the challenges of identifying when (informal) learning has occurred at work. Second, the authors owe the in-depth interviews to the first author’s extensive familiarity with the automotive industry and the knowledge and rapport acquired through her prior longitudinal research on the engineers’ work. It was this background that allowed the authors to find out when these engineers were about to leave the firm because of discontent about their competence development. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2022. Vol. 35, no 9, p. 1-21
Keywords [en]
Manufacturing industry, Learning, Workplace learning, Industry 4.0, Digitalization, Work practice
National Category
Work Sciences Learning
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-19160DOI: 10.1108/JWL-04-2021-0048ISI: 000835772200001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85136459260OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-19160DiVA, id: diva2:1706240
Available from: 2022-10-25 Created: 2022-10-25 Last updated: 2023-06-02

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Arghavan Shahlaei, CharlotteLundh Snis, Ulrika

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