Newsletter for European Research in Learning and Work [L&W]

Newsletter for European Research in Learning and Work [L&W]

Edition: December 2013 [www.news.wifo-gate.org][Impressum]

[Conferences] [Networks] [Programmes] [Projects] [Publications]

Dear Colleagues 

This is the latest edition of the L&W Newsletter, which will reach you via a mailing list of over 1400 experts in and beyond Europe. As always, it focuses on transnational research activities in the field of human resource development (HRD) and vocational education and training (VET), centred on major categories: conferences, networks/ centres, programmes, projects and publications. Many thanks to all who contributed information for this edition of the Newsletter! 

Particularly worth noting in this edition are four calls for papers(ECER/VETNET in Porto, EDEN in Zagreb, EGOS in Rotterdam and VET History in Zurich -  see Conferences), an announcement of E-learning courses on Applied Methods in Social Sciences (see Programmes) and a special selection of paperson comparative and cross-cultural dimensions of HRD from this year's UFHRD conference (see Publications).

Should you prefer to read the current Newsletter edition online, you can find it under December 2013 on the website (www.news.wifo-gate.org). And please pass the Newletter on to your own networks - thanks! The next edition of the Newsletter will appear in early February 2014. You are invited to submit short pieces of news (texts of 100 to 200 words, without attachments, but including links to web resources) - please by 31 January 2014 at the latest!

With best wishes
Sabine Manning
Research Forum WIFO
Editor of the L&W Newsletter 


VET History Conference: Call for Papers

History of Vocational Education and Training (VET): Cases, Concepts, and Challenges. International Research Conference. The University of Zurich, Switzerland. September, 8th and 9th 2014
The Chair for Vocational Education and Training and Teacher Training at the University of Zurich, Prof. Philipp Gonon, in cooperation with the Chair for Theory and Research in Education at the University of Potsdam, Dr. Esther Berner, invite contributions to their historical international research conference, which will address the following topics: #Cases which stress specific developments or problems of VET in a certain country or region; #Concepts which are discussing theoretical approaches towards this phenomenon; #Challenges which are contextualizing the historical perspective in a topical policy context.
Deadline for outlines of papers: December 24, 2013. For more information, please contact Jennifer Keller (vethistory@ife.uzh.ch) or access the website http://www.ife.uzh.ch/weiterbildungundveranstaltungen/veranstaltungen/vethistory.html.
(Info received from Jennifer Keller)

Call for papers: ECER 2014 incl. VETNET programme - Porto 1-5 September 2014
The European Educational Research Association and the University of Porto (Portugal) invite educational researchers to participate in and to submit proposals for the European Conference on Educational Research 2014 (Emerging Researchers' Conference: 1-2 Sept; Main Conference:  2-5 Sept). The conference focuses on the theme "The Past, Future and Present of Educational Research in Europe". However, proposals for contributions are welcome from all fields of educational research - deadline: 01 February 2014 (all proposals to be submitted online!). The European research network in vocational education and training (VETNET) particularly invites proposals related to its major research areas (see network page: http://www.eera.de/networks/network2/). If you have any queries please contact Marg Malloch: marg.malloch@vu.edu.au. ECER 2014 website: www.eera-ecer.de/ecer2014
(Contributed by: Sabine Manning )

Call for Papers: E-learning at work and the workplace
EDEN Annual Conference 10-13 June 2014, Zagreb, Croatia
Workplace-based training supported by ICT tools is part of the solution to reduce skill shortages and mismatches. E-learning has become a dominant delivery method in learning settings at work across various sectors and a wide range of company sizes. The EDEN 2014 Conference will discover and present the latest best practice in this field, share progressive concepts and inventive solutions, and promote joint thinking and collaboration. Discussion and debate will provide a range of innovative theories and approaches about the ICT-supported learning, educational innovation and, in particular, open educational resources. For details visit the Call for Contributions and the Submission Guidance. Paper Submission: 31 January 2014
Website: http://www.eden-online.org/2014_zagreb.html
(Info received via <Eden-News@eden-online.org>)

Call for papers: Activity Theory and Organizations
We are looking forward to receiving interesting short paper proposals for the forthcoming sub-theme 61: "Activity Theory and Organizations" taking place in the 30th European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS), in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, July 3-5, 2014 (www.egosnet.org). Please view the description of sub-theme 61 on the website. Submission period for short papers for the 30th EGOS Colloquium 2014: from September 16, 2013, to January 13, 2014. Please note the guidelines and criteria for the submission of short papers (info).
Convenors of the sub-theme 61: Yrjö Engeström, Anu Kajamaa & Zlatko Bodro˛ic
(Received from Anu Kajamaa <anu.kajamaa@helsinki.fi>)

NOTE: Forthcoming and recent events related to European research in work and learning are listed on the WIFO Conference page [www.conferences.wifo-gate.org]. 
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Infonet - news, interviews and articles about adult learning in Europe

Infonet is a European network of information in the field of adult education, http://www.infonet-ae.eu/ .Infonet offers journalistic writing about topical adult education-related issues from the whole of Europe. Infonet is an important link to authors and scholars from the European community of lifelong learning. The latest Infonet publication theme is devoted to migration issues, and several interesting analyses and scientific articles are available on the Infonet portal. A fruitful cooperation with LlinE started this year and gives access to more research content in the on-line version of LlinE, e.g. an article by Professor Maurice de Greef at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels about migrants, social inclusion and transfer possibilities (page). Articles can be accessed directly on the Infonet website or you may choose to subscribe to the Infonet newsletter through the website, which will then arrive directly in your mailbox. The Infonet Newsletter is free of charge and the subscription field can be found in the left-hand column on the Infonet start page. Welcome to the Infonet readership! 
(Received from Antra Carlsen <antra.carlsen@vox.no>)

Update: The Directory of Professional Contacts (www.dpc.wifo-gate.org), including more than 200 professionals across 30 countries in the field of transnational European VET and HRD research, is being continuously updated. You can find brief information on colleagues with particular expertise as authors, project and network coordinators or programme chairs - all being involved in European collaboration. Data in this Directory is linked up with major research resources such as the Bookshelf, Overview of articles, Conference page, ECER VETNET Proceedings and Overview of HRD conference papers, Networks at a glance and Overview of projects
(Contributed by Sabine Manning)

NOTE: References to research networks in the field of European work and learning are available on the WIFO page Networks at a glance [www.networks.wifo-gate.org]. Major online resources related to European research networks include the ECER VETNET Proceedings (www.ecer-vetnet.wifo-gate.org) offering a complete and up-to-date collection of conference papers submitted since 1998, and the Overview of selected HRD conference papers (www.ehrd-papers.wifo-gate.org).
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E-learning courses: Methods and Analyses in Social Sciences

We would like to introduce the Distance Learning program of IMASS - Institute for Applied Methods and Analyses in the Social Sciences. We are happy to inform you that as from October 1st 2013 we are accepting inscriptions for any of our offered short e-learning courses in Advanced Applied Methods (page) and Advanced Management (page). Our goal is to support you in developing better skills in quantitative and qualitative methods in the fields of the Social Sciences. Our Scientific Council is composed of world recognized authorities in the social sciences, guaranteeing the success of our Institute (page). On our website http://imass.ca/imass/ you will find all the detailed information about IMASS.CA, also on our courses for the first trimester. If you have any further questions, please contact us at info@imass.ca.
We further invite you to become part of our IMASS network, and we count on your support to share the IMASS.CA Learning model (page).  Our Brochure can be downloaded from our website. The IMASS Administration.
(Information received from Julieta Rosa <info@imass.ca>)

NOTE: Contributions are welcome for the next edition of the Directory of Doctoral Dissertations (www.ddd.wifo-gate.org), provided as part of the WIFO Gateway, which focuses on European research in the field of vocational education (VET) and human resource development (HRD). Please provide information on expected or newly completed doctoral dissertations investigating issues of HRD, VET or work-related adult education, according to the following pattern: 1*Theme of dissertation (original language AND English); 2*Year of (expected) completion or publication; 3*Author (name and email address); 4*Tutor (name and email address); 5*Institution of tutor (name and home page). Contributions should be posted by email to the editor (sm@wifo-gate.org).
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NOTE: Contributions are invited to update the Overview of European research projects [www.projects.wifo-gate.org], provided as part of the WIFO Gateway. The overview focuses on transnational research projects, mainly supported by EU programmes, in the areas of human resource development, vocational education, work and learning. Please send the following information to the editor (sm@wifo-gate.org):  (A) exact title and acronym (short name) of the project; (B) name and email address of the coordinator or main contact; (C) address of the website (or info page/ flyer) of the project. Contact: Sabine Manning

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The Hybridization of Vocational Training and Higher Education
Lukas Graf (2013). The Hybridization of Vocational Training and Higher Education in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. Opladen/Berlin/Toronto: Budrich UniPress.

Austria, Germany, and Switzerland are increasingly relying on hybridization at the nexus of vocational training and higher education to increase permeability and reform their highly praised systems of collective skill formation. This historical and organizational institutionalist study compares these countries in order to trace the evolution of their skill regimes from the 1960s to today's era of Europeanization, focusing especially on the impact of the Bologna and Copenhagen processes.
The book is available as a free download from: http://dx.doi.org/10.3224/86388043 or http://www.pedocs.de/volltexte/2013/8290/

(Received from Lukas Graf <lukas.graf@uni.lu>)

Challenging the 'European Area of Lifelong Learning'
G.K. Zarifis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece; M.N. Gravani, Open University of Cyprus, Latsia, Cyprus (Eds.) 2013. Challenging the 'European Area of Lifelong Learning': A Critical Response. Springer: Lifelong Learning Book Series, Vol. 19 (Details]
This book critically reflects on the context in which lifelong learning policies and practices are organized in Europe with contributions of researchers and policy makers in the field. Through a critical lens the book reinterprets the core content of the messages that are conveyed by the European Commission in the "Memorandum for Lifelong Learning". With references to research findings, proposed actions, and applications to immediate practice that have an added value for Europeans, the book offers an analytical and systematic view of the main challenges in creating the 'European Area of Lifelong Learning'. In times as decisive as the ones we are going through today (both in social and economic terms), a critical perspective of the practices and policies adopted by the EU Member States is essential. The book follows the same structure as the Memorandum in order to debate and critically approach, in separate sections, the core issues that Europe faces today in relation to the idea of making a 'European area of Lifelong Learning'.
(Info from Book Release received via ESREA mailing list)

Vouchers in continuing vocational training - Effects of a financing model in four European countries
"Weiterbildungsgutscheine - Wirkungen eines Finanzierungmodells in vier europäischen Ländern", edited by Bernd Käpplinger, Rosemarie Klein and Erik Haberzeth, published by W. Bertelsmann in September 2013, 388 pages, ISBN: 9-783-7639-5276-2
Voucher programs have been frequently implemented in continuing vocational education in Germany and other countries like Austria, Switzerland or Italy in the last 10 years. The publication presents theoretical foundations and some central effects of vouchers. Special attention is given to methodological approaches and challenges in researching the effects of public programs in continuing vocational education. The nowadays popular arguments mainly for randomized studies, experiments and evidence-based policy are discussed critically. This is especially valid when looking at the deadweight loss or simple participation rates along socio-demographical groups (especially the so-called low-qualified), which are often perceived as the core indicators for a successful or non-successful voucher program. Instead, the book and its different contributions put forward the core arguments to look much more at the content of funded courses and the patterns of participation within gendered life-courses, sector-specific and vocational-specific perspectives. Further details here.
(Received from Bernd Käpplinger <bernd.kaepplinger@rz.hu-berlin.de>)

Natural Learning
David Simmonds (2013). Natural Learning. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing [Details]
Theories of learning have developed over centuries and become increasingly diversified across a variety of cognate areas, but are often unidisciplinary in methodology and application. An extensive annotated literature review over a range of disciplines including neurophysiology, social psychology, and organisational development reveals a multiplicity of assumptions, paradigms, approaches, and outcomes. Rarely have learning specialists shared their insights with those from other backgrounds. The purpose of this book is to address this excess of models and frameworks by proposing an innovative, unique, unified yet multidisciplinary theory of natural learning using an integrated methodology based upon epistemology, ontology, and phenomenology. The book will include an application of the logarithmic spiral to learning. It will apply a set of chaordic assumptions for learning in the 21st century. A new formula for learning is proposed. Natural learning creates rhythmic waves of changes through the chaordic interactions among and between quality connectomics. Although focused upon adult learning in the workplace, it will outline a unifying formula for learning, which can be applied in different contexts, with different people, in different situations. There needs to be a range of intra-, inter-, and extra-disciplinary learning conversations to develop sustainable interdisciplinary natural learning colloquies.
(Received from David Simmonds <dsimlewin@aol.com>)

Mobility of Eastern European citizens: Training and development
Article by Ioannis Kougias, Lambrini Seremeti and Dimitris Kalogeras in the European Journal of Training and Development, Volume 37 (2013) Number 8 (Details).
In the last 50 years, due to the socio-economical crisis, a growing wave of vulnerable mobile citizens, i.e. immigrants, refugees, human traffic victims and people seeking political asylum, have been continuously moving among different regions in pursue of better living conditions. Hence, new types of multicultural knowledge-based societies, referred to as "global-cities", are being formed by heterogeneous groups of people having different backgrounds, including ethnic, linguistic, national, religious, physical, cultural and cognitive differences. Within these dimensions of diversity, the viability and prosperity of these emerging cities of "world mobility" are of particular importance. One way to overcome the dysfunctions that apparently occur in such dynamic environments is to achieve a mutual understanding between peoples and cultures, a priority addressed mainly by Education. In this context, Tertiary Education Institutions that are able to embed scientific and technological innovations in everyday life are indicated as the most important mediators between "mobile citizens" and the public bodies of each hosting country. The purpose of the paper is to present a Greek training and development initiative proposing a strategic approach to lifelong learning policy, based on two axes: firstly, adult learning, and secondly, common qualification and credit framework, adaptable to the special characteristics of migrating groups.
(Received from Ioannis Kougias <kougias@teimes.gr>)

Papers on comparative and cross-cultural dimensions of HRD
The L&W Newsletter wishes to draw particular attention to the following *Papers presented at the 14th International Conference on HRD Research and practice Across Europe, held in Brighton, June 2013, under the theme "HRD in Turbulent Seas", including the stream "Comparative and cross-cultural dimensions of HRD" - all papers being available for downloading in the conference archives of the University Forum for HRD website (www.ufhrd.co.uk):

*Effective managers in German and British private companies
Hamlin, R.G., Mulder, R. H., and Patel, T. Effective and ineffective managerial behaviour in German private companies: An empirical study and cross-case comparative analysis. [Paper]
This study explored how managerial and leadership effectiveness is perceived and defined within private companies in Bavaria, Germany.  Replicating previous research carried out in other regions of Germany using the critical incident technique, a total of 506 concrete examples (critical incidents-CIs) of effective and ineffective managerial behaviour were collected from 24 managers in a diverse range of companies. Through open coding and thematic analysis the CIs were sorted into 158 discrete behavioural categories for which behavioural statements (BSs) were devised to reflect the meaning held in common with the respective constituent CIs.  Of these BSs, 68 and 90 described behaviours indicative of effective and ineffective managerial performance respectively.  Comparisons against equivalent BSs from the previous German study and two prior British replication studies revealed high degrees of convergence. The results point toward the existence of generic behavioural indicators of perceived managerial and leadership effectiveness relevant to German public sector companies.  But they bring into question the validity of past claims that national culture has a major impact on how employees perceive and judge the behavioural effectiveness of their managers. Equivalent replication studies have been and are currently being conducted within a culturally diverse range of other European and non-European countries.
(Received from Bob Hamlin <R.G.Hamlin@wlv.ac.uk>)

*HRD in times of turbulence: The case of Southern Europe
Tomé, E. HRD in times of turbulence: The case of Southern Europe. [Paper]
We analyze the relation between HRD investments and policies and the current economic situation in Southern European States (Portugal, Greece and Spain). We use a model with four parts and nine variables to analyze the evolution of the HR market in the three countries mentioned:  stocks, investments and outcomes; supply, demand, price and quantity; needs; market forces. We use published macroeconomic and microeconomic data to implement this model. We conclude that in those countries HRD has been slow to develop and that, even worse, it has been quite unbalanced. Therefore a long lasting and traditional failure of those societies to invest in HRD, coupled with the failure of organizations to use the available HRD, have contributed decisively, in an epoch of increased globalization, to very bad results in the labour market (namely unemployment and emigration) and a very bad economic outlook (that is recession and debts). As a consequence we suggest a massive transformation in HRD settings in those three countries, meaning that not only the supply will have to be further increased and improved but also the companies and organizations will have to change enough in order to be able to use HR effectively and on a large scale.
(Received from Eduardo Tomé <eduardo.tome@clix.pt>)

*Human capital development in Central and Eastern Europe
Oleksandr Tkachenko and Alexandre Ardichvili (2013). Human capital development in Central and Eastern Europe: An analysis of trends and challenges facing Estonia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia. [Revised paper for publication in Human Resource Management (Zarzadzanie Zasobami Ludzkimi), No. 6(95), pp. 67-88] [Paper on UFHRD website]
This paper presents the findings of a comparative study of trends and challenges of human capital development (HCD) in four Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) - Estonia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia - through the lens of education and training as important predictors of HCD. Analyzing the dynamics of key variables utilized for assessment of human capital, the study reveals the increase of investments in education and training as a positive trend. At the same time, decline in students' performance in math and science, high levels of skills mismatch over the analyzed time period, as well as demographic changes that are characterized by an aging and shrinking workforce are found to be barriers to HCD in the four CEECs. Emphasizing the interplay of three systems - education, training, and labor markets - the study highlights the importance of the systemic approach in the development and implementation of HCD policies. The paper also advocates an increasing role of HRD (and National HRD, in particular), if such an approach is undertaken.
(Received from Oleksandr Tkachenko <tkac0022@umn.edu>)

*Instructional Designer Competencies: American and European Comparisons
Darlene Russ-Eft, Tiffany A. Koszalka, Laia Robichaux. Instructional Designer Competencies: American and European Comparisons. [Paper]
This study presents the results of a comparison of the competency ratings by instructional designers in North America with instructional designers in Europe.  It begins by examining previous research and theoretical work on the competencies needed by instructional designers.  It then turns to issues related to the culture of those instructional designers.  An online survey using the most recent version of the competencies and performance statements for instructional designers from the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction (www.ibstpi.org) was used.  A total of 989 instructional designers from various countries around the world responded by rating the importance of the competencies and performance statements.  Among these respondents, we compared the responses of those who indicated that they were from North America (N = 641) with those who were from Europe (N = 51).  No significant differences appeared in the domains, and only four significant differences emerged in the rating to specific performance statements.  Implications for practice and for further research were suggested for both instructional design and human resource development.
(Received from Darlene Russ-Eft <darlene.russeft@oregonstate.edu>)

*Leadership factors in European and U.S. cultures
Hwang et al. The relationship among leadership factors and perceived job performance across cultures: Comparing the role of Charismatic, Directive, Participative, and Supportive leadership and technical expertise in ten countries in Europe and the U.S. [Paper]
We empirically examine how behaviors and technical expertise of leaders affect perceived job performance of leaders in different cultures, specifically in the U.S. and several European cultural clusters. After analyzing large archival data of a multisource feedback instrument assessing leadership behaviors, technical expertise and overall perceived job performance of managers in the cultural clusters, we found that Charismatic and Directive leadership behaviors are highly related to perceived job performance whereas the influence of Supportive leadership behaviors is not strong in all cultural clusters. The surprising finding is that Participative leadership behaviors are not associated with perceived job performance in any cultural cluster studied. This is contrary to prior cross-cultural leadership research which suggests positive impact of Participative leadership behaviors in all European cultural clusters. 
(Received from Seogjoo Hwang <hwang134@umn.edu>)

NOTE: Updates on publications provided by the WIFO Gateway include the WIFO Bookshelf [www.books.wifo-gate.org], a collection of references to publications focusing on cross-European issues of work and learning, and "From the Journals" - Overview of articles on cross-European issues in VET and HRD research [www.articles.wifo-gate.org], selected from European and international Journals related to education research [www.journals.wifo-gate.org].
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Editor of the L&W Newsletter: Dr Sabine Manning, Research Forum WIFO (sm@wifo-gate.org);
Address: Neue Blumenstr. 1, D-10179 Berlin, Germany;
Editions of the L&W Newsletter: six times a year, every two months (at the beginning of February, April, June, August, October, December);
Deadline for contributions to the L&W Newsletter: end of January, March, May, July, September, November;
Circulation of the current L&W Newsletter: about 1400 experts in 40 countries (mostly Europe);
Details and Archive of the L&W Newsletter [www.news.wifo-gate.org].
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 Editor: Sabine Manning © WIFO