Outline Issue of the European perspective of HRD

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  Integrating work and learning in organisations
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  A common trend facing HRD is that learning will be more integrated with work [R16]. Several aspects of this process have been studied:
Organisational learning is often a response to a competitive challenge which companies face: they have to increase their productivity, and the primary way they do this is by downsizing and increasing flexibility and learning [V06] [V19].
A mapping of learning conditions in Norwegian companies supports the assumption that you need challenging tasks for learning. It also underlines the relevance of change as a driving force for individual and organisational learning [V04].
Learning bays are an innovative model, introduced as pilots in German firms, for combining work infrastructure with learning infrastructure. They are designed to promote self-organised learning and working in teams. While the learning bays function well in innovative environments, they pose problems in neo-Taylorist environments, because the level of competences achieved is too high [V03].
Informal learning has a variety of applications when firms talk about it. In a lot of contexts it means 'I learn to use this particular technology or machinery or routine'. But there is not, within that organisation, any time or space for discussing or reflecting upon this, in the sense of transferable skills [V14].
There are three ways of how people in organisations can be motivated to learn: ‘learn for yourself’; learn because this is good for your work and for your team and for your organisation; or learn because you want to contribute to your profession [V17].
In a Scandinavian insurance company they have moved away from the standardised products, where people were led by instructions, to team working, working closely with customers, identifying new products and services. What they are looking for is a way to define these shared contexts. Instead of knowing the market today, the employees have to be able to construct the knowledge that they do not yet have for the market of tomorrow. This means completely different contexts for learning [V13]. 
Successful work-based learning and training interventions involving older workers have a potential for improving their motivation for learning, for strengthening their self-confidence and organisational commitment, and for improving the social climate in groups with mixed ages [E13c] [V21].
Studies of work experience related to students have perpetuated the idea that the work contexts within which work experience takes place are stable, unchanging, transparent environments. Instead, any analysis of work experience should take account of different types of context and the influence of context on the process of learning; of how students ‘negotiate’ their learning during work experience; and of how students relate formal and informal learning. These issues are taken up in the 'connective model' of work experience [E11a]. 
Developmental work is work which is inspiring learning, so developmental work promotes developmental learning. The nature of the tasks is actually facilitating or compelling people to think, it is almost pushing people to learn  [V22]. 
One of the most interesting things about the work in the supply chains was that there is a fantastic amount of learning going on if supported by people like educational researchers or other researchers; a lot was achieved. And when it turned to what sort of use they want to make of that, in terms of vocational qualifications or credits within the formal educational system, the majority of people wanted neither. It was the educational organisations which had difficulty in coping with that ... because they want to get their hands on it [V23].

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Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO