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Title SMES TRAINING
Small business training and competitiveness: Building case studies in different European cultural contexts
Aspect
Concept Findings Challenge
Synopsis A major objective of this project is to identify those learning processes that lead to increased competitiveness of the small and medium sized companies analysed. Learning is broadly conceived as the process of making meaning of experience. This includes the common cognitive stages of information acquisition, elaboration, dissemination and storage, but it also adds a more contextualised and social view of the learning process since ‘data have no significance in their own right until people determine what they mean’ (Easterby-Smith and Araujo, 1999). 
    Therefore, learning processes have to be described in their own contexts. Context is defined in the model as the antecedents that are the basis for the learning process. They represent both the triggers and the settings for organisational learning processes. Learning can be motivated by a wide range of contextual factors, including a change in legal regulations, an economic downturn, changes in the industry due to the entry of a new competitor or a new technology, or even internal changes in the structure or the culture of the organisation. 
    At the same time, learning has to do not only with knowledge but also with attitudes and emotions. Moreover, learning is very much social, being influenced by and influencing itself the culture of the organisation or the subculture of a specific group within the company  (Sauquet 2002, p. 5, 23).
Reference The conceptual framework of the project, in particular the learning process, has been outlined in the final report (Sauquet 2002, pp. 23-25). 
See also project info on SMES TRAINING.
Descriptors D-CVT  D-WBL          
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Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO