Project without external funding

Learningful Work - Increasing Employees Learning Opportunities at Work. An International Comparison


Project Details
Project duration: 04/200403/2006


Abstract
An employee?s development and well-being at work are closely connected to her possibilities to learn during the process of work. From a company?s point of view, workplace learning is essential in securing the development of unique, shared knowledge and competence.
Variable, complex, and autonomous work, giving opportunities for collaboration, communication, information exchange, and feedback, supports both personal and professional learning. Collective learning at a workplace, in its turn, necessitates possibilities for sharing the new insights of individual employees, interpreting these insights at the group level, and integrating them into organizational systems and practices. But to what degree does contemporary industrial work give opportunities for such individual and collective learning?
The aim of this research project is to explore employees? learning opportunities in the Finnish, Swedish, and German packaging industries. The packaging industry, in these countries, is characterized by traditional production methods, on the one hand, as well as intensifying and diverging customer demands, on the other. The degree of IT implementation in the production work is also increasing. Therefore, the packaging industry offers an interesting case of industrial work in transition from automated mass production to more customer-oriented and informated work. Work contents, organizational solutions, and employees? competencies all face change challenges.
In the study, the existing learning conditions in the three countries are described; the differences and similarities in the approaches of the Finnish, Swedish, and German packaging companies to support their employees? learning opportunities are mapped. The consequences of workplace learning on employees? competencies are outlined as well. Furthermore, within the Finnish sub-project, the participating companies are supported in creating more learning-conductive work. The research data have been gathered with the help of the "Lernförderlichkeitsinventar? (Learning Conditions Inventory) research tool combining interviews, work process observations, and survey questionnaires. The German sub-project has a sample of 48 plants, while the Finnish sample consists of in-depth studies in 6 packaging industry production plants. One Swedish plant has also participated in the study.
The research project is supported by the European Commission 6th Framework program Marie Curie-fellowship.


Publications

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Last updated on 2017-11-07 at 15:04