Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Workplace learning and austerity

The Journal of Workplace Learning has recently published "Not learning in the workplace: Austerity and shattering the illusio in public service work." This article departs from much of the literature on workplace learning by examining how public policy can trigger instances of "not learning" in the workplace.

The gist of the article is that austerity measures create significant stress and conflict in workplaces. This can be particularly evident when the priorities of managers and workers clash. Managerial priorities typically win out in such clashes and cause workers much angst.

One of the ripple-on effects of this conflict is to inhibit workplace learning. Ironically, workplace learning is inhibited at exactly the moment when workers are being pressurized to do more with less (or, in the lexicon of neoliberalism, being asked to "innovate").

-- Bob Barnetson

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