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Informal workplace learning: Turning the workplace into a learning site

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of vocational education and training
Subtitle of host publicationDevelopments in the changing world of work
EditorsSimon McGrath, Martin Mulder, Joy Papier, Rebecca Suart
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-49789-1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2019
Publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


In recent decades, people have faced various global economic, technological, and social changes. Consequently, there is a need for ongoing vocational and professional development in working life. Simultaneously, there has been a growing body of literature that recognizes the importance of informal learning next to formal training arrangements. This chapter provides an overview of prominent context and individual factors related to informal workplace learning. Since the overall structure of the chapter follows the tentative 3-P model of workplace learning, some central learning activities and outcomes of informal workplace learning are shortly presented. Nevertheless, informal workplace learning processes are often unplanned and unconscious, and the outcomes may be unpredictable. This chapter may serve as a base for employees, managers, and human resource development professionals for understanding informal workplace learning and workplaces as sites for learning. This chapter may also provide researchers with future research directions by discussing previous findings and research instruments and identifying some limitations of current research.

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