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Learning for renewal. Learning in a trade union practice.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Studies in Adult, Popular and Higher Education. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
2011 (English)In: Journal of Workplace Learning, ISSN 1366-5626, Vol. 23, no 1, 20-34 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AbstractPurpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze learning in a Swedish trade union board in aworkplace, according to contemporary challenges in working life and conditions, of decentralizationand local independency of trade union work and learning.Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on ethnographic studies of two Swedishlocal trade union boards. The aim is to investigate the everyday activities of the board and the learningprocesses that were generated. This paper focuses on the study of an experienced trade union board.Theory stressing the situated character of learning is used to understand the changes in participationand the trade union practice. The trade union board’s practice is interpreted as solving problems withreference to pragmatism.Findings – The paper finds that the experienced board is competent and manages to independentlysolve unfamiliar but traditional problems, processes of learning are generated, but it fails to developthe competence and update the practice required for the complex and challenging problems of today onits own.Practical implications – The local trade union board does not manage to develop the competencegiving it the power to independently handle the trade union issues significant for the future of thetrade union members and the workplace on its own.Originality/value – This context of learning has not been studied before. It is a type of workplacelearning, but part of a social movement.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing , 2011. Vol. 23, no 1, 20-34 p.
Keyword [en]
Trade unions, Learning, Problem solving
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-65922OAI: diva2:400612
Available from: 2011-02-27 Created: 2011-02-27 Last updated: 2014-10-23

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Köpsén, Susanne
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Studies in Adult, Popular and Higher EducationFaculty of Educational Sciences
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