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Sharing learning across diversity: Immigrant employees’ inclusion in communities of practice
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In Norway research on immigrants and the labour market has to a large degree focused on immigrants’ shortcomings, be it their lacking knowledge, competence and skills (KCS) or their failures in being recruited to available jobs. This study seeks to refocus current academic interest and investigates the potential benefits of recruiting immigrant employees. It explores highly skilled immigrants and how their KCS is valued, shared and used in a Norwegian workplace. In this study seven immigrant employees in a State organisation (the Directorate) are interviewed about their experiences with having their KCS validated, shared and used. In addition they reflect on the Directorate’s framework conditions for sharing learning, and whether the organisation is able to expand the organisational culture to embrace immigrants’ values, opinions and practices. The study adopts a socio-cultural view on learning and operationalises this approach through the use of Lave and Wenger’s concept of communities of practice (CoPs). Employees in the Directorate are thus seen as members of CoPs and new immigrant employees as novices going through a participative process to gain access to the CoPs’ repertoire of accepted practices. Findings indicate that the negotiation of meaning taking place when new, immigrant KCS enters CoPs is a contested process in which both new employees and veteran members go through a process of identity formation. Findings also indicate that although an organisation may have an inclusive work environment regarding surface-level diversity, the inclusion of foreign values, opinions and practices and the development of a diverse learning environment is dependent on a conscious strategy on harvesting foreign KCS.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 64 p.
Keyword [en]
Immigrants, labour market, knowledge, competence, skills, employees, workplace learning, qualitative study, validation of knowledge, knowledge sharing, framework conditions for workplace learning, socio-cultural perspective, community of practice, Lave and Wenger, identity, diversity
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-113816ISRN: LIU-IBL/IMPALGC-A--14/011--SEOAI: diva2:784887
Subject / course
Intercontinental Master´s Programme in Adult Learning and Global Change
Available from: 2015-02-02 Created: 2015-01-31 Last updated: 2015-03-02Bibliographically approved

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Department of Behavioural Sciences and LearningFaculty of Educational Sciences
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