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Title: The role of workplace culture in incidental learning : a study of a Ghanaian manufacturing firm
Authors: Lartey, Emmanuel
Supervisors: Bishop, Daniel
Courtney, Richard
Award date: 1-Jan-2014
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: In the workplace, the prospect for learning occurs not only through formal training programmes but also effectively and prolifically through opportunities embedded in everyday work activities. This embeddedness raises still-unanswered questions about how such incidental learning is shaped by aspects of the workplace environment. From that view, the numerous means through which the general workplace environment can influence incidental learning arguably creates a significant gap in the theoretical understanding of the phenomenon. The specific gap addressed by this study is ‘How is incidental learning influenced by aspects of workplace culture?’ To investigate this gap, the study explored perceptions of employees on the impact of aspects of workplace culture on incidental learning within a manufacturing environment; specifically, the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) in Ghana. For this study, workplace culture refers to both organisational-wide cultures and subcultures within organisations. Thus this research examined employees’ means of incidental learning and ways the different aspects of organisation-wide cultures and subcultures support or suppress incidental learning. A phenomenological lens was employed to conduct in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with 30 employees selected through quota, purposive, and snowballing sampling methods. The data obtained were analysed through multiple theoretical lenses. The findings showed that employees acquire knowledge through participatory, inquisitorial, and observational means. The findings also provide specific cultural artefacts/practices, values, and assumptions toward a general understanding of the learning/culture relationship and for constructing models for learning-supportive and learning-inhibitive cultures and subcultures at the workplace. The study further demonstrates that employees may have overlapping or multiple identities, which sometimes makes the identification of cultures or subcultures problematic.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: DSocSci
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Centre for Labour Market Studies
Leicester Theses

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