Doing the thing: a qualitative study of employers' and graduates' attitudes to work based learning in a UK Business School

Cheryl Brook, Marjorie Corbridge

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Purpose: To explore perceptions of the practice of work based learning through an examination of the perspectives and views of students and employers.
Design: This paper draws on a qualitative research study which used semi structured interviews to obtain views on a range of issues associated with work-based learning, including the nature and scope of what is learnt and acted upon in the workplace and the qualities of a good WBL supervisor. The data comprises semi structured interviews with 13 graduates of a post-1992 UK University and with 5 employers.
Findings: This study supports the idea that unintended, informal and even ‘tacit’ knowledge may be effectively reflected upon and assessed; that learning contracts play an important role in work based learning arrangements and do not necessarily restrict or constrain what is learnt or how that learning is developed, that supervisors can act as effective ‘sounding boards’ and do not necessarily need to have a didactic role.
Practical implications: The findings will be helpful to different stakeholders engaged in WBL who wish to develop effective strategies to maximise the benefits of WBL. The findings of this research relate to different elements in the process including the value of the employer-led project, of the learning contract as a ‘live’ document and the value of informal, experiential learning in the process.
Originality / value: The paper offers a contribution to our knowledge and understanding of perceptions of the actual practice of work based learning.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2015
Event16th International Conference on Human Resource Development Research and Practice across Europe - School of Management and Marketing, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
Duration: 3 Jun 20155 Jun 2015

Conference

Conference16th International Conference on Human Resource Development Research and Practice across Europe
CountryIreland
CityCork
Period3/06/155/06/15

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