Understanding relations of individual-collective learning in work: A review of research


Fenwick T (2008) Understanding relations of individual-collective learning in work: A review of research. Management Learning, 39 (3), pp. 227-243.

Abstract: A review was conducted of literature addressing learning in work, focusing on relations between individual and collective learning published in nine journals during the period 1999-2004. The journals represent three distinct fields of management/organization studies, adult education, and human resource development: all publish material about workplace learning regularly. A total of 209 articles were selected for content analysis, containing a range of material including reports of empirical research to theoretical discussion. Eight themes of individual-collective learning were identified through inductive content analysis of this literature: individual knowledge acquisition, sensemaking/reflective dialogue, levels of learning, network utility, individual human development, individuals in community, communities of practice, and a co-participation or co-emergence theme. The discussion notes apparent lack of dialogue across the fields despite similar concepts, the ontological and ideological differences among the themes of learning currently in circulation, and the low frequency of analysis of power relations in the articles reviewed.

workplace learning; individual-collective learning; organisational learning; Sustainable development.; Experiential learning

Management Learning: Volume 39, Issue 3

Publication date31/07/2008
PublisherSAGE Publications