Learning ‘social responsibility’ in the workplace: conjuring, unsettling, and folding boundaries



Fenwick T (2011) Learning ‘social responsibility’ in the workplace: conjuring, unsettling, and folding boundaries. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 19 (1), pp. 41-60.

This article proceeds from the argument that while the discourse of social responsibility (SR) is increasingly evident in pedagogies circulating through the workplace, its actual practices tend to be obscured beneath complex tensions and moral precepts presented as self-evident. Through an examination of individuals’ learning of SR in the workplace contexts of small enterprise, this discussion asks: How can we consider social responsibility in work, and the project of learning social responsibility in and for work, in more flexible ways that account for its complex enactments in pluralist contexts? The article explores dynamics of responsibility as both response and identity within literature on social responsibility in the workplace, and examines the process of learning SR as a matter of negotiating boundaries to enact response and identity. Drawing from findings of a qualitative study of 25 small enterprise owners engaging a process of learning SR practice, the article explores what are argued to be their boundary practices of conjuring, unsettling and folding boundaries as they developed viable locations and relations of social responsibility in their unique situations.

social responsibility; small business; workplace learning; boundary practices; Small business; Social responsibility of business; Business ethics

Pedagogy, Culture and Society: Volume 19, Issue 1

Publication date31/12/2011
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)

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Professor Tara Fenwick

Professor Tara Fenwick

Emeritus Professor, Education