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Title: An exploratory study of situated learning phenomenon in two theatre producing companies in the UK
Author: Liu, Jing
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis contributes to the broader academic debate on the understanding of organisational learning from a situated learning perspective. It focuses on the situated characteristics of learning and the relationship between learning and social engagements in organisational contexts. The thesis notes the focus of many existent studies on conceptualising the situated characteristics of learning at a general level, rather than exploring the specific situated learning patterns involved in a given organisational context. As a consequence, there is a shortage in the research field of in-depth investigations into how such situated learning patterns arise in given organisational contexts. Moreover, the current debate on power in relation to the topic of organizational learning appears to have a negative connotation. This limitation may undermine our understanding of potentially different faces of power. In particular, there is a relative lack of systematic investigation into the influence of management-attempted intervention on learning as well as the power relations mobilised around such influence. To fill these research gaps, this study explores potential situated learning activities in their immediate contexts using two in-depth case studies of theatre producing companies in the UK. Discussed are the ways these learning activities become possible, and how management intervention impacts on the learning possibilities. The main conclusions drawn are that situated learning activities in the organisation context under scrutiny are driven by work needs and opportunities for engagement in work practices. Rather than shaping learning directly, management intervention produces multifaceted yet double-edged consequences; both constraining with respect to some learning possibilities and encouraging with regard to others. Alongside the power of management surrounding the issue of learning in these organisations coexists the ‘power of engaging’, which is an emergent form of power derived from the very process of participating in local work practice from a practitioner’s point of view. There is an on-going pull in the interplay between the power of management and the power of engaging around learning. The power relations involved surrounding learning is more of an ongoing movement in achieving a dynamic balance between the forces that support learning and those that challenge learning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD28 Management. Industrial Management ; PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater