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Title: A case study of learning during induction at a local authority's children and young people's service
Author: Slaughter, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 9496
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis reports on a case study undertaken within a Local Authority’s Children and Young People’s Service. It focuses on the learning of front-line staff learning during induction. Whilst practice-based learning, particularly during induction, is embedded into roles such as Teaching or Social Work, there has been little research into other similar professionals engaged in caring for children and vulnerable families in the public sector. The thesis seeks to fill that gap. It explicitly seeks to understand induction from the perspective of inductees, something that mainstream management research on induction does not focus on. In addition, the thesis is set within the context of financial austerity and cut backs in the public sector in the UK, and offers an insight into how this affects learning within the organisation. The case study involved inductees and first-line managers. Data was collected through a daily ‘learning journal’ that inductees completed, and semi-structured interviews with both inductees and managers. This data was examined with the help of literature on work based learning, new managerialism and austerity. It drew upon Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, field, doxa and illusio as a framework to help understand the context and the data. The thesis reports on how the perceptions and practices around induction emerge as rooted in hierarchical relations between inductees and managers, with the assumption that managers would - and should - lead on what is learnt and how, during induction. One effect of this is that prior experience and knowledge, particularly around softer skills and unaccredited informal learning, appears devalued. Coupled with the new managerialist ethos and the pressures that accrue during a period of recruitment and resource freezes that typify ‘austerity’, the effects on both the learning environment as well as understandings/assumptions about induction learning are of concern. The thesis examines these factors in some detail and ends with some brief thoughts on how induction learning could be improved in the short and longer terms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available