Understanding Relations of Individual—Collective Learning in Work: A Review of Research
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. In total, 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, sense-making/reflective dialogue, levels of learning, network utility, individual human development, individuals in community, communities-of-practice and co-participation or co-emergence. The discussion highlights similar issues stated in the different journals about understanding individual—collective learning, the apparent lack of dialogue across the fields, 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.