Informal learning in company learning cultures: an intercultural comparison (2004-2007)

The educational discourse around informal learning in Germany is influenced strongly by the Anglo-Saxon discourse. The background is not researched explicitly. The publication researched informal learning from an intercultural comparative perspective in three companies in three different European countries.

The study named positive criteria for the phenomenon of informal learning, which is often defined negatively as ‘chaotic’ or ‘unstructured’. Therefore new categories of informal learning were developed for the discourse: learning subjects, learning motives, learning ways, resources and informal learning control. Thereby the study showed that informal learning does not happen by chance. Rather, organisational structures and concrete learning cultures have a strong influence on informal learning. Also resources, e.g. time or personal support, are relevant for informal learning.

The study worked out differences and similarities of informal learning and showed cultural specificities. This led to the hypothesis that informal learning depends on the educational traditions and cultures of the research countries. This hypothesis has relevance for educational policy, as comparative studies often use benchmarking. The study asked whether these comparisons really compare the same things.   

Regina Egetenmeyer
Informal Learning in betrieblichen Lernkulturen.
Eine interkulturelle Vergleichsstudie.

Schneider-Verlag Hohengehren. 2008. 230 Seiten, 19,80€

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Book Reviews

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