32 SES 03 A, Organizational Learning in Health Care Networks and Inclusive Companies
This paper addresses organizational learning processes in workplaces that offer supported employment that integrate the mentally ill or individuals recovering from a mental illness. From an organizational education point of view, it is interesting to explore how organizations as employers can design the learning environment at the workplace to fully integrate these people into the world of employment. With a practice-based perspective on organizations, the paper will relate to both: inclusive situated learning in workplace (Lave und Wenger 1991) and inclusive organizational learning by supra-individual social entities (Göhlich et al. 2018). While the state of research on supported employment has improved in recent years, the organizational dimension thereof has been neglected. Subsequently, it is largely unclear what conditions must be in place to promote the recognition of equality and difference within companies, for a non-discriminatory organizational participation of mentally ill.
Given this backdrop, the paper will contribute to a perspective on organizations as inclusive “educational fields” (NW 32 Special Call) to elaborate special requirements (“expectations, prescriptions, and reconciliations”; ibid.) that arise in the course of occupational inclusion. In this context, it should be noted that organizational educational research has already dealt with the core subject of organizational learning in many ways, such as addressing the issues of learning cultures (e.g. Marsick 2013) or emotional network relations (e.g. Riva 2019). In addition, there are several studies that have looked at occupational contexts (e.g. Bramming et al. 2009; Brücknerová und Novotný 2017; Elkjaer und Mossfeldt Nickelsen 2016; Elkjaer und Brandi 2018). Considering the evidence-based positive effects of work-life participation on (mental) health, the paper seeks to complement the research in occupational fields, to specifically explore the inclusive learning potentials in connection with supported employment.
Based on the inclusive paradigm, the paper adopts a diversity-conscious research perspective to investigate the organizational handling and production of differences in the context of occupational socialization of mentally ill. Following the assumption that knowledge and skills, but also social values and routines, take place on informal contact between newcomers and experts (Lave und Wenger 1991, Revsbaek 2019), the paper will argue that the production of tensions in a community of practice can serve as potential trigger of learning in organizations (Elkjaer und Huysman 2008, p. 171). Situated in content-oriented standpoint, the paper will differ four dimensions of organizational learning: “Wissen-Lernen” [learning to know], “Können-Lernen” [learning to be able to do], “Leben-Lernen” [learning to live] and “Lernen-Lernen” [learning to learn] (Göhlich und Zirfas 2007), to view the ‘dialogic’ and ‘experience-based’ aspects of inclusive organizational learning. Regarding its modality, learning needs both the (human or non-human) other (“dialogicity”) and the (in case of organizations: supraindividual) learner’s self-recognition (“experience-based”) (Göhlich 2016). In order to be able to explore these content dimensions and modalities, a process-oriented research conception is indicated. Consequently, the paper focus on organizational learning processes using an organizational ethnography to elaborate inclusionary logic behind learning environments.
The paper considers organizational field studies as part of a PhD project exploring inclusive-organizational learning in a sectoral comparison approach. The study involves two workplaces that offer supported employment: The first case study examines practice of a district-level charity organization (social sector) to enable the occupational participation of a mentally ill supported-employee in the administrative. The second field study refers to a production company in the field of CNC technology, where the mentally ill supported-employee works in fabrication (economic sector). For research into the daily processes within the companies, the study will use methods of organizational ethnography (Neyland 2008; Ybema et al. 2009) combined with participatory observation, discussion analysis, and artefact analysis. The ethnographic approach is characterized by a systematic combination of explorative and focused phases of organizational research. Consequently, the ethnographic approach has much considerably shorter field visits (2 to 3 days) compared to conventional ethnographies. In order to still be able to capture the complex organizational interaction processes in a meaningful way, the study will concentrate on ‘scenes’ of workplace learning environments. The methodological category ‘scene’ opens up the possibility of describing the question-related actions of individual actors and the interactions of the actors with each other and their reference to a common third, to realize a spatial-temporal location of the practice patterns (Göhlich et al. 2012). In the practical implementation, this results in a constant alternation between the object-related generation of questions and the renewed immersion in ‘scenes’ of the workplace environments. Through repeated field entries, the research questions and hypotheses obtained are constantly updated on the basis of the accumulating data material. In concrete terms, scene-oriented participation in the field opens up the identification of question-specific data material, e.g. by observing meetings between supervisors, job coaches and supported-employee. Via the technique of case-internal comparisons the case-related assumptions will be (re)formulated. The openness of methods is central to this project, especially due to the specificity of the targeted field (organizational culture) and the focus on practices of organizational inclusion of mentally ill (usually a special case in everyday work). Following an abductive research logic, the study is based on the principle of theoretical sampling – as an interweaving of data collection and analysis. The question of the "where" and "how" of data collection is determined accordingly on the basis of the parallel data analysis.
The project investigates to explore the necessary conditions for non-discriminatory occupational participation of mentally ill. In that regard the organizational ethnography promises to provide empirical insights into the inclusionary logics behind organizational learning environments under the conditions of the job market. Situated in content-oriented standpoint, the study can realize a multi-perspective insight view on learning in and by organizations. With regards to organizations as actors of inclusion, these dimensions of learning are shown in the intermediation, documentation and reproduction of organizational knowledge about the conditions and strategies of inclusion (learning to know), in the organizational cultural production of practice patterns, in particular cooperation routines of organization´s daily practice (learning to be able to do), in a specific way of dealing with organizational diversity and the development of a specific organizational living world (learning to live) and learning world (learning to learn). The sector-comparative case-constellation allows to expect general insights into inclusive workplace learning environments. Firstly, there should be inequalities in the fit between mentally ill and the tasks and activities of the respective sectors. It can be assumed that an administrative activity makes different demands on attention, concentration and physical effort than a manual activity. Secondly, it can be assumed that sectoral differences also emerge with regard to organizational cultures. Moreover, the uniform research structure ensures comparability across case studies. Finally, occupational inclusion can be examined as support for learning to live: learning to empower and coping with life. Through the processes of learning to live, the individuals gain the authority to orientate themselves in pluralized forms of life, make full use of their own opportunities and to assert themselves (Göhlich und Zirfas 2007). This type of learning of mentally ill becomes also evident when looking at workplace communities of practice.
Bramming, Pia; Raastrup Kristensen, Anders; Pedersen, Michael (2009): The Entry of Self-Leadership into Work Environment Research. In: Danish Working Environment Authority (Hg.): Working Environment Challenges for the Future. Copenhagen, 53–56. Brücknerová, Karla; Novotný, Petr (2017): Trust within teaching staff and mutual learning among teachers. In: Studia paedagogica 22 (2), pp. 67–95. Elkjaer, Bente; Brandi, Ulrik (2018): Knowledge Sharing and Organizational Learning: The Case of Management Consultancy. In: TPA 8 (2), pp. 80–102. Elkjaer, Bente; Huysman, Marleen (2008): Social Worlds Theory and the Power of Tension. In: Daved Barry und Hans Hansen (ed.): The Sage handbook of new approaches in management and organization. Los Angeles, CA: Sage, pp. 170–177. Elkjaer, Bente; Mossfeldt Nickelsen, Niels Christian (2016): Intervention as workplace learning. In: Journal of Workplace Learning 28 (5), pp. 266–279. Göhlich, Michael (2016): Theories of Organizational Learning as resources of Organizational Education. In: Andreas Schröer, Michael Göhlich, Susanne Maria Weber und Henning Pätzold (Hg.): Organisation und Theorie. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, pp. 11–21. Göhlich, Michael; Engel, Nicolas; Höhne, Thomas (2012): Szenen und Muster. Zur pädagogischen Ethnographie von Organisationen im Kontext der Grenzüberschreitung. In: Barbara Friebertshäuser, Helga Kelle, Heike Boller, Sabine Bollig, Christina Huf, Antje Langer et al. (Hg.): Feld und Theorie. Opladen: Budrich, pp. 153–167. Göhlich, Michael; Novotný, Petr; Revsbaek, Line; Schröer, Andreas; Weber, Susanne M.; Yi, Byung Jun (2018): Research Memorandum Organizational Education. In: Studia paedagogica 23 (2), pp. 205–215. Göhlich, Michael; Zirfas, Jörg (2007): Lernen. Ein pädagogischer Grundbegriff. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. Lave, Jean; Wenger, Etienne (1991): Situated learning. Cambridge University Press. Marsick, Victoria J. (2013): The Dimensions of a Learning Organization Questionnaire (DLOQ). In: Advances in Developing Human Resources 15 (2), pp. 127–132. Neyland, Daniel (2008): Organizational Ethnography: London: Sage. Revsbaek, Line (2019): Researching Organizational Entry from a Perspective of Newcomer Innovation. In: Peters, Michael; Weber, Susanne M. (ed.): Organization and Newness. Brill. pp. 69-80. Riva, Maria Grazia (2019): Organization as an emotional network. Unconscious dynamics and life-deep learning. In: Susanne Maria Weber, Inga Truschkat, Christian Schröder, Luisa Peters und Andreas Herz (Hg.): Organisation und Netzwerke. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, pp. 75–82. Ybema, Sierk; Yanow, Dvora; Wels, Harry; Kamsteeg, Frans (2009): Studying everyday organizational life. In: Sierk Ybema, Dvora Yanow, Harry Wels und Frans Kamsteeg (ed.): Organizational Ethnography. London: Sage, pp. 1–20.
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