20 SES 06 A, Networking for Intercultural Learning
The research, positioned in the interface of innovation research and comparative education, studies innovation in European vocational education and training (VET) in three highly innovative countries: England, Finland and Germany. The research focuses on innovation in inter-organisational networks with local, regional, national and European reach in VET. The qualitative research is based on a theoretical framework including globalising learning economies and employee-driven innovation. The empirical research adopts a phenomenographic methodology to study perceptions of VET professionals (directors, teachers, international coordinators) involved in inter-organisational networks in the three countries. The data is collected with in-depth interviews. The aim is to study how participation in inter-organisational networks is perceived to bring innovation into VET in the three European countries. The findings of the comparative research indicate that innovation is perceived to be emerging largely in convergent ways in inter-organisational networks of VET in the three European countries. The thesis concludes that the outer-driven innovation and participation of VET organisations and practitioners in inter-organisational network learning, enhances innovation in VET with, for example, improved efficiency of VET provision, specialisation, new training models, internationalisation and professional development. While noting the limitations, the research suggests that VET may have a stronger role in innovation and learning in globalising learning economies than has thus far been discussed. Since the participation of practitioners in inter-organisational network learning in VET is perceived to promote innovation in VET, it is recommended that educational policies, both national and European, should facilitate and support long-term inter-organisational network learning and professional development of VET organisations. The research findings may benefit academic researchers on innovation in education and training, as well as policy-makers and practitioners, who can relate to the research findings and recommendations of the research in Europe and beyond.
FAGERBERG, J., MOWERY, D.C. & NELSON, R.R. (eds.) 2005. Oxford Handbook of Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press. HARMAAKORPI, V. 2008. Knowledge Production in Networked Practice-based Innovation Processes - Interrogative Model as a Methodological Approach. Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge and Management, 3, 80-100. KRISTENSEN, P. H. 2010. Transformative dynamics of innovation and industry: new roles for employees? Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 16 (2), 171-183. LUNDVALL, B. Å. & ARCHIBUGI, D. (eds.) 2001. The Globalising Learning Economy, New York: Oxford University Press. MØLLER, K. 2010. European innovation policy: a broad-based strategy? Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 16 (2), 261-263.
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