This paper has been developed from research conducted to date within the ‘Learning as Work’ project, a four year ESRC funded multi-sector study in the UK (2003 – 2008). It presents some initial findings of qualitative case study research concerning workplace learning in the UK hairdressing sector. Drawing upon interviews and observations carried out across four franchised hair salons, the paper addresses the various ways in which formal and non-formal processes of learning are organised and ‘done’ across the salons and foregrounds the relationship between learning at work, the organisation of work, and individual/organisational performance. These relationships are addressed through the presentation of empirical data concerning franchising, customer service, the learning of apprentice stylists the learning of older and more experienced stylists and interactive ‘conversion’ processes of client retention and customer spending
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