There is now much awareness of the symbiotic relationship between workplace learning, the organisation of work, level of employee involvement, organisational performance, and the broader economic, regulatory, and social context within which organisations have to operate. This article argues that we have to identify and take serious account of the contextual factors (external and internal) that affect all organisations, as these are central to developing our understanding of the nature of pedagogical practice within any workplace setting. By closely examining the nature and impact of these contextual factors, we can gain greater insight into the phenomenon of why organisations adopt different practices and why they create such different learning environments. The article draws on emerging findings from an ESRC-funded multisector study in the UK and uses illustrations from two contrasting sectors to highlight the impact of context on pedagogical practice
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