Submission Purpose

Main Conference

Type of Proposal

Paper: Empirical

Abstract

The purpose of this case study is to examine learning in the daily workplace of workers (staff members) at a leading community-based Korean-American nonprofit organization (KANPO) in a major city in the US. The study focused on the relationship among workers as a critical dimension for encouraging informal learning in the workplace. Third generation culturalhistorical activity theory, including activity system analysis, was used as a theoretical framework. Based on a theory-driven and grounded theoretical approach to data analysis, an activity named “collaboration” and its inner contradictions were identified. While the contradictions have the potential to inhibit workers’ everyday workplace learning, the staff tried to resolve the contradictions and advance the collaboration activity. In this process, learning occurred as the activity’s unintended outcomes at both the social and individual levels. The findings show how everyday workplace learning is socioculturally and historically shaped around the KANPO’s contexts, as well as the way organizations use to create an informal workplace learning environment.

Keywords

everyday/informal workplace learning, non-profit organization, cultural-historical activity theory

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Everyday Workplace Learning for Immigrant Justice: Workers’ Collaboration in a Nonprofit Organization

The purpose of this case study is to examine learning in the daily workplace of workers (staff members) at a leading community-based Korean-American nonprofit organization (KANPO) in a major city in the US. The study focused on the relationship among workers as a critical dimension for encouraging informal learning in the workplace. Third generation culturalhistorical activity theory, including activity system analysis, was used as a theoretical framework. Based on a theory-driven and grounded theoretical approach to data analysis, an activity named “collaboration” and its inner contradictions were identified. While the contradictions have the potential to inhibit workers’ everyday workplace learning, the staff tried to resolve the contradictions and advance the collaboration activity. In this process, learning occurred as the activity’s unintended outcomes at both the social and individual levels. The findings show how everyday workplace learning is socioculturally and historically shaped around the KANPO’s contexts, as well as the way organizations use to create an informal workplace learning environment.