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Talking about tools – investigating learning at work in police practice

Talking about tools – investigating learning at work in police practice Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to show how professional tools trigger workplace learning. The daily mundane work of Swedish police officers has been studied to investigate how the use of police tools triggers learning through discussions in police practice. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected through a field study consisting of extensive observations and interviews. The interviews mainly took place in the actual practice of the officers. Situated learning and communities of practice served as an analytical lens. Findings – The study revealed how the use of specific police tools resulted in conversations among the officers. Theses conversations are claimed to be vital parts of the community, and thus the learning of the community of police practice. The paper shows how tools make the ways of working, i.e. police practice, available for discussion and collective reflection. Originality/value – The paper is an in‐depth investigation of a relatively closed sector of society. The paper can inspire researchers to embark on similar studies of other practices. The paper provides novel ways of thinking about how learning takes place in everyday work, not planned and organized by management, but rather as a necessity driven by new tools, and how tools are involved in work. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Workplace Learning Emerald Publishing

Talking about tools – investigating learning at work in police practice

Journal of Workplace Learning , Volume 19 (4): 18 – May 22, 2007

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References (31)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1366-5626
DOI
10.1108/13665620710747915
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to show how professional tools trigger workplace learning. The daily mundane work of Swedish police officers has been studied to investigate how the use of police tools triggers learning through discussions in police practice. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected through a field study consisting of extensive observations and interviews. The interviews mainly took place in the actual practice of the officers. Situated learning and communities of practice served as an analytical lens. Findings – The study revealed how the use of specific police tools resulted in conversations among the officers. Theses conversations are claimed to be vital parts of the community, and thus the learning of the community of police practice. The paper shows how tools make the ways of working, i.e. police practice, available for discussion and collective reflection. Originality/value – The paper is an in‐depth investigation of a relatively closed sector of society. The paper can inspire researchers to embark on similar studies of other practices. The paper provides novel ways of thinking about how learning takes place in everyday work, not planned and organized by management, but rather as a necessity driven by new tools, and how tools are involved in work.

Journal

Journal of Workplace LearningEmerald Publishing

Published: May 22, 2007

Keywords: Social interaction; Workplace learning; Police; Sweden

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