Practices for learning in early careers

Loon, M (2021) 'Practices for learning in early careers.' Academy of Management Learning & Education, 20 (2). pp. 182-202. ISSN 1537-260X

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Against a backdrop of competitive labour markets, employers have questioned business schools' ability to prepare fresh graduates to 'hit the ground running'. This empirical study explores the research question, "How do fresh graduates prepare themselves for the early stages of their careers through the use of learning practices?" The findings show a gap between students’ espoused and enacted learning practices, as graduates transition from the scaffolds of university learning to an autonomous practice-based way of learning. Espoused learning practices engage a top-down causal approach involving goal-setting and identifying resources, while enacted learning practices involves a bottom-up effectuation process that is about discovery, improvisation and reflexivity. For the first contribution, I offer a more nuanced view of learning practices in the form of practices for learning that is about ‘doing to learn’. The second provides insight from the coalescence between sociomateriality and self-directed learning to shape bespoke practices for learning in support of early-career success. Third, I offer more granularity to the notion of learning careers. I argue that distinctive practices for learning that emerge over time helps with overcoming challenges associated with important episodes in graduates’ careers, such as in their early careers and career change.

Item Type: Article

This article was first published online in October 2020 ahead of its inclusion in an issue. It was submitted as an output to REF 2021.

Divisions: Bath Business School
UoA: Business & Management
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Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2020 18:10
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2021 01:40
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