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Developing competence at work


Bound, H and Lin, M, Developing competence at work, Vocations and Learning, 6, (3) pp. 403-420. ISSN 1874-785X (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Springer

DOI: doi:10.1007/s12186-013-9102-8


In this paper, we explore the relationship between differing conceptualisations of competence, and the implications of these differences for the enacted workplace curriculum and its pedagogical epistemologies. We argue that when competence is understood as a set of stand-alone attributes that reside within an individual, it limits and over simplifies understandings of work, the context of the work, and the vocation of which that work is a part. We propose that instead of a static end product, competence should be viewed as a continuous process of development, of becoming, and of understanding the work individually and collectively. Drawing on an analysis of two workplace learning case studies, we illustrate the ways in which the work itself structures the enacted workplace curriculum and facilitates or constrains learning. The Singaporean case studies, one of trainee chefs in a high-end hotel and the other of trainee healthcare assistants in a nursing home, for the elderly provide sharp contrasts of differing conceptualisations of competence. Data was collected through analysing organisational policies on training and development semi-structured interviews with trainees and their workplace supervisors, unstructured, nonparticipant workplace observations of the trainees and supervisors as they carried out their daily work tasks.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:competence, context, development, work, learning, curriculum
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Research Field:Quality management
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Work and labour market
Objective Field:Work and labour market not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bound, H (Dr Helen Bound)
ID Code:91517
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2014-05-21
Last Modified:2014-10-31

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