• Camilla Dølrath Isaksen
  • Lea Kathrine Præstekær Mogensen
  • Helene Juul Kjær
4. semester, Læring og Forandringsprocesser, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This master thesis is a study of challenges and opportunities regarding the possibilities of employees transferring knowledge from external training programs to internal workplace structures, with the aim of providing beneficial learning and development opportunities for the individual employee as well as for the entire organisation.

During relevant internships and work experience throughout the years, it has come to our attention that organisations have developed an increased focus on providing opportunities for their employees to engage in external employee training programs. However, it is our experience that both employers and employees do not always achieve the desired benefit of employees receiving external training, which we find that relevant research regarding, lifelong learning, workplace learning and transfer also considers to be a relevant issue.

Based on these experiences, this master thesis examines how social interactions within the workplace can be a contributing factor for employees as well as employers, in order to achieve the greatest possible benefit of external staff training. The thesis is therefore based on a study of opportunities and limitations in transferring knowledge from external training programs to work-related practices, with the intention of implementing the achieved knowledge into the organisation’s internal structures. The study is conducted in collaboration with a department providing social services to vulnerable citizens within the Municipality of Aalborg, which is why our empirical data is based on this collaboration. In relation to our study, we seek to provide a suggestion as to how this department can improve and optimize the process of transferring knowledge from external training programs to its internal workplace structures.

To examine the possibilities of transferring learning and knowledge from external training programs to a work-related community of practice, the theoretical foundation, on which our thesis is based upon, consists of Etienne Wenger theory regarding communities of practice, complemented by studies of apprenticeship presented by Steinar Kvale and Klaus Nielsen as well as Jean Lave. Furthermore, the thesis includes Bjarne Wahlgren and Vibe Aarkrog’s theory regarding transfer. In an attempt to establish a nuanced understanding of how these different theories can be used to portray how transfer of knowledge is possible in relation to a social learning perspective, we include research from Annemette Matthiessen.

The thesis is based on the ideas of social constructivism, where this perspective is used as our frame of reference throughout the thesis. In collecting our empirical data, our study is based on a case study, where we apply research methods in terms of semi-structured interviews, incorporating questions aiming to achieve narrative stories, with the purpose of exploring the reality presented by our informants.

In general, the analysis within this thesis shows that it is important that employers, as well as employees, focus their attention on processes before, during and after employees engage in external learning activities, if they want to be able to achieve the desired benefits of receiving external training. Furthermore, the analysis concludes that it is possible to consider both external training programmes, as well as workplaces, as being communities of practice. Because of the fact that these two contexts can be considered as communities of practice, we find that transfer of knowledge between these contexts can be achieved through a process where the learning individual, physically and mentally, moves between the two contexts.

More specifically, in relation to our case, the analysis shows that, it is possible to identify three overall problems in regard to the employees being able to transfer knowledge from external training and incorporating this knowledge successfully into the official structures of the workplace. These problems include, constant restructuring of the department, a great amount of external training programs being provided to the employees, and knowledge sharing within the organisational structures. Based on these problems, a suggestion as to how our collaboration partner can improve and optimize their processes concerning transfer of knowledge from external training programs to internal workplace structures, is provided at the end of the thesis.
Udgivelsesdato31 maj 2021
Antal sider207
Ekstern samarbejdspartnerAalborg Kommune
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ID: 413356570