This paper reports on a study which focused upon informal learning opportunities inside multidisciplinary project teams. The research identified different types of team working and highlighted the team environment which produced not only the richest informal learning opportunities but also provided fast, imaginative solutions, more frequently and with less effort. Furthermore, access to these rich learning environments encouraged individuals to acquire knowledge at the fringe or across disciplines thereby enhancing their individual value.
The literature review commences with defining “multidisciplinary” before addressing the issue of project team interaction and aspects from the “learning by participation” (Ashton, 2004) literature. The study took an inductive approach using an ethnographical perspective to data collection and analysis to achieve its aims. Interviewing was used as the primary method of data acquisition yielding both qualitative and quantitative data from a cross sectional sample set inside a medium sized oil and gas consultancy offering technical and management advice.
The study highlights how recent social interaction and other learning theories such as Threshold concepts (Meyer and Land, 2003) apply inside the team environment and concludes that organisations should be encouraged to provide the appropriate platforms for such integrated multidisciplinary teams.
|Keywords:||Informal Learning, Multidisciplinary, Social Learning, Communities of Practice|
Alton, Hampshire, UK
University of Plymouth, Plymouth, Devon, UK
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