Papers in Innovation Studies, CIRCLE, Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, Lund University
Managerial learning and development in small firms: implications based on observations of managerial
() and Tell Joakim
Abstract: In this study we set out to examine the conditions for
managerial learning in small firms and the implications it gives for how to
facilitate and support work-based management development in this context.
Empirically, we conduct structured observations of the daily work
activities performed by small business managers. A framework based on
experiential learning theory is developed and used as an analytical tool to
assess the extent to which these work activities provide them with
opportunities for work-based learning and development. In short, the
results show that small business managers experience a fragmented working
day with frequent and different forms of interruptions and unexpected
problems during the course of their working day. These interruptions and
unexpected problems are something that leaves little time for engaging in
reflective observation to effectively learn from their daily work
practices. We discuss the implications of our results for theory and
research on managerial learning in small firms as well as for the design of
university-led management development programs aimed at supporting the
experiential learning process of small business managers.
Keywords: academic Experiential learning; managerial learning; managerial work; management development; small firms; structured observations; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: O30; (follow links to similar papers)
38 pages, March 1, 2009
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