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Managerial support for learning at work: a qualitative study of first-line managers in elder care
Linköping University, HELIX Vinn Excellence Centre. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Sociology. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Work and Working Life. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2012 (English)In: Leadership in Health Services, ISSN 1751-1879, Vol. 25, no 4, 273-287 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The aim of the present study is to explore the meaning of managerial support for learning and development in the workplace. The overall research question concerns how first-line managers in elder care perceive and understand their mission and tasks and how they in practice handle issues of co-workers' learning and development.

Design/methodology/approach – The study was designed as a multiple-case study including eight first-line mangers in eight care units. Data were collected through interviews and observations.

Findings – The study demonstrates the variation that exists concerning how first-line managers understand and enact their tasks. Specifically, it is possible to distinguish four qualitatively different patterns concerning how the managers acted and interacted with their co-workers.

Research limitations/implications – The empirical generalisability of the results is limited by its character as a multiple-case study of eight managers in eight different work units. At the same time, the strength of a multiple-case study lies in its potential for making analytic generalisations, that is, for identifying theoretically meaningful examples and patterns across a number of cases.

Practical implications – The paper suggests a need for management development programs that promote not only a broader understanding of the task as a manager of elder care, but also knowledge about and skills in leading and organising workplace learning and development.

Originality/value – This study adds to the limited knowledge of how first-line managers in care work understand and deal with learning and developmental issues in the workplace.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012. Vol. 25, no 4, 273-287 p.
Keyword [en]
managerial support, leadership, workplace learning, elder care
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77911DOI: 10.1108/17511871211268919OAI: diva2:529806
Available from: 2012-11-06 Created: 2012-05-31 Last updated: 2014-06-05Bibliographically approved

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