Mapping workplace learning approaches in Indonesian companies and their evolution
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Some experts (Bucknall and Ohtaki, 2005, Hansen and Lee, 2009, Bennington and Habir, 2003) pointed out how influences of western theories and the lack of indigenous research study highlighting the need for qualitative studies on how workplace learning is applied in Indonesia. Answering this need my research study attempted to describe the current distribution of workplace learning approaches in big companies in Indonesia, their evolution, and how the assumptions of HR practitioners reflect those changes. A qualitative research study was conducted in six major companies in Indonesia of various industrial backgrounds by interviewing their HR managers and staff, observing their training classes, and analyzing all company documents pertaining to workplace learning. The following conclusions were reached. Firstly, the most prominent workplace learning approach in Indonesia is the Classical Classroom approach, especially the lecture method. All subject companies in this study used it as the primary or sometimes the only learning approach. Secondly, workplace learning in majority of the companies in the past 20-30 years had evolved to become more structured and formal, even though two companies had employed multiple approaches. Thirdly, different views and assumptions were elicited from the interviews. Some of the approaches described are beneficial to the development of workplace learning in companies, such as the sense of pride and ownership, while others - such as the event-organizer syndrome, which is bureaucratic, emphasizes quantity over quality, and focuses on the lecture approach to training - are quite detrimental to workplace learning. Lastly, the dominant organizational dynamics that were found to affect workplace learning in this study were organizational cultures, leadership, and reaction to external forces. A few recommendations were given. HR staff and corporate leadership need to become result-driven to combat the event-organizer syndrome, and to constantly update themselves regarding basic and academically sound practices by educating themselves through self-study and formation of an association of training professionals. A quantitative research study with a more comprehensive sample is needed to give us a complementary view of workplace learning practices in Indonesia. Finally, a more in-depth is encouraged to gain additional insights about workplace learning in Indonesia.
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