Changing Workplace Environments: Implications for Higher Education

2004.第19卷第1期(Vol. 19 No. 1).pp. 17–42

Changing Workplace Environments: Implications for Higher Education

Hitendra PILLAY, Gillian BOULTON-LEWIS, & Lynn WILSS


Industry today is driven by information, global competition and knowledge. These factors have led to continual changes in workplaces as organisations strive to remain viable. This study examined the nature of changes that occurred in two distinct organisations in Australia over two years. It also examined how workers are adapting to those changes in terms of learning, and considered what implications there are for higher education. The participants constituted 18 workers from a medical service industry and 19 workers from an engineering organization. The data were analysed qualitatively and results indicated several categories of change. It was also apparent that while much learning was occurring in the workplace, there was very little direct association between workplace learning and higher education for the workers in this study although several have degrees or have organised their own further study. Suggestions are made regarding the current practices in universities and workplace learning and for better collaboration. For example, universities need to develop closer ties with industry and curriculum models that prepare workers for ongoing changes in the workplace should be developed.

Keywords: changing workplaces; higher education; workplace learning