A case study of learning during induction at a local authority’s children and young people’s service

Slaughter, Emma (2016) A case study of learning during induction at a local authority’s children and young people’s service. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

This thesis reports on a case study undertaken within a Local Authority’s Children and Young People’s
Service. It focuses on the learning of front-line staff learning during induction. Whilst practice-based
learning, particularly during induction, is embedded into roles such as Teaching or Social Work, there
has been little research into other similar professionals engaged in caring for children and vulnerable
families in the public sector. The thesis seeks to fill that gap. It explicitly seeks to understand induction
from the perspective of inductees, something that mainstream management research on induction does
not focus on. In addition, the thesis is set within the context of financial austerity and cut backs in the
public sector in the UK, and offers an insight into how this affects learning within the organisation.
The case study involved inductees and first-line managers. Data was collected through a daily ‘learning
journal’ that inductees completed, and semi-structured interviews with both inductees and managers.
This data was examined with the help of literature on work based learning, new managerialism and
austerity. It drew upon Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, field, doxa and illusio as a framework to help
understand the context and the data.
The thesis reports on how the perceptions and practices around induction emerge as rooted in
hierarchical relations between inductees and managers, with the assumption that managers would -
and should - lead on what is learnt and how, during induction. One effect of this is that prior experience
and knowledge, particularly around softer skills and unaccredited informal learning, appears devalued.
Coupled with the new managerialist ethos and the pressures that accrue during a period of recruitment
and resource freezes that typify ‘austerity’, the effects on both the learning environment as well as
understandings/assumptions about induction learning are of concern. The thesis examines these
factors in some detail and ends with some brief thoughts on how induction learning could be improved
in the short and longer terms.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Katie Miller
Date Deposited: 03 May 2017 09:13
Last Modified: 03 May 2017 09:13
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/63357
DOI:

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