21Informal Learningand Development

Valéria Vieira de Moraes and Jairo Eduardo Borges-Andrade


Work-related learning happened mostly through the observation of more experienced performers and by doing, over long periods of apprenticeship in workshops, until the industrial revolution. Industrial plants as the work locus came along with the requirement of quite narrowly defined task performances and clear labor division processes. An approach to manage those plants and these processes was needed. As a result structured methods and techniques were developed for efficient learning. The promotion of this fast learning process often occurred outside the workplace under the auspices of plant owners or government. It may be argued that these structured methods and techniques have become panaceas. However, they often fail to take into account the context (i.e., collective learning) as a predictor of training effectiveness (Mourão & Borges-Andrade, 2013), as well as individual characteristics (i.e., motivation to learn and to apply and satisfaction with learning), moderated by the cognitive complexity of training (Pilati & Borges-Andrade, 2008).

Contemporary transformations taking place in the nature of work (Frese, 2008; Sonnentag, Niessen, & Ohly, 2004) demand more flexible and reflective workers capable of keeping up-to-date with constantly changing technology. Behavioral (i.e., seeking help in written online materials and help from co-workers) and cognitive (i.e., intrinsic ...

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