Informal training and informal learning in selected New Zealand small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
conference contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by A Coetzer, J Campblee
The seemingly persistent focus of SME researchers on formal approaches to employee learning, and their apparent strong preference towards ‘snapshot’ quantitative surveys of training practices as a research method, has meant that our understanding of informal employee learning processes in SMEs has been underdeveloped. To address this research gap, an exploratory descriptive study involving interviews with 50 owners/managers was conducted. The aim was to uncover people management practices employed by the owners/managers. The research found that employees acquired knowledge and skills primarily through informal interactions with workplace models and through ‘natural’ learning processes. Another finding was that employee recruitment and selection practices have unintended ‘side’ effects on employees’ learning. Implications for policy development, management practice, and future research are discussed.