Integrating learning with working: A reconception of the role of workplace learning

Richard J. Torraco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The nature of work continues to evolve from predictable, deterministic patterns to forms that are more contingent and idiosyncratic. The evolution of work and of the expertise needed to perform it have not been accompanied by innovations in the models used by workplace educators to develop this expertise. For some technical work roles, present models are inadequate for developing the skilled performance the roles require. Using in-depth accounts of actual work activity, this article examines changes in how work is accomplished. Emergent themes from selected work settings are analyzed against present models of employee development. Using the theories of situated learning and distributed cognition, a reconception of the role of learning interventions is proposed that more fully integrates learning with working.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-270
Number of pages22
JournalHuman Resource Development Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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