Studies of learning and work: Job control, participation in learning and underemployment.
Weststar, Johanna Lies.
127 leaves.
Microform, Thesis
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Electronic version licensed for access by U. of T. users.
dissertation note
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Toronto, 2007.
general note
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 69-06, Section: A, page: .
This thesis examines the role of worker control in participation in work-related learning and in the phenomenon of underemployment. Two Canadian surveys and a set of related interviews provide the data for the empirical and thematic analysis.Chapter Three discusses underemployment and education job matching. The social and technical control constructs developed in Chapter Two are used to examine the relationship between workers' job control and their perceptions of whether their knowledge and abilities are utilized in their jobs. Results indicate that social and technical control are related to a greater sense of education job matching such that workers with higher job control are less likely to report underutilization and mismatch between their education and their job requirements.The introductory chapter provides contextual detail about the emergence of the knowledge-economy and corresponding trends in the educational attainment and learning participation of the modern workforce. It unites Chapters Two, Three and Four under an over-arching research question and outlines the specific contribution of each chapter.Chapter Four integrates quantitative and qualitative research on the Information Technology (IT) sector to give a rich account of the learning and work relations of IT workers. The education and learning environments of IT workers are juxtaposed against their workplace environments to present a nuanced picture of how IT workers apply their knowledge and abilities in their jobs. Specific attention is given to measures of underemployment and the role that worker control plays in allowing IT workers to optimally apply their accumulated learning. Interview data provides a rich resource from which to examine how workers cope with learning demands and education job mismatch.Chapter Five concludes the thesis with a brief recount of the empirical analyses. Broad implications for organizations and employers, public policy-makers and educational institutions are suggested.Chapter Two explores the workplace factors associated with worker participation in formal and informal work-related learning. It focuses on the role of the social and technical aspects of worker control and establishes these constructs for use throughout the thesis. The principal empirical results indicate that social and technical control are positively associated with participation in learning, particularly informal.
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