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Learning in portfolio work: anchored innovation and mobile identities

Опубликовано на портале: 26-11-2008
Studies in Continuing Education. 2008.  Vol. 26. No. 2. P. 229-241. 
Portfolio work has become recognized as a significant if under-researched form of work emerging in changing work structures. This article presents findings of a qualitative study of nurses and adult educators who function as 'portfolio professionals', in that they contract their services to multiple employers and organizations. Proceeding from interpretive analysis of their narratives, the focus here is their learning processes, particularly in relation to innovation. It is argued that they must learn how to perform innovative work while learning and acting within innovative work. Three learning/acting processes are identified: discerning and rendering something that others understand to be innovative, mobilizing others' activities around the innovation, and anchoring or integrating the innovation within existing systems. These processes inevitably entwine portfolio professionals' identities (as innovators) and their knowledge (as innovative models). Thus they are in danger of becoming fixed or anchored along with an innovation, and an important contrary movement is slipping away and beyond the very anchors they work to render.

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