Human Resource Development International vol:14 issue:5 pages:545-559
To meet the need for continuous learning and development of their employees, organizations must set up a strategic human resources development (HRD) policy.
However, it appears that, even before a systematic HRD policy is implemented, certain forms and modes of learning are already installed, and that classic top-down
HRD policies cannot easily affect them. These already existing configurations of learning opportunities are conceptualized as ‘learning patterns’. The aim of this
exploratory study is to elucidate the notion of ‘learning patterns’ and to present a provisional typology of learning patterns within organizations. A qualitative research approach with multiple case study design served as the methodological base. In total, 32 cases were investigated using 128 interviews. Findings result in a provisional typology of 5 basic learning patterns and 16 variations. In conclusion, the typology of learning patterns ‘under construction’ can serve as heuristic tool for further research into configurations of workplace-learning.