Workplace Learning (Cursory Literature Review)

An initial review and cursory categorization of workplace learning literature.


Not as common:


Broken into three categories: Human Resource Development (about developing humans for the end goal of organizational benefit), Communities of Practice/Informal Learning (about how people learn at work), and Equity in Professional Learning.

Related categories of literature that are not specifically explored yet are andragogy (adult education) and vocational training (not necessarily at the workplace).

Human Resource Development

This is the organizational focus – developing humans in order to improve organizational performance.

Brown, John Seely, and Paul Duguid. “Organizational learning and communities-of-practice: Toward a unified view of working, learning, and innovation.” Organization science 2.1 (1991): 40-57.

Human Capital Theory

Human capital theory is the idea that humans’ ability to learn is comparable to the value of other goods and services.

Workplace Learning

Vocational Education & Training (VET, CVET, IVET)

Communities of Practice / Informal Learning

Learning from others at work: Communities of practice and informal learning, David Boud, Heather Middleton, 2003 – @boudLearningOthersWork2003

Lifelong Learning

Learning Environments and Conditions

Informal & Incidental Learning


Equity in Professional Learning



Women returning to the workforce


  • learning organization
  • transformational learning
  • incidental learning
  • expansive learning
  • workplace pedagogy
  • situated learning
  • personal competency
  • lifelong learning
  • human resource development
  • human capital theory
  • organizational training
  • vocational education and training (VET)
  • continuing vocational education and training (CVET)
  • initial vocational education and training (IVET)
  • andragogy