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RELEVANT LITERATURE Interest in experiential learning has grown rapidly in recent times as it has increasingly been acknowledged as a source

of competitive advantage because of its role in transferability of knowledge from one source to the other (Howells 1995) !enerally" organi#ations emphasi#e formal H$% interventions including classroom trainings for their workforce leaving informal on&the&'ob learning" a natural" efficient and the most effective source of learning unexploited (edlar" (199))" *enge" (199+) and ,alton" (1999) are unanimously of the view that use of informal learning in the workplace could provide a powerful means to meet the exigency of unremitting learning in fast changing environments -urthermore" since experiential learning emanates from combining the knowing with the doing ((fefer . *utten" 1999) it does not ask for" unlike classroom trainings" substantial amount of resources for its practice and promotion (Howells 1995) $ather" it is simply converting the same activity into double valued occurrence of learning by moving the learning process from subconscious to conscious realm of understanding while performing routine work (/umford . !old" 0++)) without slowing down the 'ob performance (Howells 1995) or undergoing the exorbitant 1ualifications of the off&the& 'ob training (/ann 1990) 2ut" promotion of experiential learning is not as plain as it looks -or instance" the individuals themselves may show lesser inclination towards learning through activities" environments may not be supportive to the specifications of experiential learning" line managers may not tread the path laid down by the experiential learning re1uirements" and the conventional H$% professionals may not be willing to discard their conservative classroom teaching styles 3ccordingly" for ascertaining the means of promotion of experiential learning" we have to explore the literature to reply the following 1uestions4 1 0 6 ) %o the organi#ational environments support the experiential learning5 3re the individual learners themselves motivated to make use of learning through doing for their own growth5 Is attitude of the line managers towards experiential learning generally favourable5 3re the H$% professionals able and willing to play a productive role in promotion of experiential learning in the organi#ations5 Role of organizational environment in promotion of Experiential Learning


/umford . !old (0++)) say that an effective experiential learning re1uires a special environment Harrison (0++0) and *tern . *ommerland (1999) support this point saying that being informal in nature" experiential learning cannot be context free" rather it takes place in a 7real world8 wherein it must take full account of the aids and barriers to learning that the workplace context presents 2illet (0++)) takes the point forward saying that experiential learning is interdependent between the individuals8 participation and workplace affordances and it re1uires greater freedom for employees to organi#e their own work and learning affairs rather than imposing a culture of supervision and training 9herefore" a much broader&based approach is re1uired for it" one which addresses the character and culture and environment of the workplace *tern . *ommerland (1999) make a reference to the organi#ational culture in this connection arguing that established traditions within an industry play a role since some of the industries are characteri#ed by strong cultural attitudes and practices which ease or impede a transition to more modern forms of work organi#ation and which facilitate or inhibit learning in the workplace *chuck" (199:) had presented the same view some years back saying that the environment conducive to experiential learning is the environment of in1uiry" in which the people talk to each other" feel free and eager to ask 1uestions" play with ideas" show agreement to share their know&how" and are capable of recogni#ing and using learning opportunities at work -indings of 3rgyris" (19;:) are very much relevant in this regards who says that creation of a learning atmosphere which appreciates an in1uisitive mindset amongst its members may not happen in an environment of supervision and control (ositive learning environment" rather" entails double&loop learning" where the people can 1uestion the reasons behind the problems" in pursuit of preventing their recurrence in future <olb (19;)) endorses the re1uirement for such a workplace environment and says that since experiential learning involves a transaction between the person and the environment" it is best facilitated in an environment that brings together immediate experiences of the learners and their conceptual models in an open atmosphere where inputs from each perspective could challenge and stimulate the other -isher et al" (0+++) share the endorsement saying it is extremely important to provide a learning climate that helps people examine their own weaknesses" to discuss them" and generally become deeply involved in the exciting process of growth *imilarly" (rest (0++5) is of the view that a high degree of commitment to learning is likely to take place only in a supportive environment where the individual is able to feel that their personal growth is important both to themselves and to the organi#ation 3mong company strategies and policies" the leeway and latitude available to the employees to act and the degree of tolerance towards the mistakes by the organi#ation" is the most critical one to influence the environment of experiential learning 2eardwell . 0

Holden" (0++1) support this view and say that higher&order skills re1uire risk&taking outlook" which presupposes not only a self&efficacious and resilient employees" but also a supportive management style that tolerates smart mistakes /umford . !old (0++)) also favour this point by saying that from a development perspective" whether and how people are encouraged to learn from mistakes is an issue about the environment in which they work = the extent to which the genuine mistakes are tolerated -indings of >llinger et al" (1999) are also useful in this regard 9hey say that the way the organi#ations appreciate or penali#e the behavior of their members is a strong determinant of experiential learning culture in those organi#ations /c!ill et al." (1990) take the point farther by introducing the concepts of adaptive and generative learning environments and say that in generative learning environment" in contrast to the adaptive environment" mistakes are seen as opportunities for learning and change" rather than as pretext of fault&finding <asl et al. (199:) highlight an important aspect of informal learning on the 'ob = learning in teams 9hey say that effective informal learning process re1uires the individuals to undergo a transition from solitary state into the team&based learning style that entails wider level of mutual communication and sharing of knowledge 2ut the factors that prohibit such team orientation in the organi#ations cannot be ignored -or instance" *mith (0++1) says that policy related matters that influence the nature of the environment for experiential learning are the inherent source of tension between the worker as a learner and worker as a production unit 9his debate gives us a conclusion that the learning opportunities within workplaces are unevenly distributed and the workplace environment is neither consensual nor its character is fixed" rather it is dynamic where opportunities and barriers to learning produce intended and unintended conse1uences *o" those companies which are really interested in employee development have to acknowledge that people learn on&the&'ob through trial&and&error (Howells 1995? /umford . !old" 0++))" hence they should be tolerant to the smart mistakes committed by them" and should abandon the generally adopted 7do not do anything wrong8 policy (@e2oeuf 19;5)" antithetic to the basic principle of learning through doing Instead of writing a cookbook of methods or adopting a transfer model for learning (Henschel 1996)" the companies should be encouraging discretion and flexibility of work" based on feedback (%rake 1995) 3nd" they should not see learning as 7time out8 and the learning endeavours by the employees as deflections away from the production imperatives (*mith" 0++1) Hence" we assume? H1: There is an insignificant relationship between nature of the organizational environment of the public sector departments in Pakistan and promotion of the experiential learning as HRD tool for the employees.


Responsi ilit! of t"e emplo!ees t"emselves in a#opting Experiential Learning as tool of t"eir #evelopment

!rowth&need level or penchant for self&development among the individual employees is very closely linked with preference for experiential learning as mode of H$% 3rgument of Heron" (1999) looks very cogent in this connection He says that in formal learning situations" the responsibility for learning is controlled by the trainer rather than the learner while in informal learning situations" the responsibility for learning belongs to the self&directed learner" and only secondarily with the facilitator In this regard" work of /alcolm <nowles (199+) was very much relevant and significant He introduced the concept of Aself&directednessB in learning that means a process in which individuals take the initiative with or without the help of others in diagnosing their learning needs" formulating learning goals" identifying resources for learning" choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies and evaluating learning outcomes /ar1uardt" (199:) advanced this point by saying that the concepts of self&development and self&directedness together emphasise the learning needed by the learners and confer nominative role on them who" as a decision makers" choose from among various available tools and resources to learn what they need for success 2eardwell . Holden (0++1) support this argument saying that the self&directed individuals take responsibility of their own learning by identifying their own learning needs" deciding how to meet them" monitoring their own progress" assessing the outcomes of their learning" and then reassessing their learning goals ,atkins . /arsick (1996) also support this point and say that self&directed learning should not be difficult for the employees who set realistic learning goals for themselves and can deal with the ambiguity involved when learning assignments are not structured @ikewise" /arsick" (19;C) says that the proactive" reflective and creative people can make better use of experiential learning opportunities since" he says" learning happens as a reaction to events" and only proactive people take charge of their learning *o" what is essential in promoting the experiential learning is the individuals8 own 1uest to adopt a self&directed attitude towards learning" taking initiative in designing the learning experiences" diagnosing the learning needs" locating resources" and evaluating the learning ensued" themselves (<nowles 199+? *impson 19;+? 2rookfield 19;:)" in andragogical rather than pedagogical way (<nowles 199+) *o they are needed to shed their traditional passivity&receptivity (Harrison . Hopkins" 199C) based accusative role and adopt activity&initiation (ibid) based nominative role taking charge of their own learning ((edler" 199)) according to their own learning needs identified by themselves rather than by the trainers (9orrington et al 0++0? 2rookfield 19;:? *tafylarakis . >ldridge 0++5)

(ut differently" what is needed on the part of the individuals is purposefulness of learning" confidence" motivation" capability" and sense of recognising the learning opportunities in and around the 'ob and ability to take advantage of them (*tern . *ommerland" 1999? Honey . /umford 19;9) %ale (1999) adopting an upbeat view about individuals8 leadership role in learning on the 'ob goes to the extent that the individuals cannot be absolved of this responsibility altogether" even in the absence of organi#ational support $ainbird et al (0++)) support the argument saying that 7however rich or impoverished the opportunities for learning appear" individuals themselves can make decisions about the extent to which they wish to engage 2ut again" the real world difficulties cannot be ignored 3ll individuals are not able to take responsibility of learning e1ually (/umford . !old" 0++))" nor are they the same on the scale of desire for self&development ((edler 199C) $ather" they differ on the grounds of their individual features like growth&need level (Hackman 19CC)" degree of self& directedness (<nowles 19;0" *impson 19;+)" biological factors (2rookfield et al 19;:)" ability to break the mental models of previous experiences (*mith 19;0)" lack of recognition that a learning need exists (/umford et al 0++))" learning styles (Honey . /umford 19;9)" and learning ability (Harrison 1990) etc -uller . Drwin (0++)) support this argument saying that individuals8 response to learning is shaped" at least to some extent" by their personal backgrounds" prior educational experiences" and aspirations /archington" (199:) called this background as the individuals8 learning territory or baggage and said that since every individual brings a different learning territory or baggage to the 'ob they have different learning capacities ,atkins et al" (1996) further say that these differences in capacity in many cases are profound and there are many individuals who do not know even their developmental needs" what way they should learn" and how to enhance their skills *imilarly" the ability 7to learn8 may also vary from person to person owing to their varying learning styles -or instance" those participants who are activist by learning style (Honey . /umford" 19;9) may feel less comfortable in learning through the classroom learning programme situation as compared to those who have a preference for theorising or reflecting as their learning styles (ibid) However those participants remain at an advantage and can take optimum benefit of any learning opportunity to learn through every learning mode and can adapt their own learning style to the particular situation (<olb" 19;)) 9here is a view" however" that most people do not take sufficient advantage of those learning opportunities which the workplace offers them (*tern . *ommerland" 1999) and take the learning through experience for granted (/iller . 2oud" 199:) *o" strategies aimed at remedying this situation include both developing people8s capability to recogni#e and seek out learning opportunities and engage in self&directed learning through creating a stimulating environment (<nowles" 199+? /umford . !old" 0++)? 5

(edler" 199C)" and also enhancing organi#ational understanding of the learning process and how it might best be supported (*tern . *ommerland" 1999) *o writers like Henschel (1996)" /umford . !old (0++))" ,alton (1999) and <nowles (199+) are of the view that the individuals8 initiative will be of greater gain if they are provided with a supporting environment 9his view is an extension of that of *tuart (19;)) who says that the attempts to help managers develop their abilities to exploit the full potential for learning offered by their on&the&'ob activities" pays higher dividends 2illett (0++)) also supports the argument saying that learning through doing is interdependent between the individuals8 participation and workplace affordances so" rather than remaining informal" workplace support for learning gives it continuity Hence" we propose? H2: There is an insignificant relationship between behavior of the employees officials themselves in the public sector organizations of Pakistan and making use of the experiential learning as tool of their own development and growth.


Role of Line %anagers in promotion of Experiential Learning

3 main factor which influences the introduction of experiential learning as a formal H$% tool depends upon the line manager8s attitude and approach towards their subordinates8 development in general and through experiential learning in particular (%ale" 1999? ,alton" 1999? /ann" 1990? <ing" 1990) 9his role is based on the belief of line managers being a resource people (/ann" 1990) in that they can transform the everyday events into occasions for learning ( E32" 1996? %ale" 1999) and promote the tacit knowledge through engaging their subordinates and getting engaged with them (!ill" 1996) in physical and social activities (Henschel" 1996) Eonse1uently" /abey . *alaman (1995) say that contemporary organi#ational practice puts significant focus on delegating H$% responsibilities to line managers which were previously undertaken by specialist support departments However" keeping in view the line managers8 traditional attitude of indifference towards development of their staff in the real world" devolving H$% role to the line managers for promotion of experiential learning is not as straightforward to implement as it looks" (/ann" 1990? <ing" 1990? *heal" 1999) Holding a gatekeeper role in respect of the provision of learning opportunities to their staff" which is of critical importance to the conduct of H$% in the organi#ations" they mostly act negatively (/ann 1990) keeping that gate shut (,alton 1999) and killing the richest chances of learning from the opportunities" making them de&motivating and switching people off (%ale 1999) through following commonly known attitudes (*heal" 1999)4

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I haven8t got enough time to spend on training people I am already overloaded /y boss never helped me how to do things I learned it from myself and from my mistakes *o why should I have to worry about developing my people5 9raining and development is personnel or training department responsibility It has nothing to do with me

2esides this traditional attitude towards the subordinates in general" achieving the production targets has always been priority of the managers /ink et al." (1996) very correctly say that the main hurdle in the way of supervisors acting in employee development role on the 'ob are work overload" short&term deadlines" insufficient coaching skills" inherent conflict between managing and coaching the same people <eep . /ayhew" (1999) say that product market and competitive strategy are always the managers8 first order decisions while people development is their second order decision (ut in other way" task is the priority and learning could be a by&product of task performance (/umford . !old" 0++)? -uller . Dnwin" 0++)) 3s a result" this remains the fact that the managers habitually see themselves in the work roles and often do not like being described as 7coach8 (/umford . !old" 0++)) *uch first order and second order choices help explain the extent and distribution of opportunities for learning in the workplace across the workforce ($ainbird et al" 0++)) 2alkema . /olleman (1999) view the matter from power perspectives 9hey say that the managers fear their 'ob security if they freely engage with the subordinates in developing them 9hey argue that the managers fear that acting as facilitator for employee development on the 'ob will blur the hierarchical border line between them and their subordinates that will weaken the future of their 'ob However" learning affordances in the organi#ations are not e1ually available to all individuals in the organi#ations -indings of 2illet (0++)) in this regard are very relevant and informative He says that that learning opportunities within workplaces are unevenly distributed where opportunities and barriers to learning produce intended and unintended conse1uences He further says that the psych&social variables determine the attitude of the seniors and the peers and the nature of the participation among the workforce that is richly associated with workplace learning He further says that workplace participatory practices are vulnerable to usual contestation 9his contestation arises between 7newcomers8 who are seeking to participate more fully and the 7old&timers8 who fear displacement" between full& or part&time workers and between the workers with different roles and status etc %anford" (199;) adds into it by saying that besides seniority in the workplaces" work demarcations" attitude of the managers towards their subordinates"

distribution of authority" conflict resolution styles and motivational systems are among the factors that also impact the opportunities of learning on the 'ob Hence we assume? H$: There is a significant difference !disparity" between line managers support to managers and non managers with reference to experiential learning.


Role of t"e HR' professionals in promotion of t"e Experiential Learning

,ith the changing architecture of organi#ations in the new strategic imperatives of the post&industrial era" a new approach towards organi#ational learning has emerged and so is the role of the H$% professionals that has been fast moving away" in organi#ational practice" from merely in terms of a trainer role alone to facilitators at the workplace learning (,alton" 1999) *loman (0++6) agrees and says that today8s training professionals need to shift their attention from training to learning = promoting" guiding" enabling and supporting learning must become their focus $eynolds . *loman" (0++)) also support the view saying the shift in focus from training to leaning has made the trainer8s 'ob more varied" exciting and demanding 9his shift demands greater cooperation between trainers and line managers" and a closer link with the business strategy *o" new skills are re1uired as the trainer8s role moves away from design and delivery of events towards learning consultancy" support services" and facilitation" they (ibid) argue !arfield (1990) take the arguments farther saying that new imperatives have led to strengthening of the role of the H$% professionals as internal consultants" particularly in terms of providing performance and facilitation support at the workplace *o the emerging role of the H$% professionals is moving away from direct training towards broad&based internal consultancy and facilitation roles within a 'oint problem& identification" problem&solving and facilitating framework (,alton" 1999) 9his role of internal consultants becomes more significant with the decentrali#ation and devolution of the learning and development responsibilities to line managers ((rete . 2oschette" 199+) 3 trainer turned development facilitator" thus" needs to learn to focus attention on the process of learning to learn and helping the managers to structure up and manage their own learning situation (Eunnigham . 2urgoyne" 19;+) In other words they need to learn how to relin1uish the control over the learning situation (*tafylarakis . >ldridge" 0++5) Dnder this regime" the H$% professionals are supposed to be trouble&shooters rather than functioning as mere deliverers of training packages ($obinson et al" 199;) *o the trainers" who have conventionally been involved in a classroom" course&delivery environment" need to be retrained and reoriented to get out into the business and address performance problems where they happen (ibid) /umford (1996) is of the view that for the promotion of experiential learning" the H$% people need knowledge of the working practices of the management He believes that ;

whatever is their background" the H$% consultants ought to have knowledge of what actually happens in management Fo doubt" such knowledge can be ac1uired through formal education says *tewart" (19;0)" but /umford (1996) believes that such knowledge is more productive if ac1uired through actually getting out among the line managers" talking to them" sitting in their meetings" and going on visits with them 9'epkema et al" (0++)) add to it saying" in this way" the H$% people can ac1uire a general know&how of the specific line functions they are advising for which is essential in terms of their new role as internal consultant -rom other perspective" most line managers are not personnel experts" rather they need practical and professional support and advice if they are to do the 'ob well (E32" 1996) 9his support should be tailored to meet the needs and delivered in the workplace H$% responsibilities had traditionally been delivered through pedagogy (<nowles 199+) based on traditional off&the&'ob training programmes 9he contemporary focus of experiential learning through doing threatens the traditional trainers so" due to fear of losing their status in the organi#ation by getting delegating predominantly the training and development role to the line managers" the H$% people may not play their due role in the promotion of coaching (*tafylarakis . >ldridge" 0++5) Hence" we assume? H&: There is an insignificant relationship between behavior of the HRD professionals in the public sector organizations of Pakistan and promotion of the experiential learning as a HRD intervention for the employees.