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Workplace learning and development research

Explore our work in workplace learning and development, 1 of our areas of expertise in Organisational Studies and HR

The need for skilled employees across organisations of every size and type has never been greater. Our Workplace Learning and Development research is helping organisations work out how best to design learning and skills development into everyday work processes.

At work, people learn most through their experiences — rather than sitting in a classroom. We're working to develop productive ways of learning-in-action, and investigating how adults learn best in workplace settings.

We're looking at workplace practices including training, coaching, performance management, and organisation development, making use of different theoretical perspectives. We're also exploring the role of coaching in individual and organisational effectiveness – from small businesses to multi-nationals.

Social learning technology provides incredible opportunities for people to learn through communities of practice, and our research helps organisations make maximum benefit from these opportunities. We're also investigating social learning technology that use software or social media to provide learning through interactions between individuals and systems. 

We have a particular interest in leadership development and critical thinking that strengthens the personal development impact of business school education – and expertise in action learning, action research and qualitative techniques, such as grounded theory.

Our research covers the following topics

  • Doctoral education and development
  • International human resource development
  • Coaching
  • Strategic HRD
  • The role of continuing professional development (CPD) in the workplace
  • Reflective learning
  • The practice of cross-cultural action learning
  • Coaching, learning and development
  • Learning and development in SMEs

Projects and publications

Researchers at Portsmouth also fulfil journal editorial roles in Human Resource Development Quarterly and Action Learning: Research and Practice, and our work is regularly published in leading academic journals including Management Learning, Human Resource Development International, Studies in Higher Education, and the Human Resource Management Journal.

Discover our areas of expertise

Workplace learning and development is 1 of our 4 areas of expertise in our Organisational Studies and HR research area. Explore the others below.

Human resource (HR) management and leadership

We're researching the nature of leadership and management, and the cultures and practices which influence how people are led and work. Explore our human resource management global hr and leadership research.

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Employment relations

We're exploring how governments, employers and other agencies influence employment relations. Explore our employment relations research.

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Business ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

We're conducting research into corporate responsibility, business ethics, and how we can promote a more responsible business culture. Explore our business ethics and corporate social responsibility CSR research.

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Interested in a PhD in Human Resource Management?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Human Resource Management postgraduate research degrees page.