Informal Workplace Learning

Turning the Workplace into a Learning Site
  • Heta RintalaEmail author
  • Petri Nokelainen
  • Laura Pylväs
Reference work entry


In recent decades, people have faced various global economic, technological, and social changes. Consequently, there is a need for ongoing vocational and professional development in working life. Simultaneously, there has been a growing body of literature that recognizes the importance of informal learning next to formal training arrangements. This chapter provides an overview of prominent context and individual factors related to informal workplace learning. Since the overall structure of the chapter follows the tentative 3-P model of workplace learning, some central learning activities and outcomes of informal workplace learning are shortly presented. Nevertheless, informal workplace learning processes are often unplanned and unconscious, and the outcomes may be unpredictable. This chapter may serve as a base for employees, managers, and human resource development professionals for understanding informal workplace learning and workplaces as sites for learning. This chapter may also provide researchers with future research directions by discussing previous findings and research instruments and identifying some limitations of current research.


Informal learning Workplace learning Learning site Learning environment Human resource development 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tampere UniversityTampereFinland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Michael Gessler
    • 1
  • Larissa Freund
    • 2
  • Susanne Peters
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Technology and EducationUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.University of BremenBremenGermany
  3. 3.University of BremenBremenGermany

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