Epistemological agency and the new employee
The necessary learning actions new employees must undertake to meet the performance requirements of their new job may be said to constitute an epistemology of necessity. This view forms a useful basis of inquiry into new employee workplace learning as it seeks to explicate the significance of what new employees 'do' in and through their learning. This paper briefly outlines the rationale and findings of one such inquiry. It proposes that what new employees 'do' may be best conceptualised as exercising their epistemological agency. An interpretive analysis of this 'doing', through a framework that identified the mediating factors of new employee learning, characterises the new employee-learner as a manager of their personal workplace learning agenda. It gives new emphasis to the role of the individual in the social construction of knowledge. Such an understanding of the new employee-learner suggests possibilities for enhancing a sociocultural constructivist view of learning that seeks to account for the personal purpose and consequence of learning.
Australian Journal of Adult Learning