Normative nature of workplace activity and knowledge
In this chapter, activity in the front offices of selected motels is examined for its normative content. The data were collected by videotaping actual activities in a range of motels, differing in terms of location, size and organizational structure, as well as in the characteristics of clientele that would be likely to stay there. Transactions between staff, between staff and customers, and between staff and the researchers were transcribed and analyzed in terms of the object and normative actions of the activity systems. Normative content was an important aspect of activity in these work settings, but was highly situated and related to concrete action directed at the object of the system. It is argued that, because the normative nature of practical knowledge relates directly to the object of concrete practice in work settings, the teaching of generic knowledge is problematic.
International Journal of Educational Research