Vocations and Learning

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 167–184 | Cite as

Making Space for Consuming Practices

  • Donna RooneyEmail author
  • Marie Manidis
  • Hermine Scheeres
Original Paper


This empirically driven paper is about workplace learning with specific focus on the ‘work’ of consuming practices. By consuming we refer to the eating, and the drinking, and (at times) to the smoking that workers, in most organisations, do on a daily basis. Indeed, it is the quotidian nature of consuming, coupled with its absence from workplace learning research that make them noteworthy practices to explore. In using the term practice we draw on the recent tranche of practice based theorisations: notably Schatzki (1996, Organization Studies, 26(3), 465-484, 2005, Organization Studies, 27(12), 1863-1873, 2006) and Gherardi (Human Relations, 54(1), 131-139, 2001, 2006, Learning Organization, 16(5), 352-359, 2009). The paper frames consuming practices as ‘dispersed’ (general) practices and, illustrated through empirical data from multiple projects, we progressively outline how these contribute to the learning of ‘integrative’ (specialized work) practices. Our overall aim is to (re)position consuming practices from prosaic, to having much relevance for research on workplace learning.


Consuming Consuming practices Workplace learning Practice theory In-between 



The authors would like to thank the reviewers for their thoughtful comments and suggestions.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The three research projects that this paper draws from each followed stringent University of Technology Sydney Research Committee protocols. Ethics clearances were secured and closely adhered to. This included gaining informed consent of the participants as well as their consent to have ‘their actual words’ included in research publications.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Technology SydneySydneyAustralia

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