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Agency at Work, Learning and Professional Development: An Introduction

  • Michael GollerEmail author
  • Susanna Paloniemi
Chapter
Part of the Professional and Practice-based Learning book series (PPBL, volume 20)

Abstract

The concept of agency refers to individuals’ capacity to make choices and to act on these choices to exert control over their lives. Such notions of agency have become increasingly popular within discourses on professional learning and development over the last 10–20 years. Unfortunately, these discourses have been rather abstract in nature. In addition, the various research strands concerned with agency in the workplace and its relationship to learning have been insufficiently integrated. The present book thus aims to collect, integrate and discuss within a single volume the range of perspectives on agency at work and the empirical research generated by these perspectives. It is hoped that this book will advance a shared understanding of agency at work and its relationship with professional learning and development. This chapter introduces and summarises the chapters which follow.

Keywords

Agency Workplace learning Professional development Proactivity 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all the authors for their contributions and collaboration within this book project. Special thanks go to the anonymous reviewers for their comments on the entire volume and on the double-blind chapters included in the book. In addition, we thank the editors of the Professional and Practice-Based Learning Series for having this volume published in the series. We are also very grateful for the professional support given by the whole Springer team. Special thanks are owed to Bernadette Ohmer, Judy Pieren, Marianna Pascale and Lakshmi Pattabhiraman for their help in answering the many questions that arose during the process of compilation. Our warmest thanks go to Donald Adamson for polishing the language of this chapter.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Educational ScienceUniversity of PaderbornPaderbornGermany
  2. 2.Department of EducationUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

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