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Agency at Work pp 465-478 | Cite as

The Multifaceted Nature of Agency and Professional Learning

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

Abstract

The present volume has aimed to cover a broad range of approaches to agency at work, exploring its relationship with professional learning and development. Thus, the chapters included in this book have discussed the role of agency in learning and development, considering a variety of working life contexts and applying both conceptual and empirical perspectives. This final chapter provides an overview of both the conceptual approaches and the empirical implementations. We see the perspectives as complementary. From the content of the book, we discern the phenomena as falling on two main dimensions, clustering at opposite ends of these dimensions. Thus, the following contrasts are evidenced: (a) agency understood as a personal capacity, vs. agency as behaviour, and (b) agency as an individual phenomenon, vs. agency as a collective phenomenon. All the chapters emphasise that agency is needed for learning and development. However, they differ in how they view the relationships between the concepts. They also exhibit differences in the empirical decisions taken and the research strategies chosen. In this concluding chapter, we discuss the main similarities and differences emerging from the chapters. We also highlight avenues for future research on agency and its relationship with professional learning.

Keywords

Agency Workplace learning Professional development 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Academy of Finland [Grant number 288925, The Role of Emotions in Agentic Learning at Work]. We want to express our warmest thanks to Donald Adamson for proofreading the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

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

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