Exploring a practice theoretical tool-kit approach for studying professional and organisational learning processes: a pragmatist interpretation

Roddy Walker, Anders Buch

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review


This article conceptually explores different practice theoretical vantage points in empirical studies of professional and organisational learning processes. Through an ethnographic study of a management development program in Denmark, possibilities and limitations of three different practice-theoretical approaches are considered. Firstly, learning processes are examined as
professional identity formation through participation in the community of practice around the development program. Next, Schatzki’s practice-theoretical approach is applied, focusing on
management as situated work practice. A third approach focusing on persons’ learning paths in professional and organisational practices is considered: Ole Dreier’s concept of person is discussed as a further development of practice theories in line with Schatzki’s thinking. The article explores the epistemological and ontological stances taken by the three practice theories in relation to the study of learning processes. A pragmatist interpretation of a ‘tool-kit’ approach to operationalising different practice theoretical approaches in alliance is developed, considering how this can generate constructive analytical tensions for exploring and understanding learning processes.
TidsskriftStudies in Continuing Education
Antal sider18
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 27 mar. 2024


  • Undersøgelsesdesign, teori og metode
  • methodology
  • practice theory
  • pragmatism
  • theory
  • tool-kit