The point of departure for the research reported in this paper is observations of examples of successful practising professional practice without relevant formal education to do so. This raised the question of whether education matters, and to research work and working life as a source of becoming professional practitioners as well as the relation between education and working life learning. The issues that are dealt with are the ‘when’ and ‘where’ of professionals’ learning by viewing practice, education and learning in a trajectory of life and subject to certain conditions. The purpose is to provide insights about possible compositions of professionals’ learning through working life and participation in education. The focus is upon management biographies, and it is theoretically anchored in research on professionals’ practice and working life learning in a pragmatist version focussing on meetings with tensions and ruptures as important for learning. The project is in its initial phase, and is as such mainly oriented towards proposing a framework for which to interpret professionals’ learning to practice a profession through biographical data. An example of interpretation is, however, provided and a most tentative conclusion is that for practising management, learning is initiated along the pathway of working life, and that formal education follows from that.
Organizational Learning and Knowledge Capabilities Conference 2011, 2011