Whose piper and whose tune?


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This presentation is of a study on the discursive social practices and community-forming activities associated with professional development activities in Twitter chat events. This was presented at the Twitter and Micro-blogging conference at Lancaster University 2013. The sample of events selected were targeted for a specific professional grouping: professionals working in the field of learning and development in organisations. While claims are made for the non-hierarchical nature of these social media and informal learning environments (Bingham and Conner 2010), as with any social practice, they also include clear relations of power (Huzzard 2004). This study focuses on exploring how these relations emerge and evolve. The study explores how competing projections of power are assembled and “processed” in open Twitter chat, in terms of ‘community’ creation through collective meaning-making actions.

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  • McGoldrick et al, 2001: 350) argue for defining HRD in terms of a hologram metaphor that: … enables the reconciliation of intrinsic confusions and the contradictions of conceptual, theoretical and empirical identities of HRD. The role of the hologram is central in presenting the different theories, concepts and practices of HRD in all their contradictions and tensions while simultaneously allowing the looker to both see what they are looking for while also having the potential to ‘see the other side’ of the phenomenon (McGoldrick et al, 2001: 351). Hence, the hologram metaphor can simultaneously present HRD as being restrictive, by reflecting back what the viewer is seeking to see, and expansive by providing opportunities for the viewer to perceive new ways of seeing HRD.   The hologram metaphor is also mirrored in the ‘linguistic turn’ in HRD research - Lawless, Sambrook, Garavan and Valentin (2011) suggest that the practice of HRD is constituted by discourse whereby social interactions compete to construct inter-subjective meanings from that practice. The discourses of HRD are not independent descriptions of what constitutes practice but rather are enmeshed with McGoldrick et al’s (2002) hologram. Hence, these practices are unstable, socio-material and highly contingent on the specific situation within which the practice is taking place.   Hence the professional knowledge of the HRD practitioner cannot = a stable ‘body of knowledge’, a widely agreed set of resources and practices to be applied to a problem-situation, but is inherently changing, fluid and contested (Fenwick, Jensen & Nerland, 2012). What Keenoy (1999: 3) states in respect to human resource management can also be applied to the domain of HRD that: … does not even encompass a set of coherent managerial practices; it is merely a map of what has turned out to be an ever-expanding territory. Yet notions of professional discourse include expectations from both practitioners and from the wider public of some form of common knowledge resources and that an element of professional practice involves the reproduction of that common knowledge (Mäkitalo, 2012).
  • Whose piper and whose tune?

    1. 1. Whose piper and whose tune?Discursive practicesin informal learning events on Twitter
    2. 2. Exploring how are professionalpractices ‘talked in to being’ indiscussion events held in an openonline environment.
    3. 3. Nos Nos Tweets Mean ave Participants Tweets per minuteEvent 1 54 922 10.2Event 2 72 773 8.6Event 3 68 518 8.6
    4. 4. web sphere:… not simply a collection of web sites,but as a set of dynamically defineddigital resources spanning multiplewebsites deemed relevant or relatedto a central event, concept or theme.Schneider and Foot (2005: 158)
    5. 5. When reflecting on what I learned [during the event], I ...[review] the questions that were asked...… a number of people have picked up onsome of my tweets, and. .. the context inwhich they were made … here are thequestions and my … tweets.
    6. 6. During the chat, I shared [a] tweet …[now], I’m not sure [it is correct], because [itindicates] we’re altering the course … [but]in many ways we just keep going in thesame direction, often oblivious to potentialchanges in the road.
    7. 7. Communicative Discursive action structure Generating common meaningDiscourse Analysis Heracleous (2006)
    8. 8. Thematic coherence Network Assemblage Network Assemblage Discursive structures Translation TranslationDiscursive community
    9. 9. 1 TrainingPete … less focus on ‘training’ and more focus on ‘performance support’. #...2 JoanMar2 … Yes, … We need to [show] measureable ROI and performance improvement #...3 TrainingPete First thing is a new mindset [and by asking what is] the least intrusive way to address [a] performance issue? #...4 ILPT #... set performance … objectives … measure against those [do not] just track learning activity #wasteoftime
    10. 10. 1 jason_bean09 … tonight new drinking "terms" Kirkpatrick and Level …#...2 miranda0404 … I think that Kirkpatrick has a shot at the nobel prize too … #...3 lknut Levels 1-3 are for wimps #...4 lknut Can we have [a different] question [to avoid] wasting time burying Kirkpatrick? #...
    11. 11. Change HumanManagement & Resource‘the business’ Development
    12. 12. Pipers & tunes? Redefining practice?Hologram as restrictive and expansive?
    13. 13. Other professional fields?Following the web sphere?