Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' no. 2 2001, page 53-71.
The need for lifelong learning and the concept of the Learning Organization have been very much on the agenda in Denmark during the past years. However, the main part of these approaches and concepts have failed to discuss the possible implications of this focus on continuous learning and development processes for working conditions.
This article tries to outline a frame-work which describes the interplay between learning possibilities and learning processes in daily working life, employee participation and empowerment, and working conditions; the concept of 'Learning Space'.
The Learning Space is constituted by three fields each representing different notions and intentions, different rationalities behind the social interactions which exist at a workplace. The three fields are: the production/producer field, the policy field, and the informal social field. All three fields have to be taken into account if the character and impacts of learning possibilities and learning processes are to be analysed. The concept of Learning Space tries to combine theories of organizational learning, political processes, and 'The Developmental Work' - a Scandinavian concept for development of working life and workplaces.