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Journal cover: Journal of Workplace Learning

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626
Previously published as: Employee Counselling Today

Online from: 1997

Subject Area: Learning and Development

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Charting collective knowledge: supporting self-regulated learning in the workplace


Document Information:
Title:Charting collective knowledge: supporting self-regulated learning in the workplace
Author(s):Allison Littlejohn, (Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK), Colin Milligan, (Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK), Anoush Margaryan, (Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)
Citation:Allison Littlejohn, Colin Milligan, Anoush Margaryan, (2012) "Charting collective knowledge: supporting self-regulated learning in the workplace", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 24 Iss: 3, pp.226 - 238
Keywords:Collaboration, Knowledge sharing, Knowledge workers, Learning processes, Networks, Workplace learning
Article type:Case study
DOI:10.1108/13665621211209285 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:This work was supported by an industry-academic partnership research grant.
Abstract:

Purpose – This study aims to outline an approach to improving the effectiveness of work-based learning through knowledge creation and enhancing self-regulated learning. The paper presents a case example of a novel approach to learning through knowledge creation in the workplace. This case example is based on empirical data collected through a study of the learning practices of knowledge workers employed within a large, multinational organization.

Design/methodology/approach – The case example presented in this article is based on a study of the learning practices of knowledge workers employed within a large, multinational organization. Participants were members of a number of global, online knowledge sharing networks focused around the core technical and commercial disciplines of the company. Membership of each network ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand professionals at various stages of their career. The survey is available online at: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6017514/survey.pdf The case study reported in this paper is based on 462 survey respondents, including 211 (45.7 per cent) experts, 128 (27.7 per cent) mid-career professionals and 123 (26.6 per cent) novices, and 29 interviews were conducted with nine novices, and 20 experts.

Findings – The study proposes a mechanism to enhance goal actuation processes for self-regulated learning in the workplace. The authors term this mechanism “charting” and provide a scenario illustrating how it might work in practice. Drawing upon social cognitive theory of self-regulated learning, they argue that individualised conceptualisations of self-regulated learning should be re-examined. These contradict the interactional and collaborative nature of the workplace where goal actuation is socially mediated, structured by and closely integrated within work tasks.

Research limitations/implications – The case example is based on a previous study. It is not a real-life example because this paper aims to predict a likely case example to enhance learning performance in the workplace, based on empirical evidence. The study on which this case example is based is limited in scope, examining a small group of workers in one multinational organization. Quantitative studies, as well as studies in related contexts, would complement and validate these findings.

Originality/value – This article extends understanding of the relationship between the individual learner and the collective knowledge and how this relationship can be enhanced through self-regulated learning in the workplace.



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