Exploring technology attitudes and personal–cultural orientations as student readiness factors for digitalised work
Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning
Article publication date: 2 September 2020
Issue publication date: 17 June 2021
Emerging forms of digitalisation are placing new demands on workforce entrants around the globe. This study, catalysed by innovation programs in Ukraine and Latvia, conceptualises, measures and compares key facets of dispositional readiness of university students in two post-Soviet nations for digitalised work.
Survey data, addressing technology attitudes and personal–cultural orientations (PCO), were collected by project teams at universities in Ukraine and Latvia and delivered to the authors for analysis. The authors defined three characteristics of digitalised work, conceptually positioned five of the measured constructs as readiness factors and generated readiness profiles for the two national student cohorts. Investigation of significant differences between the groups was conducted using an Independent Samples T-Test. A composite profile was produced for comparing the overall dispositional readiness of both groups for digitalised work.
The factor-level profiles showed similar patterns of dispositional alignment and misalignment with digitalised work. For example, technology optimism and learning interest were reported by large percentages of Ukrainians and Latvians and tolerance for unstructured work by small percentages. However, significant differences were found in group levels of technology optimism, technology anxiety, ambiguity intolerance and empowered decision-making. In each case, the Ukrainian profile appeared more strongly aligned with the target.
The global digitalisation of work requires students, educators, human resource professionals and business leaders to rethink workforce readiness assessment and adapt (re)training programs. Technology enthusiasm and learning interest should be regarded as crucial measurable attitudes motivating technical skills development. Also, cultural orientations should be positioned alongside personality traits and digital skills as factors shaping successful human–computer interaction.
This study initiates a new sociotechnical and cross-cultural trajectory of technology readiness research from data generated in two post-Soviet contexts. Moreover, it positions several measurable dispositions as factors influencing student readiness for digitalised work.
The authors recognise the participation and tremendous project support of Dr Irena Zogla and Dr Velta Lubkina in Latvia, and Dr Oksana Desyatnyuk in Ukraine. The enthusiastic participation of students at Rēzekne Academy of Technologies, Latvia and Ternopil National Economic University, Ukraine was also much appreciated.Funding: Two funded projects provided support for this research: (1) Implementations of transformative digital learning in doctoral programs of pedagogical science in Latvia (lzp-2018/2-0180), and (2) Gender aspects of digital readiness and development of human capital in regions of Ukraine and Latvia (Nr. LV-UA/2018/3).
Blayone, T.J.B., Mykhailenko, O., Usca, S., Abuze, A., Romanets, I. and Oleksiiv, M. (2021), "Exploring technology attitudes and personal–cultural orientations as student readiness factors for digitalised work", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 649-671. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-03-2020-0041
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