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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2019

Anoush Margaryan

This paper aims to explore workplace learning practices within two types of crowdwork – microwork and online freelancing. Specifically, the paper scopes and compares the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore workplace learning practices within two types of crowdwork – microwork and online freelancing. Specifically, the paper scopes and compares the use of workplace learning activities (WLAs) and self-regulatory learning (SRL) strategies undertaken by microworkers (MWs) and online freelancers (OFs). We hypothesised that there may be quantitative differences in the use of WLAs and SRL strategies within these two types of crowdwork, because of the underpinning differences in the complexity of tasks and skill requirements.

Design/methodology/approach

To test this hypothesis, a questionnaire survey was carried out among crowdworkers from two crowdwork platforms – Figure Eight (microwork) and Upwork (online freelancing). Chi-square test was used to compare WLAs and SRL strategies among OFs and MWs.

Findings

Both groups use many WLAs and SRL strategies. Several significant differences were identified between the groups. In particular, moderate and moderately strong associations were uncovered, whereby OFs were more likely to report (i) undertaking free online courses/tutorials and (ii) learning by receiving feedback. In addition, significant but weak or very weak associations were identified, namely, OFs were more likely to learn by (i) collaborating with others, (ii) self-study of literature and (iii) making notes when learning. In contrast, MWs were more likely to write reflective notes on learning after the completion of work tasks, although this association was very weak.

Originality/value

The paper contributes empirical evidence in an under-researched area – workplace learning practices in crowdwork. Crowdwork is increasingly taken up across developed and developing countries. Therefore, it is important to understand the learning potential of this form of work and where the gaps and issues might be. Better understanding of crowdworkers’ learning practices could help platform providers and policymakers to shape the design of crowdwork in ways that could be beneficial to all stakeholders.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2008

Anoush Margaryan

This paper seeks to advance an approach to supporting instructors in adopting new models of teaching, particularly when new technology is involved. The approach comprises…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to advance an approach to supporting instructors in adopting new models of teaching, particularly when new technology is involved. The approach comprises three components: conceptual principles underpinning new learning models; process by which instructors are supported in understanding and applying principles; and a technological platform which facilitates sharing of experiences and knowledge about the process and outcomes of innovation (3Ps approach).

Design/methodology/approach

The design research methodology involved joint identification of problems with practitioners (target users of the approach), iterative testing of solutions in real‐world settings and refining them based on practitioner input. Data collection methods involved walkthroughs, a questionnaire‐based survey, and semi‐structured interviews.

Findings

The 3P approach was evaluated in relation to the key requirements – validity, practicality, and systemic aspects. The findings show that the approach is valid and practical in terms of its purpose of enhancing knowledge sharing and peer learning within and across the subject disciplines, as well as in terms of enabling contextualised professional development. However, sustainability and ease of adoption of the approach were perceived by instructors as somewhat problematic. Organisational and cultural factors that could impact the sustainability of the approach were identified.

Practical implications

It is argued that the 3Ps approach could enable eliciting reflections on and instruments for successful practice and provide a forum for sharing, discussing or extending practice.

Originality/value

This generic approach could be adapted to support professional development of instructors in a range of different contexts, both in companies and in educational institutions.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 20 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

Allison Littlejohn, Colin Milligan and Anoush Margaryan

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…

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.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2015

Colin Milligan, Rosa Pia Fontana, Allison Littlejohn and Anoush Margaryan

This paper aims to explore the role of self-regulatory behaviours in predicting workplace learning. As work practices in knowledge-intensive domains become more complex…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the role of self-regulatory behaviours in predicting workplace learning. As work practices in knowledge-intensive domains become more complex, individual workers must take greater responsibility for their ongoing learning and development.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted with knowledge workers from the finance industry. In all, 170 participants across a range of work roles completed a questionnaire consisting of three scales derived from validated instruments (measuring learning opportunities, self-regulated learning [SRL] and learning undertaken). The relationship between the variables was tested through linear regression analysis.

Findings

Data analysis confirms a relationship between the learning opportunities provided by a role, and learning undertaken. Regression analysis identifies three key SRL behaviours that appear to mediate this relationship: task interest/value, task strategies and self-evaluation. Together they provide an insight into the learning processes that occur during intentional informal learning.

Research limitations/implications

This quantitative study identifies a relationship between specific SRL behaviours and workplace learning undertaken in one sector. Qualitative studies are needed to understand the precise nature of this relationship. Follow-up studies could explore whether the findings are generalisable to other contexts.

Practical implications

Developing a deeper understanding of how individuals manage their day-to-day learning can help shape the learning and development support provided to individual knowledge workers.

Originality/value

Few studies have explored the role of self-regulation in the workplace. This study adds to our understanding of this critical element of professional learning.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2011

Anoush Margaryan, Colin Milligan and Allison Littlejohn

This study aims to test the validity of a knowledge work typology proposed by Davenport. Although this typology has been referenced extensively in the literature, it does

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to test the validity of a knowledge work typology proposed by Davenport. Although this typology has been referenced extensively in the literature, it does not appear to have been empirically validated.

Design/methodology/approach

The typology was tested through a questionnaire survey among knowledge workers (n=459) in a multinational company. A Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was applied to determine the knowledge work groupings arising from the survey.

Findings

The vast majority of the respondents could not be grouped into any one of Davenport's four knowledge work types. Furthermore, PCA revealed four groupings: low‐agency collaboration; low‐ agency routine work; rule‐based work; and high‐agency expert work. The results confirm only one of Davenport's typology models, the Expert model. Davenport's Collaboration model was found to have elements of the Transaction model. The Transaction and the Integration typology models were not confirmed. Instead, two further models incorporating elements of both Transaction and Integration models emerged. Finally, in contrast to Davenport's typology, the clusters that emerged from this study do not fit a matrix structure.

Research limitations

A follow‐up qualitative study would be required to better understand the four models that emerged from the data and to elucidate organisational factors that underpin the models.

Originality/value

This is the first empirical study testing the validity of Davenport's typology.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2013

Colin Milligan, Anoush Margaryan and Allison Littlejohn

This study aims to improve the understanding of the learning and development that occurs during initial and subsequent role transitions within knowledge intensive workplaces.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to improve the understanding of the learning and development that occurs during initial and subsequent role transitions within knowledge intensive workplaces.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 19 knowledge workers in a multinational company and the learning experiences of new graduates contrasted with those of more experienced workers who had recently joined or changed role within the organization.

Findings

Graduate recruits and more experienced workers utilise a similar range of learning approaches, favouring a combination of traditional formal learning, learning by doing and learning with and from others, but differ in the precise modes and strategies used. It was found that graduate induction provides appropriate support for initial transition into the workplace, but that experienced workers undergoing subsequent career transitions do not receive similar socialization support despite encountering similar challenges.

Research limitations/implications

This study brings concepts and literature from two distinct research traditions together to explore learning during transition. In doing so, the impact of organizational socialization strategies as a mechanism by which an environment to support rich learning is created can be seen. The study was exploratory in nature, examining only one organization and studying a relatively small group of workers.

Originality/value

While employee induction has been studied in detail, the learning occurring at this time, and particularly during subsequent career transitions, is less well understood. This article is of value to those investigating learning in knowledge intensive workplaces, as well as human resource managers responsible for socialization of employees entering new roles.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Dane Lukic, Anoush Margaryan and Allison Littlejohn

This paper seeks to review current approaches to learning from health and safety incidents in the workplace. The aim of the paper is to identify the diversity of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to review current approaches to learning from health and safety incidents in the workplace. The aim of the paper is to identify the diversity of approaches and analyse them in terms of learning aspects.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was conducted searching for terms incident/accident/near misses/disaster/crisis modified with learning/training and safety. Shortlisted articles were analysed by questioning who is learning, what kind of learning process is undertaken, what type of knowledge is employed and the type of problem that these incidents addressed. Current approaches to learning from incidents were critically analysed and gaps identified.

Findings

Very few papers addressed all the envisaged aspects when developing their learning from incidents approaches. With support from literature, it was concluded that all the four perspectives, namely participants of learning (participation and inclusion), learning process (single loop, double learning), type of incident and its relation to learning (Cynefin complexity framework) and types of knowledge (conceptual, procedural, dispositional and locative) are important when deciding on an appropriate learning from incidents approach.

Research limitations/implications

The literature review focused on journal articles and identified keywords, which might have narrowed the scope. Further research is needed in identifying ways to embed the learning from incidents aspects in the organisation.

Practical implications

The framework developed could be useful by safety planners, safety managers, human resource managers and researchers in the area of organisational learning and safety.

Originality/value

The paper concludes by outlining key questions and proposing a framework that could be useful in systematically analysing and indentifying effective approaches to learning from incidents.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 22 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Nino Pataraia, Anoush Margaryan, Isobel Falconer, Allison Littlejohn and Jennifer Falconer

The aim of this exploratory study is to investigate the role of personal networks in supporting academics' professional learning. In particular, the paper examines the…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this exploratory study is to investigate the role of personal networks in supporting academics' professional learning. In particular, the paper examines the composition of academics' networks and the implications of network tendencies for academics' learning about teaching.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a mixed-methods approach. Firstly, the composition of academics' networks is examined using social network analysis. Secondly, the role of these networks in academics' learning about teaching is analysed through semi-structured interviews.

Findings

Findings reveal the prevalence of localised and strong-tie connections, which could inhibit opportunities for effective learning and spread of innovations in teaching. The study highlights the need to promote connectivity within and across institutions, creating favourable conditions for effective professional learning.

Research limitations/implications

While the study makes a valuable contribution to the literature, the generalisability of these findings is limited, because the sample is restricted to 37 academics. Participants' characteristics and networking behaviours may not be fully representative of academics in a wider range of contexts and settings. Another limitation is that the evaluation of people's learning was limited to self-reported measures. Future research should measure a broader range of evidence related to academics' professional networks.

Practical implications

This study extends the discussion of professional learning in academia in a novel way, by taking a social network perspective. The approach employed attempts to enrich the limited understanding of academics' networks, by unpacking the ways in which academics' personal networks support their learning.

Originality/value

The originality of this work lies in its intent to uncover relationships that condition professional learning and enhancement of teaching practice. Reflection on personal networks can potentially enable individuals to determine the effectiveness of their networks and the significance of their network connections.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

Sara Cervai and Tauno Kekäle

Abstract

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Content available
Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Sara Cervai

Abstract

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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