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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2023

Philip Wotschack, Gergana Vladova, Patricia de Paiva Lareiro and Christof Thim

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how learning solely via an assistance system influences work performance compared with learning with a combination of an assistance…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how learning solely via an assistance system influences work performance compared with learning with a combination of an assistance system and additional training. While the training literature has widely emphasised the positive role of on-the-job training, particularly for groups that are often underrepresented in formalised learning situations, organisational studies have stressed the risks that emerge when holistic process knowledge is lacking and how this negatively affects work performance. This study aims at testing these negative effects within an experimental design.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a laboratory experimental design to investigate how assistance-system-guided learning influences the individuals’ work performance and work satisfaction compared with assistance-system-guided learning combined with theoretical learning of holistic process knowledge. Subjects were divided into two groups and assigned to two different settings. In the first setting, the participants used the assistance systems as an orientation and support tool right at the beginning and learned the production steps exclusively in this way. In the second setting, subjects received an additional 10-min introduction (treatment) at the beginning of the experiment, including detailed information regarding the entire work process.

Findings

This study provides evidence that learners provided with prior process knowledge achieve a better understanding of the work process leading to higher levels of productivity, quality and work satisfaction. At the same time, the authors found evidence for differences among workers’ ability to process and apply this additional information. Subjects with lower productivity levels faced more difficulties processing and applying additional process information.

Research limitations/implications

Methodologically, this study goes beyond existing research on assistance systems by using a laboratory experimental design. Though the external validity of this method is limited by the artificial setting, it is a solid way of studying the impact of different usages of digital assistance systems in terms of training. Further research is required, however, including laboratory experiments with larger case numbers, company-level case studies and analyses of survey data, to further confirm the external validity of the findings of this study for the workplace.

Practical implications

This study provides some first evidence that holistic process knowledge, even in low-skill tasks, has an added value for the production process. This study contributes to firms' training policies by exploring new, digitalised ways of guided on-the-job training and demonstrates possible training benefits for people with lower levels of (initial) abilities and motivation.

Social implications

This study indicates the advantage for companies and societies to invest in additional skills and training and points at the limitations of assistance systems. This paper also contributes to training policies by exploring new, digitalised ways of guided on-the-job training and demonstrates possible training benefits for people with lower levels of (initial) abilities and motivation.

Originality/value

This study extends existing research on digital assistance systems by investigating their role in job-related-training. This paper contributes to labour sociology and organisational research by confirming the importance of holistic process knowledge as opposed to a solely task-oriented digital introduction.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 35 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 July 2019

Annette Kluge, Arnulf Sebastian Schüffler, Christof Thim, Jennifer Haase and Norbert Gronau

Insight has grown that for an organization to learn and change successfully, forgetting and unlearning are required. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the relevant…

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Abstract

Purpose

Insight has grown that for an organization to learn and change successfully, forgetting and unlearning are required. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the relevant existing body of empirical research on forgetting and unlearning, to encourage research using a greater variety of methods and to contribute to a more complementary body of empirical work by using designs and instruments with a stronger reference to previous studies.

Design/methodology/approach

As the number of theoretical papers clearly exceeds the number of empirical papers, the present paper deals with the main insights based on the empirical state of research on unlearning and forgetting. So far, these empirical results have shown relationships between unlearning and other organizational outcomes such as innovation on an organizational level, but many of the other proposed relationships have not been investigated. The authors presents suggestion to apply a larger variety of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods in organizational research.

Findings

Unlearning and forgetting research can benefit both from more diverse theoretical questions addressed in research and from a more complementary body of empirical work that applies methods, designs and instruments that refer to previous research designs and results. To understand and manage unlearning and forgetting, empirical work should relate to and expand upon previous empirical work to form a more coherent understanding of empirical results.

Originality/value

The paper presents a variety of research designs and methods that can be applied within the research context of understanding the nature of organizational forgetting and unlearning. Additionally, it illustrates the potential for different methods, such as experience sampling methods, which capture the temporal aspects of forgetting and unlearning.

Article
Publication date: 6 May 2024

Wiebke M. Roling, Marcus Grum, Norbert Gronau and Annette Kluge

The purpose of this study was to investigate work-related adaptive performance from a longitudinal process perspective. This paper clustered specific behavioral patterns following…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate work-related adaptive performance from a longitudinal process perspective. This paper clustered specific behavioral patterns following the introduction of a change and related them to retentivity as an individual cognitive ability. In addition, this paper investigated whether the occurrence of adaptation errors varied depending on the type of change content.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from 35 participants collected in the simulated manufacturing environment of a Research and Application Center Industry 4.0 (RACI) were analyzed. The participants were required to learn and train a manufacturing process in the RACI and through an online training program. At a second measurement point in the RACI, specific manufacturing steps were subject to change and participants had to adapt their task execution. Adaptive performance was evaluated by counting the adaptation errors.

Findings

The participants showed one of the following behavioral patterns: (1) no adaptation errors, (2) few adaptation errors, (3) repeated adaptation errors regarding the same actions, or (4) many adaptation errors distributed over many different actions. The latter ones had a very low retentivity compared to the other groups. Most of the adaptation errors were made when new actions were added to the manufacturing process.

Originality/value

Our study adds empirical research on adaptive performance and its underlying processes. It contributes to a detailed understanding of different behaviors in change situations and derives implications for organizational change management.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

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