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postgraduate thesis: A multiple case study of employees' informal learning with mobile web 2.0 in the context of foreign investment enterprises in China

TitleA multiple case study of employees' informal learning with mobile web 2.0 in the context of foreign investment enterprises in China
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Gu, J. [顾甲]. (2015). A multiple case study of employees' informal learning with mobile web 2.0 in the context of foreign investment enterprises in China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5760961
AbstractThis study explores how employees in foreign investment enterprises (FIEs) in China adopt mobile Web 2.0 tools in the process of work-related informal learning. Informal learning in the workplace warrants more attention, and such learning could benefit from the latest mobile technologies together with Web 2.0 applications, which have increasingly been utilized and have the potential to enhance learning outcomes. Literature informs that learning is seen as a key in maintaining competitiveness and dealing with emergent demands of the marketplaces. Employees in cooperate environment continuously engage in informal learning, which describes learning without formally organized content and learning that happens outside of formally organized settings (Sefton-Green, 2004). Informal learning occurs in context of an employee’s attempt to deal with emerging problems in workplace, and they often turn to the Internet to find information and answers. Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, community bookmarking and social networking are creating opportunities for rapid information gathering and problem solving. Emerging mobile technologies add new dimension and possibilities to this process, however, currently, relevant recommendations on the use of mobile and Web 2.0 technologies in context of workplace learning are lacking. In this study, five participants were selected from different FIEs in the city of Shanghai, China, with the purpose of examining the impact of mobile Web 2.0 applications on informal learning in the workplace, as well as identifying new possibilities of informal learning in the workplace. A mobile application named MobLearn@Work was designed to support participants’ learning activities in the way they deemed fit. There were four functions contained in MobLearn@Work: RSS and podcasting which allowed feed subscription, web searching function which offered learners a unique searching experience, and an internal microblog as an information sharing platform. A log system provided weekly reports on how participants were using the app. Two semi-structured interviews were conducted separately at the beginning and at the end of the study as the major approach to understand changes of participants’ perspectives towards workplace informal learning. Other instruments including participants’ occasional reflections, retrospective online discussions, participants’ artifacts, notes, and online observations were used to identify and analyze the most effective ways of employee’s work-related informal learning in the context of mobile Web 2.0. Active learning activities have been recorded within participants during the study. Findings from the study contributes to the area of research that investigates learning with advanced communication technologies by laying the focus on adult learners in the workplace, and also inspires corporate trainers and policy makers who endeavor to establish a learning organization.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectNon-formal education - Technological innovations - China
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/226765

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorGu, Jia-
dc.contributor.author顾甲-
dc.date.accessioned2016-06-30T04:24:06Z-
dc.date.available2016-06-30T04:24:06Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationGu, J. [顾甲]. (2015). A multiple case study of employees' informal learning with mobile web 2.0 in the context of foreign investment enterprises in China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5760961-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/226765-
dc.description.abstractThis study explores how employees in foreign investment enterprises (FIEs) in China adopt mobile Web 2.0 tools in the process of work-related informal learning. Informal learning in the workplace warrants more attention, and such learning could benefit from the latest mobile technologies together with Web 2.0 applications, which have increasingly been utilized and have the potential to enhance learning outcomes. Literature informs that learning is seen as a key in maintaining competitiveness and dealing with emergent demands of the marketplaces. Employees in cooperate environment continuously engage in informal learning, which describes learning without formally organized content and learning that happens outside of formally organized settings (Sefton-Green, 2004). Informal learning occurs in context of an employee’s attempt to deal with emerging problems in workplace, and they often turn to the Internet to find information and answers. Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, community bookmarking and social networking are creating opportunities for rapid information gathering and problem solving. Emerging mobile technologies add new dimension and possibilities to this process, however, currently, relevant recommendations on the use of mobile and Web 2.0 technologies in context of workplace learning are lacking. In this study, five participants were selected from different FIEs in the city of Shanghai, China, with the purpose of examining the impact of mobile Web 2.0 applications on informal learning in the workplace, as well as identifying new possibilities of informal learning in the workplace. A mobile application named MobLearn@Work was designed to support participants’ learning activities in the way they deemed fit. There were four functions contained in MobLearn@Work: RSS and podcasting which allowed feed subscription, web searching function which offered learners a unique searching experience, and an internal microblog as an information sharing platform. A log system provided weekly reports on how participants were using the app. Two semi-structured interviews were conducted separately at the beginning and at the end of the study as the major approach to understand changes of participants’ perspectives towards workplace informal learning. Other instruments including participants’ occasional reflections, retrospective online discussions, participants’ artifacts, notes, and online observations were used to identify and analyze the most effective ways of employee’s work-related informal learning in the context of mobile Web 2.0. Active learning activities have been recorded within participants during the study. Findings from the study contributes to the area of research that investigates learning with advanced communication technologies by laying the focus on adult learners in the workplace, and also inspires corporate trainers and policy makers who endeavor to establish a learning organization.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshNon-formal education - Technological innovations - China-
dc.titleA multiple case study of employees' informal learning with mobile web 2.0 in the context of foreign investment enterprises in China-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5760961-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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