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

Littlejohn, Allison; Milligan, Colin and Margaryan, Anoush (2012). Charting collective knowledge: supporting self-regulated learning in the workplace. Journal of Workplace Learning, 24(3) pp. 226–238.

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– 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.

– 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: 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.

– 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.

– 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.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN: 1366-5626
Keywords: collaboration; knowledge sharing; knowledge workers; learning processes; networks; workplace learning
Academic Unit/School: Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Item ID: 42269
Depositing User: Allison Littlejohn
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2015 10:41
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2019 09:08
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