About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1742-1746
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain

THE EMERGENCE OF AN E-COMMUNITY

M. Sousa1, M. Almeida2

1IDEFE/ISEG (PORTUGAL)
2Open University of Lisbon and Instituto Lusíada de Investigação e Desenvolvimento (PORTUGAL)
Introduction
This paper presents in a practical approach the results of a project that creates an e-community. The project main goal was the dissemination of a culture of quality in a company from services sector using an e-learning platform.
The objective was to disseminate vision, mission, values and internal procedures of the company and because it geographical dispersion an e-learning platform was used.
Although employees needed to use technological systems to perform their jobs they don´t had any experience in e-learning platforms.
The e-learning methodology, the interest of top management and the openness of employees in interchange their own experiences in the wider context of all regional services were the main factors of success of the project.
At the end of the first phase, the results were very impressive because the collaboration is effective and it’s possible to see a new culture emerging.

The empiric methodology
The case study was the methodological approach and to acomplish the empirical work we studied the learning process and the impacts of the collaborative learning on the creation of a new organizational culture. The main techniques to collect data were document analysis and interviews based on a questionnaire.

Arguments and findings
The e-learning methodology [1] to help the change of the organizational culture was selected because of the nature of the work and the regional dispersion of the company. The option to use a virtual platform gave the flexibility in time and space that were essential for the project implementation.
During all the learning process a community [2] of knowledge emerged as a method by which was introduced organizational change, representing and distributing information and knowledge about the organizational context. The goal was, from an organizational perspective, to create and maintain strong ties in a geographical disperse organization. It helped to feed quality into the organization and speed knowledge transfer and knowledge utilization in the workplace [3].
As a main finding we can say that it was created a strong organizational community providing a base of support for the implementation of a culture of quality.
a)Employees feel a strong desire to make contributions to the company.
b)They seem to be very proud to be part of the company.
c)Employees feel a strong sense of membership and mutual support.

Conclusion
As main conclusions of this research it’s possible to identify a change in the learning processes of the company. Employees spend time learning collaboratively using a virtual platform and that was a great achievement.

References:
[1]. G. Attwell, “The Personal Learning Environments – the future of eLearning?”, eLearning Papers, vol. 2 no.1. Available at: http://www.elearningeuropa.info/files/media/media11561.pdf February 2010.
[2]. E. Wenger, “Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity”, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
[3]. K. Sveiby and R. Simon, "Collaborative climate and effectiveness of knowledge work - an empirical study". Journal of Knowledge Management, no. 6, pp. 420–433, 2002. Available at: http://www.thestep.gr/trainmor/dat/%7B79fa8960-b459-4522-9166-adcb853b6322%7D/ article.pdf.
@InProceedings{SOUSA2011THE,
author = {Sousa, M. and Almeida, M.},
title = {THE EMERGENCE OF AN E-COMMUNITY},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {1742-1746}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Sousa AU - M. Almeida
TI - THE EMERGENCE OF AN E-COMMUNITY
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 1742
EP - 1746
ER -
M. Sousa, M. Almeida (2011) THE EMERGENCE OF AN E-COMMUNITY, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 1742-1746.
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