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Title: The use of online collaboration tools for employee volunteering : a case study of IBM's CSC programme
Author: Kok, Ayse
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This research study intends to find out about the use of online collaboration tools in supporting knowledge workers for the practice of employee volunteering. Online collaboration tools refer to the web-based technologies such as popular Web 2.0 tools like blogs or wikis and traditional online tools such as instant messenger, discussion forums, online chats and e-mail used by several individuals with the aim of achieving a common goal. The employee volunteering program- called Corporate Service Corps (CSC) - is an employee volunteering program in which the IBM employees tackle the economic and societal issues of the less developed countries they have been sent to while getting involved in project-based learning activities. This study provides an insight into how online engagement enabled the continuation of non-formal workplace learning practices such as volunteering and opened up possibilities for new ways to contribute to the learning process of employees. When it comes to online communities there is a mixture of entanglements, partnerships, negotiations and resistances between these tools and human actors. This research study explores how online communities are created by employee volunteers and also provides an understanding of non-formal learning practices within such fluid settings; important issues for organizations interested in non-formal learning practices of their employees are also raised. Today’s workplace settings are in constant need of recurrent learning processes interwoven with daily tasks on digital spaces. However, these digital spaces are not devoid of any issues and hence suggest the need for employees to be conscious of the emerging issues. The results from the case study are analysed by using participatory design methods in order to contribute to the understanding of the use of technology as both a single and collective experience. This research identified the specific benefits of online collaboration tools, and explored how their usage has been appropriated by employee volunteers for their practice of volunteering and how they influenced the process of their meaning-making. By doing so, it raised an awareness of the digital tools that provide collections of traits through which individuals can get involved in non-formal learning practices by having digital interactions with others.
Supervisor: James, Susan F.; Cobo, Juan Cristobal Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Internet and everyday life ; e-Learning ; Vocational and professional learning ; online collaboration