9Learning Technology in Business and Industry

Clark Quinn

9.1 Introduction

The use of technology in organizations is in flux. The rate of change is increasing in societal, information, and competitive contexts. The original scientific management emphasis on optimal execution (Taylor 1911) is changing to recognize that the shift from an industrial to an information economy requires a parallel shift to continual innovation and ongoing learning. Consequently, the old “training event” model no longer works.

Which is not to say that the change is yet being seen with any consistency. Consequently, the intent here is first to discuss the status quo—how technology is currently being used—before moving on to address emergent directions (and missed opportunities) in uses of technology to support organizations.

There is insufficient space within this chapter to discuss the whole field of organizational learning which has been expounded by seminal researchers and thinkers such as Chris Argyris and Donald Schön (1978, 1996), and Peter Senge (2006). They have provided the context which the use of learning technology seeks to support.

9.2 Foundations

To frame the discussion, we need to elaborate the ways technology can facilitate outcomes. We need to examine the bigger picture of learning in the workplace.

The desired focus in organizations is (or should be) on improving outcomes and thus achieving higher performance. We should be using our technology to assist us in the moment and improve us over time, ...

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