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ERIC Number: EJ848246
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-1366-5626
Learning from Employee Communication during Technological Change
Law, Sweety
Journal of Workplace Learning, v21 n5 p384-397 2009
Purpose: The purpose of this research is to examine stories of and by employees as they implemented a transformative organizational change, involving outsourcing, off-shoring, and the make-over induced by technology. Design/methodology/approach: Three types of data were analyzed--organizational documents, responses to oral and written questions, and observational field notes. Two interpretive approaches were used--qualitative content analysis and "grounded theory". Additionally, the Burkean pentad was applied to examine how the change was perceived and characterized by the change participants. Findings: During technological change, planned storytelling may provide a platform for understanding the perceived and real people costs and benefits of the change. The organizational opportunity to tell stories was enabled by three mechanisms: visual representation, distillation and documentation, and innovative ways to learn. The Burkean pentad tool indicated highly knowledgeable and engaged individuals. Thus, while the participants know what to do, there is a sense of uncertainty about their "agency" and the change results. What also emerged is a sense of collegiality and interpersonal support. Research limitations/implications: The stories for this study were collected during the change process. One could expect to hear different stories after the change is implemented, after the participants have gained more agency or attained a better sense of their agency. One may also expect to have different results by including more participants. Practical implications: Stories capture the interpretation and analysis of information by people--by revealing how the new technology has affected work-design, employee's functioning in new partnerships and work-flows, and other people-centered needs such as the sense of "agency". Originality/value: This paper outlines the potential of learning from planned storytelling during technological change to steer technological change processes in a people-centered way. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A