Self‐employed and online: (re)negotiating work‐learning practices

Self‐employed and online: (re)negotiating work‐learning practices Purpose – In order to explore how informal pedagogical moments are being renegotiated by the technology woven into people's lives, this paper aims to focus on online communities as sites of learning; more specifically, the informal work‐related learning practices of self‐employed workers in these cyberspaces. Design/methodology/approach – This paper draws on the notion of legitimate peripheral participation (LPP) from situated learning theory in order to examine the development of work‐learning practices online. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with own‐account self‐employed workers (contractors and consultants who do not have staff) about their engagement in online communities for work learning. Findings – Findings indicate that these self‐employed workers were learning work practices, the viability of doing particular work, how to participate in online communities for work learning, and how to participate in fluid knowledges. The significance of developing a work‐learning practice is emphasized, as is the impact of multiple and peripheral positionings across on‐ and offline spaces. Research limitations/implications – Web technologies and shifting configurations of online collectives shake up notions of expertise, beliefs about who is able to produce, and consume information, and where one locates themselves, in order to build work‐learning practices. Multiple positioning across several online communities, and ways of participating that are peripheral, partial and part‐time warrant further examination. Originality/value – The value of this paper is its exploration of how self‐employed workers develop an online work‐learning practice and the tensions that these practices bring. The paper also attempts to discuss the utility of LPP for contemporary learning practices. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Workplace Learning Emerald Publishing

Self‐employed and online: (re)negotiating work‐learning practices

Journal of Workplace Learning, Volume 22 (6): 16 – Aug 10, 2010

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1366-5626
DOI
10.1108/13665621011063478
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – In order to explore how informal pedagogical moments are being renegotiated by the technology woven into people's lives, this paper aims to focus on online communities as sites of learning; more specifically, the informal work‐related learning practices of self‐employed workers in these cyberspaces. Design/methodology/approach – This paper draws on the notion of legitimate peripheral participation (LPP) from situated learning theory in order to examine the development of work‐learning practices online. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with own‐account self‐employed workers (contractors and consultants who do not have staff) about their engagement in online communities for work learning. Findings – Findings indicate that these self‐employed workers were learning work practices, the viability of doing particular work, how to participate in online communities for work learning, and how to participate in fluid knowledges. The significance of developing a work‐learning practice is emphasized, as is the impact of multiple and peripheral positionings across on‐ and offline spaces. Research limitations/implications – Web technologies and shifting configurations of online collectives shake up notions of expertise, beliefs about who is able to produce, and consume information, and where one locates themselves, in order to build work‐learning practices. Multiple positioning across several online communities, and ways of participating that are peripheral, partial and part‐time warrant further examination. Originality/value – The value of this paper is its exploration of how self‐employed workers develop an online work‐learning practice and the tensions that these practices bring. The paper also attempts to discuss the utility of LPP for contemporary learning practices.

Journal

Journal of Workplace LearningEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 10, 2010

Keywords: Self‐employed workers; Workplace learning; Virtual organizations; Communities; Online operations

References

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