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“Am I supposed to call them?”: Relearning interactions in the digital workplace
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Real Estate, Economics and Society. (KAMAIL)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1435-1632
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Media and Design. (KAMAIL)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1390-8379
2023 (English)In: Journal of Workplace Learning, ISSN 1366-5626, E-ISSN 1758-7859, p. 1-18Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Purpose – This study aims to develop the understanding of learning processes related to the new ways of interacting in the enforced digital workplace over time.

Design/methodology/approach – A multiple, longitudinal case study of knowledge-based workers in three firms located in Sweden has been conducted from March 2020 to March 2023. In total, 89 interviews with 32 employees in three knowledge-based firms have been collected.

Findings – The study shows how the intricate interaction between rules and norms for interaction and work must be renegotiated as well as un- and relearned when the physical work environment no longer frames the work context. Furthermore, technology can be viewed as both an enable and a barrier, that is, technology has enhanced collaboration between organizational members yet also created social difficulties, for example, related to communication and interaction. The study emphasizes that individuals learned through trial and error. That is, they tried behaviors such as translating social interactions" to a digital arena, appraised the outcomes and modified the practices if the outcomes were poor.

Research limitations/implications – The present study does have several limitations. First, it is based on interviews with respondents within three organizations in Sweden. To broaden and deepen the understanding of both organizational and learning, future studies can contribute by studying other contexts as well as using a mixed method approach in other countries.

Practical implications – Results from the study can provide a practical understanding of how the rapid change from working at the office to working from home using digital technologies can be understood and managed.

Originality/value – Contributions include combining interaction order and un- and relearning among organizational employees. This insight is important given that the rapid digital transformation of our society has changed how work is performed and how the future workplace will be both structured and organized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2023. p. 1-18
Keywords [en]
Digital workplace, Interaction, Unlearning, Relearning, Digital transformation
National Category
Learning Business Administration Work Sciences
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-21098DOI: 10.1108/jwl-03-2023-0056ISI: 001126929700001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85179908255OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-21098DiVA, id: diva2:1821157
Note

The project was funded by the LINA-research environment, University West.

CC BY 4.0

Available from: 2023-12-19 Created: 2023-12-19 Last updated: 2024-04-05

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Högberg, KarinWillermark, Sara

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