Transposing Communities of Practice Discourse onto Corporate e-Learning Practices: Organisational and Cultural Implications

Mafalda Stasi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding


The recent trend towards transposition and application of communities of practice approaches to the corporate elearning discourse is part of a growing emphasis in the business world towards informal, on-the-job learning. Previous e-learning discourses and practices privileged a (largely assumed) self-study paradigm, where the learner is alone with herself and various tools, be they a book, a TV set, or a CD-ROM on a computer. While such a choice was partly shaped by the types of available technologies, contemporary behaviouristic pedagogies and tayloristic/individualist workplace ideologies played a large role. The emergence of a more collaborative and community-based approach (facilitated by newer communication technologies) addresses some of the widespread objections towards e-learning by increasing and re-valuing interaction and group activities participation with both teachers and fellow students, and by blurring the distinction between learning and doing. While there is a lot of good in this approach, we also need to ask ourselves a set of difficult questions—can "work-embedded learning" become a convenient excuse for organisations to leave students alone thus eluding their responsibilities towards their employees? How do we implement a programme whose aim is to make the program's administrators largely redundant, as their role of formal instructors becomes secondary to the role of the learner itself? What is the legal status of such a model of learning? What are the key issues in terms of institutional politics and power?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFuture Learning
EditorsS. Gulsecen, A.R. Zerrin
Place of PublicationIstanbul, Turkey
PublisherIstanbul University
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventFuture Learning - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 27 Mar 200829 Mar 2008


ConferenceFuture Learning


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