Work, learn & communicate: what, when and why

J.P. Kooken

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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This dissertation has as its goal to investigate the practices and preferences of knowledge workers regarding the use of information sources for knowledge gaining in the context of their workplace. The studies were framed within the context of informal self-directed workplace learning. The knowledge management episode of the knowledge ontology of Holsapple and Joshi (2003) was used for setting up the four studies in this dissertation. In order to place knowledge needs and usage of information sources for gaining knowledge in a learning at work context, two theories from communication science were used in two studies: the Media Richness Theory (Daft & Lengel, 1986) and the Theory of Reasoned Action (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1980). Results of the first two studies show, amongst others, the importance of personal help seeking (colleagues) and seeking help from digital written material. Furthermore, the work situations in which learning occurs and accompanying learning tasks were investigated in the third study. Results show that the predictive power of the Media Richness Theory for predicting information source usage in workplace learning situations must be questioned. The fourth study addressed the question if the use of sources during knowledge gaining behaviour at the workplace can be described by Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). Results show that the behavioural intention of knowledge workers toward information sources can be described by the Expectancy Value part of the TRA. The three characteristics of the information sources investigated, Accessibility, Network and Terminology, turned out to be important and relevant contributors to the behavioural intention to use a source. In addition, the affect of organisational context and individual characteristics of knowledge workers on these practices and preferences of knowledge workers was investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • de Hoog, Robert, Supervisor
Award date14 Jan 2011
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-3141-2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2011


  • METIS-282888
  • EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP6/027023
  • IR-75703


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