Epistemological Beliefs and their Impact on the Practice of e-Learning in Companies

C. Harteis, H. Gruber, and H. Hertramph (Germany)


E-learning, epistemological beliefs, knowledge, professional learning


Epistemological beliefs comprise the individual understanding of the nature of knowledge and the creation of knowledge. Hence, they impact the perception of learning opportunities and professional learning activities. Many enterprises apply new media in order to support staff development through e-learning activities. However, a closer look at the practices of e-learning reveals that only rarely the potential of new media for professional learning is fully utilized. Frequently it is neglected that employees’ subjectivity - in particular their epistemological beliefs - determines their ways of using new media for self-directed learning activities. This contribution reports and discusses empirical findings which indicate that employees’ epistemological beliefs impact not the amount but probably the quality of learning with new media. The conclusions offer new impulses for the study of knowledge management.

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