Is E-Learning Used for Enhancing Administration or Learning? On the Implications of Organisational Culture

Is E-Learning Used for Enhancing Administration or Learning? On the Implications of Organisational Culture

Stefan Hrastinski (Uppsala University, Sweden), Christina Keller (Uppsala University and Jönköping International Business School, Sweden) and Jörgen Lindh (Jönköping International Business School, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-358-6.ch004
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The transition from learning on campus to e-learning presents many challenges. One of the key challenges is the organisational culture, which may enhance or hinder e-learning implementation. In this chapter, we describe how the organisational culture shapes e-learning use at universities. We compare a School of Business and a School of Health Sciences. It is argued that strategies for e-learning have played akey role in shaping the organisational culture, which in turn shapes how e-learning is being used. The School of Business regarded efficient administration as the key driver while the School of Health Sciences regarded collaborative learning as the key driver for e-learning. We introduce the concepts of administration-centered and learning-centered e-learning culture to pinpoint the difference identified. A challenge is to develop an e-learning culture that values both how e-learning can be used to enhance administration and learning.
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Organisational culture is defined in various ways in the literature. Alvesson (2002) defines it “as collectively shared forms of for example, ideas and cognition, as symbols and meanings, as values and ideologies, as rules and norms, as emotions and expressiveness, as the collective unconscious, as behavior patterns, structures and practices, etc.” (p. 3). Watson et al. (1994) provide a complementary definition and say that organisational culture is “the beliefs, values, norms, mores, myths, and structural elements of a given organisation, tribe, or society”. It consists of shared, commonly held and relatively stable beliefs and norms that influence behavior, actions taken and decisions made (Fiol & Lyles, 1985; Williams et al., 1993). The norms inherent in the organisational culture influence the behavioural and cognitive development that the organisation can accomplish. Hence, the organisational culture can become a severe obstacle in implementation of information technology. Leidner and Kayworth (2006) have categorised different types of conflicts that could emerge between values of the organisational culture and the implementation of information technology in an organisation; among them system conflict and contribution conflict. System conflict is a conflict that surfaces when the values implicit in a specific information technology contradict the values held by the users. For example, technologies of e-learning implemented in an organisational culture embracing campus education could cause a system conflict. Contribution conflicts refer to the disagreement between users’ general values and how they perceive the contribution of information technology in their work. One example of a contribution conflict is that teachers may perceive e-learning as useful for university administration, but not for enhancing the quality of learning.

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List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Markku Markkula
Mark Stansfield, Thomas Connolly
Chapter 1
Lalita Rajasingham
This chapter contributes to the ongoing discussion on current best practice and trends in e-learning and virtual classes in higher education. With... Sample PDF
The E-Learning Phenomenon: A New University Paradigm?
Chapter 2
Yukiko Inoue
An important task of higher education is to assist students in participating in an increasingly global economy. This global economy is transforming... Sample PDF
Linking Self-Directed Lifelong Learning and E-Learning: Priorities for Institutions of Higher Education
Chapter 3
Lars-Erik Jonsson, Roger Säljö
The academic seminar can be seen as the core of university culture. In a seminar, claims to knowledge – presented in an essay and/or orally – are... Sample PDF
The Online Seminar as Enacted Practice
Chapter 4
Stefan Hrastinski, Christina Keller, Jörgen Lindh
The transition from learning on campus to e-learning presents many challenges. One of the key challenges is the organisational culture, which may... Sample PDF
Is E-Learning Used for Enhancing Administration or Learning? On the Implications of Organisational Culture
Chapter 5
Dawn Birch, Bruce Burnett
Tertiary education is increasingly a contested space where advances in Information Communications Technologies and their application to... Sample PDF
Advancing E-Learning Policy and Practice: Influences on Academics' Adoption, Integration and Development of Multimodal E-Learning Courses
Chapter 6
Gill Kirkup
This chapter argues that e-learning innovation is best done in an environment that allows for small scale experimentation and development and that... Sample PDF
Flying under the Radar: The Importance of Small Scale E-Learning Innovation within Large-Scale Institutional E-Learning Implementation
Chapter 7
Albert Sangrà, Lourdes Guàrdia, Pedro Fernández-Michels
This chapter presents the findings of an in-depth analysis through several qualitative research studies, pointing out the key issues in relation to... Sample PDF
Matching Technology, Organisation and Pedagogy in E-Learning: Looking for the Appropriate Balance Leading to Sustainability and Effectiveness
Chapter 8
Irene le Roux, Karen Lazenby, Dolf Jordaan
The University of Pretoria (UP) implemented a virtual campus in 1999. The measure in which and rate at which the virtual campus environment was... Sample PDF
E-Learning and Virtual Campus Development: From Innovation to Sustainability
Chapter 9
Morten Flate Paulsen
This chapter presents an analysis of 26 European megaproviders of e-learning which had more than 100 courses or 5000 course enrolments in 2005. The... Sample PDF
An Analysis of European Megaproviders of E-Learning: Recommendations for Robustness and Sustainability
Chapter 10
Mark Stansfield, Thomas Connolly
This chapter will outline a set of guiding principles underpinning key issues in the promotion of best practice in virtual campuses. The work was... Sample PDF
Guiding Principles for Identifying and Promoting Best Practice in Virtual Campuses
Chapter 11
Helena Bijnens, Ilse Op de Beeck, Johannes De Gruyter, Wim Van Petegem, Sally Reynolds, Paul Bacsich, Theo Bastiaens
The chapter first describes the concepts of virtual campus and virtual mobility and refers to several past and present projects and initiatives in... Sample PDF
Reviewing Traces of Virtual Campuses: From a Fully Online Virtual Campus to a Blended Model
Chapter 12
Ron Cörvers, Joop de Kraker
The main objective of this chapter is to highlight the importance of subsidiarity in the development of a virtual campus. Subsidiarity is the... Sample PDF
Virtual Campus Development on the Basis of Subsidiarity: The EVS Approach
Chapter 13
George Ubachs, Christina Brey
In higher education, international student mobility has become increasingly important for learners as well as for institutions. But today’s mobility... Sample PDF
From Virtual Mobility to Virtual Erasmus: Offering Students Courses and Services without Boundaries
Chapter 14
Yuri Kazepov, Giovanni Torris
Starting from the increasingly widespread need to develop effective teaching in complex transnational settings, this chapter presents an innovative... Sample PDF
Blending Virtual Campuses Managing Differences through Web 2.0 Experiences in Transnational Cooperation Projects
Chapter 15
François Fulconis, Thierry Garrot
In the restructuring and reforming of European education, e-learning has become one of the priorities of the Ministry of Education, Higher Education... Sample PDF
Network Organisation to Improve Virtual Campus Management: Key Factors from a French Experience
Chapter 16
Luca Botturi, Lorenzo Cantoni, Benedetto Lepori, Stefano Tardini
This chapter presents a successful Swiss experience in developing and effectively managing virtual campus projects: eLab, the eLearning Laboratory... Sample PDF
Developing and Managing an Effective Virtual Campus: The eLab Experience in the Swiss Higher Education Context
Chapter 17
Christoph Brox
In three projects funded by the European Commission (EC), European and Latin-American project partners have developed, improved, and successfully... Sample PDF
A Business Model for the Exchange of E-Learning Courses in an International Network
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