Linguistic Aspects of Informal Learning in Corporate Online Social Networks

Linguistic Aspects of Informal Learning in Corporate Online Social Networks

Magdalena Bielenia-Grajewska (University of Gdansk, Poland & Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1815-2.ch006
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This chapter discusses the role of corporate online social networks in the process of informal learning. The first part of these studies offers some introduction to the issue of online social networks used in the corporate setting. The second component of the investigation is dedicated to discussing the notion of informal learning in online social networks. To limit the scope of the research, in the subsequent sections the author concentrates on the linguistic aspect of spontaneous and unofficial education acquired online by corporate members. To discuss these issues in greater detail, the concepts of homophilous and heterophilous networks in corporate online learning will be presented and discussed.
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Online Social Networks

In the past, the Internet was mainly used for one way communication (i.e., presentation of information), whereas nowadays it is a place of dialogue and interaction, with the user acting not only as the reader, but also as the author (Jung, 2010), and not only as the receiver, but also as the co-creator, or even the prosumer (Ritzer, 2010b), who produces and consumes simultaneously. This change in the position of individuals acting online is related to the possibility of many people interacting at the same time (Servon, 2002), simultaneously as passive recipients and active creators of online content. The possibility of active participation in the information superhighway has shifted many formerly face-to-face social activities into cyberspace and has catalyzed the proliferation of new social networks.

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