Social Change and Social Responsibility

Social Change and Social Responsibility

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-835-7.ch001
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This chapter discusses social change as context and social responsibility as impetus for a socioculturally sensitive research and study of workplace e-learning. Current interventions of workplace elearning, when not accompanied by socio-cultural sensitivity, are destined to falter with respect to adequate workplace adult education and training for a global, diverse workforce. To describe transformation and change happening at work as ‘phenomena’ is an understatement. Workplace transformations and workforce changes are, quite literally, daily events. A dynamic and global workforce lives and works in the global age. Workers now participate in organizations comprising of people who are more experientially and demographically diverse. Consumer tastes and loyalties are incessantly transient. Organizations are also morphing with respect to technologies, processes, jobs, and accountabilities. Against this backdrop, the growing reliance on workplace e-learning as a complete solution based on the goals of cost savings and process efficiencies is increasingly problematic. The assumption of the ubiquity of the technological or financial artefacts of hardware and software, as sufficient to overcome diverse workforce learning needs fundamentally naive. The importance and necessity of broaching workplace e-learning as a socio-culturally negotiated idea, and not as just a technological or financial artefact, now becomes clearer. Social change does impact workplace transformations and workforce changes, which in turn directly influence workplace e-learning outcomes. Social responsibility now also becomes an ‘impetus’ for the socio-cultural sensitivity of workplace e-learning and the benefit of a global and diverse cohort of adult learners contending with workplace transformations, workforce changes, and social changes.

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