Computer supported IT training for managers
2010-11-24T14:46:44Z (GMT) by
It is widely acknowledged that communications and information technologies (C&IT) have revolutionised organisational life. However, although C&I technologies have extensively entered the workplace, in many organisations they seem to be making very little contribution to the achievement of the goals of the organisation. The research that has been focused in this area has suggested that potential users in the organisations are perceived (and often perceive themselves) to have inadequate knowledge and skill to utilise the technologies effectively. It also indicates that the users frequently lack motivation to use the technologies because they feel that the technologies are insufficiently supportive of tasks, which they need to perform. This latter observation appears to be particularly important where the users have the choice as to whether and when they will use the technologies (i. e. they are 'discretionary' users) as is often the case with managers in a non-C&IT focused organisation. Service and an interest in the role of training in this process. As a starting point, a study of previous research work was undertaken which indicated that conventional training was likely to be of limited usefulness in this environment. It also indicated that C&IT based support systems in the workplace were being suggested as a possible The research presented in this thesis started from a perceived need to improve the effective utilisation of the new technologies by managers in the Malaysian Civil supplement to existing conventional training methods. These results were field tested by undertaking a survey of a sample of managers in the Malaysian Civil Service to determine their perception of existing training and to assess the potential acceptability of C&IT based support for their work. The results of the survey confirmed the other research studies by indicating that the existing training, while satisfactory in itself, did not seem particularly relevant to the workplace tasks that the managers needed to carry out. The results also indicated that the knowledge and skill gained through training had frequently been forgotten or lost by the time it was needed in the workplace. Finally, a significant number of the managers who were surveyed indicated that they were interested in `point of need' support and that, although they would prefer that support to come from people, they would be interested in trying a C&IT based system, if one were provided. An examination of the requirements for point of need support indicated that any system must include both information about the usage of the C&I technologies and equipment themselves and about the application of the technologies to the tasks which needed to be performed in the workplace. Given the spatial distribution of the managers and the relatively rapid evolution of the applications that the managers would be expected to use, it was postulated that a fully distributed system with `learning' capabilities would require. To test the principles involved a prototype Web based system was developed and released. Initial feedback has been collected and analysed and suggestions are made for the application of the findings to improving the effectiveness with which managers use communications and information technologies in the workplace.