We are working now with the Scandinavian insurance company Scandia. They
moved away from the standardised products were people were led by instructions.
They have a lot of non-academic staff. E-learning was fine for instruction
purposes where people had to learn about management in insurance or calculation
of costs. Now the market for financing and insurance has become much more
turbulant. In view of this, they are moving over to what they say is much
more 'leadership by values, team style of working, working closely with
customers, identifying new products and services'. What they are looking
for, also in partnership with other companies like Volvo and Erikson, is
a way to define these shared contexts. They say, instead of knowing the
market today our employees much more have to be able to construct the knowledge
that they do not yet have for the market of tomorrow.
means completely different contexts for learning. In particular, more and
more firms see a division of labour in the regional context. Taking the
example of Scandia again, they are faced with regional specialisation in
clusters and networks. For those clusters to survive and have a business
case it is necessary to move beyond using technology for instruction and
delivery of information to actually creating and shaping these contexts.
This is not so much the e-learning case, it is about digital strategies
within the contradiction of using technology for optimisation within the
firm, within the value chain, for transforming new business to other types
of products and services. And it is in this context that e-learning possibly
can fit in.
Talking about Scandia: all employees have to be able to construct knowledge.
Has there been an evaluation about whether digital solutions are very helpful
in that, or not?
In the sense that you think about learning as a design process: where you
are in contact with your customer and think about designing a new type
of product or service; in that dialogue different types of possibilities
come up; this is not transferring knowledge about products which they already
have, but it is about constructing a new process or product or service;
where you have to deal with those things you do not yet know, in that sense
creating knowledge that you do not yet have. And very often you have standard
framework technologies that you implement; this implementation strategy
may actually create business advantages; so in that sense, in your implementation
and learning surrounding you should think much more about knowledge construction.
about the evaluation of different initiatives in ICT is set out in the
colloquium paper on ' Policy issues surrounding regional knowledge centres'
Brussels Nov 01