This study Compare and contrast the perspectives on learning presented by Zimmerman (2000), Wenger (2000) and Engestrm (2001). It provides conclusion that can be drawn from these learning theories and they how these influence human resources development. The study also investigates the different styles of continuous learning system and different approaches of adopting them. Authors Wenger (2000), Zimmerman (2000), and Engestrom (2001) present the relation between social learning system, self- efficacy of employees and expensive learning at work. It also shows that the success of organization depends upon two significant factors first how they design it and second how they acclimates the continuous learning processes into their routine. Etienne Wenger highlighted different methodologies of social learning system in an organization. Zimmerman deliberated the significance of self- efficacy and how it helps in motivating the employees in order to achieve their desired goals. Yrjo Engestrom suggested that learning models are used in order to evaluate the value of expensive learning at work place.
Learning fosters creativity and innovative ideas and improves the old conventional approaches by adopting the continuous learning system for achieving the desired goals.
In all these articles, authors mainly concentrated on three areas and how they are related to each other Role of Self-Efficacy among employees, Communities of practice and social learning system, and Theoretical models of Expensive learning. Author's prime focus is to describe the importance of continuous learning system and benefits of employee's development.
3.Self-Efficacy: An Essential Motive to Learn
According to author Zimmerman Self Efficacy helps the students to motivate and take up new challenges in life by constant learning. Self-Efficacy is different from several motivational concepts such as outcome expectations, self-concept and locus of control. It helps students to participate in their own choice of activities. Student with self-efficacy are more emotionally stable and can face and better handle any difficult situation in their life as compared to the students without self-efficacy. Self-efficacy helps student in accomplishing goals and their desired targets by providing ways of superior performance. Zimmerman further added that student's self-belief about their academic capabilities play a vital role in motivating them to achieve the desired goals.
Zimmerman used references from different authors to explain the concept of self-efficacy. Bandura (1977, 1987) described self-efficacy as individual capabilities to achieve the outcome or desired goals on the basis of his own personal judgment. Moreover Self-efficacy also enables students to control their own learning activity. He also discussed human motivation in terms of outcome expectations.
Author analyses that self-efficacy and outcome expectation both helps to motivate but self-efficacy plays significant role in the human motivation as compared to the outcome expectation as the type of outcome people anticipated depends on their judgment on how well they will be able to perform in any situation. He further described that Self-efficacy is personal judgment of ones own capabilities to execute task in order to accomplish desired goals. The level of Self-efficacy depends upon the difficulty of task. Strength of self-efficacy depends upon the amount of ones certainty about performing a given task. Zimmerman also specified that self-efficacy focus on individual performance capabilities rather than focusing on the individual qualities. Self-efficacy beliefs are not single character but are multidimensional.
Shell, Marphy, and Burning (1989) described self-efficacy as individual capabilities to perform any task or activity like reading or writing activities depending upon his social hobbies, family life, educational background and cultural diversity. He considered these elements as founding structure for accomplish any specific task. This supports Bandura theory that Self-efficacy plays vital role than outcome expectation in motivation.
Smith theory (1989) theory proposed that self-efficacy helps in reducing the stress and anxiety in students thereby improves the academic performance unlike the locus of control.
3.1Role of Self Efficacy in academic motivation
Zimmerman indicated that self ' efficacy play a important role for academic motivation as it helps students to participate in their choice of activities, enhances effort level, and personal achievement. Zimmerman take references from different theories to support the relationship between self- efficacy and academic motivation.
Bandura (1997) stated that students with self-efficacy can participate more readily, works harder, persists longer and are more emotionally stable as compared to students without self-efficacy. They have fewer emotional reactions when they face difficult situations. They can handle difficult tasks more easily. Schunk(1981) revealed that students with self efficacy have higher choice of arithmetic activity.
Zimmerman and Kitsantas (1997; 1999) added that self-efficacy is highly correlated with students' inherent interest. Self-efficacy beliefs comprises of students effort of rate of performance and expenditure of energy.
Salmon (1984) revealed that self-efficacy is directly proportional to student's intellectual efforts. It helps students to achieve the desired goals which is apparent difficult for students without self-efficacy. He further added that self-efficacy provides different approaches of learning and helps in motivate.
3.2 Self-Efficacy and self-regulation of learning
Self-efficacy beliefs also helps student to control and regulate their own activities by introducing certain self monitoring activities like goal setting, self-monitoring, and self-evaluation. Students take roles depending upon their self-judgment. Students with self-efficacy beliefs can monitoring their activities well and are better at solving conceptual problems as compared to one without self-efficacy belief in spite of having same abilities. Author further categorizes self-efficacy into four types of experience: enactive attainment, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological states. Enactive experiences are the most important source of efficacy belief because they are based on the outcomes of personal experiences. Vicarious experiences depend on an observer's self-comparison. Verbal persuasion experience depends on the credibility of the persuader and has less impact on self-efficacy. Students made their self-judgments on the basis of physiological reactions, such as fatigue, stress, and other emotions.
4. Communities of Practice and Social Learning Systems
Wenger (2000) stated that success of any organization depends on how they design and adopt the social learning system in their daily routine. He proposes three 'modes of belonging' by which an organization participates in social learning systems. Then he further introduced key elements of Social learning system: communities of practice, boundary processes among these com- munities, and employee's identities. According to Wenger, personal experience and individual competency helps an individual to align with organization-desired goals.
4.1 Communities of Practice
Wenger defines communities of practice as the basic building blocks of a social learning. Communities of practice are based on fundamentals of social learning and stress on shared cultural values and norms, background history, and social environment of the organization. Wenger (1998) defines the communities of practices by combing the following three dimensions: Engagement, Imagination and Alignment
1. Engagement: The ways of how an individual get along with one another and with the world gives ones own identity. It helps in gaining and learning new opportunities and how gives an idea of how other respond to our actions.
2. Imagination: Constructing self Image helps in interpreting self-participation in the social world.
3. Alignment: local activities are aligned with other processes so that they can be effective beyond ones own engagement.
Furthermore Wenger (1998) defines the communities of practices by combing the three dimensions:
1. Joint enterprise- the level of learning energy.
2. Mutuality- the depth of social capital
3. Shared Repertoire- the degree of self-awareness
All above three elements work together in social learning system.
Engestrom (2002) and Zimmerman (2000) discussed that individual background history, academic profile, and life style have high impact on the culture of organization.
4.2 Boundary of community of Practice
Coordination, transparency and negotiability are the key elements for any boundary. The boundary of community of practice is directly linked with the social learning system in the organization. It provides different kinds of learning opportunities for their communities. Boundary of community of practice helps the communities in gaining and sharing knowledge and utilizing it within the organizational boundary and helps in connecting to the other communities as well. It also promotes the innovation. Boundaries are important to learning systems for two reasons. They connect communities and they offer learning opportunities.
4.3 Employees Identities
Employees Identity is crucial to social learning systems mainly for three reasons. Firstly Individual competency and personal experience both helps communities in gaining and sharing knowledge and develop trust between employees. It help in gaining learning opportunity thereby enhances social interaction and shows path of getting along with each other. Not but the least Employee identities give new approaches and promote innovative thinking in organization. Employees foster and play a very vital part in the social learning in the organization, which in turn helps organization to develop new approaches of fitting in an environment.
Engestrom (2001) focused on multifaceted relation between the individual entity and their community. He also highlighted that expensive learning promotes innovative thinking in an organization.
5. Expansive Learning at Work: toward an activity theoretical reconceptualization
Engestrom (2001) explained the expensive learning at work with the help of Cultural-historical activity theory. He further examined the theory by proposing four questions: Subjects of Learning, Reason of Learning, Content of Learning, and Approaches of Learning. Engestrom also summarized theory of activity with the help of five principles: unit of analysis, multi-voicedness of activity, historicity of activity, contradictions, and expansive cycles.
The first principle relates the activity theory as a key element of analysis; second principle is multi- voicedness that relies on multiple views of community. Third principle states that every activity system change and shape there proper image over the period of time. The fourth principle highlights the contradiction view and defines development and change within the activity system occurs due to contraction and defines it as driving force of change. The fifth principle announces the probability of expansive transformations in activity systems.
Bateson distinguished between three levels of learning. Level one of learning stresses on classroom training. Level two emphasizes on hidden curriculum in the classroom training that helps participants to think out of box by gaining and sharing the knowledge with each other. Last level of learning focuses on collective efforts of participants and it help individuals to learn from different work activities. Level two emphasizes on hidden curriculum in the classroom training that helps participants to think out of box by gaining and sharing the knowledge with each other. Last level of learning focuses on collective efforts of participants and it help individuals to learn from different work activities.
Each article gives the different perspectives of learning and provides the capability of thinking different thereby fosters innovative thinking in the organization. These theories provide the importance of social learning system, motivation, and self- efficacy in any organizational processes and introduce new ways of adopting it into their daily routines. They enhance the competencies to adopt and survive the transformational change and enhance the individual skills by gaining and sharing knowledge. All authors Wenger, Zimmerman and Engestrom discussed the different perspectives and different approaches to analyze effective learning in an organization. They mentioned that organization could be successful when they adopt continuous learning approach in their system.
1. Engestrom, Y. (2001), Expansive Learning at work: toward an activity theoretical reconceptualization. Journal of education and work, 14(1), 135-155.
2. Wenger, E. (2000), Communities of practice and social learning systems. Organization Articles, 7(2): 225-246.
3. Zimmerman, B.J. (2000) Self Efficacy: An Essential to learn. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 82-91.
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