The Practical Implications of Linking Social Learning and Performance

The practical implications of my research study include the potential for changing how organizations socialize new employees from formal, top-down, trainer-centered on-boarding to informal, participant-centered, social learning interventions using enterprise social networks (ESN). Organizations spend the majority of training and performance improvement budgets on formal training programs when evidence shows people learn through informal learning methods (Cross, 2006).

Furthermore, the basic premise of a social theory of learning assumes that people learn through participation in pursuit of a specific practice. As technology advances and empowers people to connect with each more easily, through enterprise social networks (ESN), it becomes easier for organizations to facilitate social learning in directed and productive pursuits of specific practices. Organizations could change the way training and performance improvement resources are allocated by tapping into how people naturally learn in pursuit of performance improvement.

Moreover, the study could inform organizations, through the application of the Human Performance Technology (HPT) model, with an organized, structured method of implementing social learning, which is inherently informal.


Cross, J.  2006.  Informal learning: Rediscovering the natural pathways that inspire innovation and performance. San Francisco, CA:  Pfieffer.