Tuesday, 25 October 2011

On trust and assurance: Towards a risk mitigation normative framework for e-learning adoption in Portuguese Higher Education Institutions (by Jorge Tiago Martins)

My research is an inquiry into trust as the main leverage for academics’ appropriation of e-learning in Portuguese Higher Education Institutions (HEI). More specifically, I seek to inductively develop a substantive theory that explains the connections between academics’ perception-based micro-foundations of trust in e-learning, and the macro institutional arrangements and managerial calculability available or not to generate a relevant cognitive base and sufficient evidence of salient value, objective gains, recognition and reward.

At a more superficial and initial level, issues of trust in e-learning seem to imply academics’ varying acceptance of a perceived risk-laden technology; these acceptances having accumulated as a consequence of insufficient knowledge or technological background. Creating, upholding and maintain a favourable perception towards e-learning derives in these circumstances from both opportunistic and enthusiastic voluntary judgement: a leap of faith taken to reduce complexity, or informed by the immediate salient values of e-learning.  Such favourable perceptions are potentially eroded by scepticism or frustration experienced during use.  They may not be immediately or homogenously acknowledged by the academic staff.

However, when the appropriation of e-learning collides with issues of organisational and environmental fit, new dimensions of trust are manifested. Such collisions tend to occur at the level of career structure and rewards, academic recognition, and the scholarship of teaching, and are in tension with ingrained organising principles that are explicit frameworks affecting the establishment of favourable e-learning appropriation behaviour.
At the level of academics’ perception-based micro-foundations of trust, research results demonstrate how trust affects the resiliency or inertia of academics when endogenously or exogenously prompted to adopt e-learning. At the level of macro-institutional arrangements and managerial calculability, research results reveal the social motives driving academics to identify with e-learning – thus combining their efforts towards e-learning development.  The results demonstrate how trust relates to the management of identification and commitment, namely to the motivational dynamics of gains, value creation, recognition and reward.

No comments:

Post a Comment