Current trends in information technology (IT) like social technologies and mobile devices lead to new opportunities for informal learning at the workplace. This is particularly true for physical workplace settings, in which the need to informally learn steadily increases. However, these current developments also lead to new challenges for informal workplace learning. Small and medium sized enterprises with their limited resources are overwhelmed and cannot address these challenges. Here, networks of organizations come into play. Literature states if networks provide IT capabilities for their members, the absorptive capacity of them can be increased. However, there is no research on how networks can design IT capabilities for their members to facilitate informal learning. In this paper, we are first identifying the challenges for informal learning in networks before discussing which IT capabilities networks should enhance to address these challenges to facilitate informal learning. Thus, we led 53 interviews in ten networks to investigate the challenges of informal learning in networks and the prospective IT support. Finally, we present the interview results and reflect the identified challenges and proposed solutions in light of the literature. These findings are put into a model outlining the role of IT capa-bilities enhanced by networks.
Schäper, Stephan and Thalmann, Stefan, "Addressing Challenges for Informal Learning in Networks of Organizations" (2015). ECIS 2015 Completed Research Papers. Paper 160.