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Adoption of a Learning Management System in South African Parasatals: A case study at Eskom Corporate services November 2011 Doukoure Gaoussou Abdel Kader.

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Presentation on theme: "Adoption of a Learning Management System in South African Parasatals: A case study at Eskom Corporate services November 2011 Doukoure Gaoussou Abdel Kader."— Presentation transcript:

1 Adoption of a Learning Management System in South African Parasatals: A case study at Eskom Corporate services November 2011 Doukoure Gaoussou Abdel Kader

2 Presentation Outline Introduction Research Problem The Eskom situation Learning and Learning Management Systems Knowledge Transfer Research Approach Theoretical Framework Findings Conclusion

3 11/10/313 Introduction

4 Introduction(continued) 11/10/314  The term skill often refers to both an individual’s qualifications and his experience [1].  Also, the Department of Labor and the Sectorial Education’s and Training Authorities (SETA), states that a skill is considered scarce where there is a lack of qualified and experienced people, currently or anticipated in the future, either because such skilled people are not available or because they are available but do not meet employment criteria [2].  In this study, the terms skills and knowledge will be used interchangeably and will refer to an employee’s progress towards having the capacity to perform at an expected and improved level.  The term skill often refers to both an individual’s qualifications and his experience [1].  Also, the Department of Labor and the Sectorial Education’s and Training Authorities (SETA), states that a skill is considered scarce where there is a lack of qualified and experienced people, currently or anticipated in the future, either because such skilled people are not available or because they are available but do not meet employment criteria [2].  In this study, the terms skills and knowledge will be used interchangeably and will refer to an employee’s progress towards having the capacity to perform at an expected and improved level.

5 Research Problem 11/10/315

6 The Eskom Situation 11/10/316 Ranked 213 th out of 250 on Platt’s “Top 250 Electricity Utilities” as of August 2010(according to data provided Standard & Poor’s Compustat) Eskom Holdings Ltd is among the largest electricity companies in the world it: Owns and operates various coal-fired, gas-fired, hydro, pumped storage as well as nuclear power stations. Operates over kilometers of transmission lines, and sells power to more than 6000 industrial, commercial, 7000 agricultural and over 3 million residential customers [5]. Ranked 213 th out of 250 on Platt’s “Top 250 Electricity Utilities” as of August 2010(according to data provided Standard & Poor’s Compustat) Eskom Holdings Ltd is among the largest electricity companies in the world it: Owns and operates various coal-fired, gas-fired, hydro, pumped storage as well as nuclear power stations. Operates over kilometers of transmission lines, and sells power to more than 6000 industrial, commercial, 7000 agricultural and over 3 million residential customers [5].

7 The Eskom Situation(continued) 11/10/317  Eskom has been a consistent and reliable supplier of power to South Africa and neighboring SADC countries [5].  Despite these facts, the parasatal seems to suffer from the same criticism in the media that is often associated with state- owned entities.  Reports in the media both local and international often portray government enterprises in a negative light (media coverage of the power blackouts in early 2007, Transnet’s legal woes, Telkom leadership battles…). In the same light, in a report compiled by Solidarity researchers Francois Calldo and Tiaan Du Plooy, it is explained that when Eskom finally started preparing to address its expansion needs, they realized that the company was lacking expertise and experience in terms of its workforce [6].  Eskom has been a consistent and reliable supplier of power to South Africa and neighboring SADC countries [5].  Despite these facts, the parasatal seems to suffer from the same criticism in the media that is often associated with state- owned entities.  Reports in the media both local and international often portray government enterprises in a negative light (media coverage of the power blackouts in early 2007, Transnet’s legal woes, Telkom leadership battles…). In the same light, in a report compiled by Solidarity researchers Francois Calldo and Tiaan Du Plooy, it is explained that when Eskom finally started preparing to address its expansion needs, they realized that the company was lacking expertise and experience in terms of its workforce [6].

8 Learning and Learning Management Systems 11/10/318 “ Learning is the most indispensable activity in the current knowledge-based economy where firms in order to compete and survive, must constantly be alert, capable of adapting to fast change, constantly learn, evolve and transform themselves rapidly. “[7] A Learning Management Systems (LMS) can be summed up as a tool which allows instructors and students to share instructional materials, make class announcements, submit and return course assignments and communicate with each other online using “an integrated set of web-based tools for learning and course management”.

9 Knowledge/Skills Transfer 11/10/319 Cavell [8] defines knowledge as a familiarity with someone or something which may be facts, information, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. Knowledge can also refer to either practical or theoretical understanding, familiarity of a subject. Knowledge can either be explicit or tacit. Tacit knowledge is described as objective in the sense that it can be codified in for examples scientific manuals and formulas, whereas explicit knowledge is considered subjective and experiential, therefore hard to formalize outside of an individual’s personal experience, perspective. The study considers the transfer of knowledge as the accumulation or assimilation of new knowledge, and the extent to which the receiver acquires potentially useful knowledge in order to utilize it in its own operations [9]. As stated earlier, because of the synonymous use of the terms knowledge and skill, knowledge transfer is hence considered equivalent to skills transfer.

10 Theoretical Framework 11/10/3110

11 11/10/3111 Theoretical Framework(continued)

12 Research Approach 11/10/3112

13 Findings 11/10/3113 The data analysis and collection was done with the aim of reaching an effective understanding of the adoption of a LMS at a South African parasatal. The following section of the paper presents a synthesis of the research findings: From an employee perspective, the SABA interface was considered as an important means for them to improve as a workforce, and its value was generally recognized. Employees reported that they usually accessed the training material via the LMS web interface, and went through the reading material on the LMS solution, while completing tasks and assignments during allocated business training hours. Users have shown to have varied experiences with the interface but the majority related that it felt the system was easy to use as the training it provided usually involved simple tasks such as basic Novell GroupWise administration, Microsoft Outlook archiving etc. From a top-management perspective, the following table shows a summary of the benefits considered to have been obtained after adoption of the LMS suite:

14 Findings(continued) 11/10/3114 Tangible Benefits Reduce costs by automating learning management processes and optimizing expenditures Improve organizational competence by efficiently measuring and closing competency and certification gaps Reduce time-to-competence and speed-to-market by delivering the right learning at the right time Ensure compliance and proof of compliance with regulatory requirements Sales and channel readiness to speed time-to-quota and streamlining new product introductions Intangible Benefits Improve organizational performance Attract and retain skilled workers Improve customer satisfaction Improve speed/access to training

15 Findings(continued) 11/10/3115 Evidence ultimately showed that: Both operations employees and top-management perceived the LMS positively as an effective tool that enabled skills improvement in the organization Both operations employees and top-management suggested that the course content needed to be made more relevant to actual work tasks in relation to employee’s responsibilities, in order for workforce quality to be noticeably upgraded Evidence ultimately showed that: Both operations employees and top-management perceived the LMS positively as an effective tool that enabled skills improvement in the organization Both operations employees and top-management suggested that the course content needed to be made more relevant to actual work tasks in relation to employee’s responsibilities, in order for workforce quality to be noticeably upgraded

16 Conclusion 11/10/3116 This study presented its findings on how Eskom adopted a LMS solution as a means to tackle skills shortages in the organization and described how employees used the SABA LMS interface in order to perform their training activities. Through this case study at South Africa’s largest power utility, it appears, that LMS indeed can be a useful tool in improving employee knowledge and skills, hence improving the workforce quality overall, but the emphasis has to be put on the fact that system users have to be convinced by their employers of the value of the system by tailoring the learning content to worker’s business needs. This is the only way in order for employees to truly understand and grasp not only the abstract, but also tangible benefits, a Learning Management system provides them with.

17 References 11/10/3117 References [1] Daniels, R.C Skills Shortages in South Africa: A literature Review, DPRU Working Paper 07/121, Cape Town: University of Cape Town. [2] Department of Labour State of Skills in South Africa 2005, Department of Labour, Pretoria [3] Nwanko, S. and Richards, D.C Privatization: The myth of free market orthodoxy in sub-Saharan Africa, The International Journal of Public Sector Management, 14(2): [4] Lünsche Skills Shortage hits Eskom Power Plants Viewed online at Skills-shortage-hits-Eskom-power-plants Accessed June 30th Skills-shortage-hits-Eskom-power-plants Accessed June 30th 2011 [5] Platt's top 250 viewed online at Accessed 21 March Accessed 21 March 2011 [6] Calldo, Du Plooy Eskom: Skills Fact, Solidarity Research Institute [7] Ibrahim, M., Kamel, S Effectiveness and applicability of Internet- based training in the Corporation-Case of Egypt [8] Atkison R C and Schiffrin R M Human memory: a proposed system and its control processes in K T and J W Spence (eds.) The Psychology of Learning and Motivation vol 2. London; Academic Press [9] Pedler, M., Burgogyne, J. and Boydell, T The Learning Company: A strategy for sustainable development. 2nd Ed. London; McGraw-Hill. [10] Markham, S Learning styles measurement: a cause for concern Viewed online rg.csse.monash.edu.au/ techreps/learning_styles_review.pdf Accessed 13 May 2011 [11] Recesso, A Prospect of a Technology-Based Learner Interface for Schools Educational Technology and Society 4(1), ISSN [12] Vygotsky, LS Mind in society: development of higher psychological process. Cambridge, MA: Harvard university press. [13] Cavell S Knowing and Acknowledging, Must We Mean What We Say? (Cambridge University Press, 2002), 238–266. [14] Nonaka I A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation. Organization Science 5(1), 14–37 [15] Gooderham, N , Enhancing knowledge transfer in multinational corporations: a dynamic capabilities driven model, Knowledge Management Research and Practice 5,p34-43

18 Thank you


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