VIRTUAL ONBOARDING TRAINING FOR NEWCOMERS’ LEARNING OF REMOTE WORKING TOOLS
Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with
a major in Applied Information Technology with Specialization in Learning and Communication.
Supervisor - Adam Palmquist
The University of Göteborg
20 October 2022
The overall purpose of this study is to understand newcomers’ learning of remote working tools concerning their adaptation to virtual teams and how virtual onboarding training can support them. Newcomers here are newly joined members of a workplace, and virtual teams are organisations operated by geographically distributed people relying on information and communication technologies. This is examined through design science research at an entirely remote working management consultancy firm in the process of designing a web-based training for new consultants.
The methodology used in the study is based on the design science research framework. This study followed a requirements-and development-focused design science research and included a combination of methods: document studies, qualitative content analysis, and the iterative process of human-centred design. The study combined the constructivist instructional principles while following the objectivist instructional methodology to develop a web-based training design.
The study is built upon the socialisation content approach rooted in the situated and social learning perspective. It provides a suitable framework to explore the multiple aspects of the continual learning process within the individual to adapt to a new job, called organisational socialisation, as well as the activities initiated by organisations to expedite newcomers’ adaptation, called onboarding.
The study has revealed that newcomers’ learning of remote working tools is intertwined with their adaptation to a virtual team. Newcomers understand social and performance aspects of the organisation while learning to use remote working tools. Insufficient learning of remote working tools aggravated challenging conditions in virtual onboarding. The study also outlined the requirements to design virtual onboarding training to support their learning and provided a tentative training design as an inspiration to address the defined requirements in practice.