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Influence of an Enterprise Social Network on a Learning Organization: A Complex Research Design

Josef Wallace Spencer, Johnson & Wales University


United States based health systems operate today in a disruptive state of change called VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) (Billiones, 2019; Groves, 2018; Pandit, 2020; Robu & Lazar, 2020). Persistent change is a given, adaptation is demanded, and agility is required. Many organizations seek to become a learning organization (LOs). This study examined a United States based health system's quest to become an LO utilizing an enterprise social network (ESN). Past studies on LOs have yet to examine how sociotechnical systems (STS) like ESNs have impacted an organization's journey toward becoming a learning organization.This mixed-method exploratory intervention sequential (MMEIS) deductive study supported a single-group pre-test/post-test design (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). Bostrom and Heinen's (1977) sociotechnical perspective as the theoretical framework helps ground this study. Creswell (2022) classified this research design as a complex study because of the inclusion of an intervention by introducing an innovation.The study aimed to determine the extent to which an ESN influenced a health system's LO journey using Marsick and Watkins' (2003) Dimensions of a Learning Organization Questionnaire (DLOQ) instrument for the pre-test and post-test data collections. The research design included treating the health system by introducing department learning module innovation (DLM-I) into the ESN. A qualitative inquiry using a modified version of Moore and Benbasat's (1991) instrument gave voice to the social perspective to understand the impact of the innovation on the social system's decision to diffuse the innovation.The study spanned over 18 months, with the innovation introduced in the last five months. The researcher executed coefficient alphas and a confirmatory factor analysis to evaluate data reliability and model validity in a health system setting. The study did not produce the intended data to support hypotheses and answer the research questions. The diffusion of the innovation failed to reach an early majority level, which was needed to obtain a critical acceptance point (Rogers, 2003). These findings indicated that more time was needed to diffuse the innovation. Unexpectedly, a MANOVA analysis indicated that a possible association between higher frequency use of the ESN and higher DLOQ scores might exist.

Subject Area

Organization Theory|Business administration|Management

Recommended Citation

Spencer, Josef Wallace, "Influence of an Enterprise Social Network on a Learning Organization: A Complex Research Design" (2023). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI30493329.