Adaptive structuration theory used to examine organizational changes stemming from e-learning initiatives in higher education
The nature and structure of work in relation to human activities play a critical role in helping to explain today’s workplace, including higher education settings. Adaptive structuration theory has received little attention in the online learning policy and implementation literature as a means of explaining changes to social networks among students and faculty in universities. To date, this theory has not been adapted in the human resources development literature as an explanatory framework for analyzing structural changes within universities that may lead to consequences for learning, teaching, and student engagement within and outside of coursework with peers. Implementing adaptive structuration theory to higher education settings can help better define organizational change in response to both new technologies and policy implementations. This theory visualizes processes of technology incorporation into daily work practices, including formal and informal learning and training. Tied to business conceptions of change theory, adaptive structuration theory should benefit researchers seeking to better understand the consequences of new technology adoption, moving to different technologies with similar purposes for learning, or changes to policy that govern how technology is used in higher education settings.