Date of Conferral

1-1-2011

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

William C. Shecket

Abstract

Onboarding ensures learning success through sharing and acquiring knowledge to remain competitive. However, little is known about new Information Technology (IT) hires' learning needs in the absence of onboarding; therefore, the purpose of this case study was to examine, increase, and retain their technical knowledge at the Unified Communications Company (UCC). Following the theoretical model of knowledge management, which holds that knowledge is the key to confirm learning and knowledge sharing, the research questions were used to examine how the company assessed and increased their technical knowledge and how they taught their culture in the absence of onboarding. A qualitative instrumental case study design was employed with a purposeful sample of 4 former employees who were former new IT hires at the UCC. These employees contributed to the study using journals, surveys, and interviews drawn from their experiences as new IT hires at the UCC. Reoccurring themes regarding formal learning were extracted from the data, validated through peer and member checking, and then triangulated with each round of data collection and the themes described in the literature. The themes of culture, onboarding, training, and experience/feedback consistently emerged as areas needing improvement and indicated a need for formalized training. Based on these findings, a job aid was created to provide enhanced performance and learning to offer knowledge throughout training. Companies employing new IT hires can use the results from this study to provide onboarding in addition to their current orientation. The use of these data would positively affect social change by enhancing company competitiveness and job retention while reducing overall unemployment and the skills gap.