Skip to Main Content
Individual learning is key to performance for knowledge-intensive activities such as information technology research. Individuals' learning effectiveness is inevitably influenced by both individual differences and the social forces of their surrounding context. While learning can be arduous and the effects of both sets of factors need to be understood to facilitate it, prior studies have typically examined social and individual aspects separately. This study integrates individual factors from the symbolic cognition perspective with social factors from the situated cognition view in a model to explain learning effectiveness. The model was tested through a survey of individual learners working on information technology-related research projects. The findings indicate that the individual factors of knowledge sourcing initiative and learning orientation as well as the social factors of shared understanding and prosharing norms have significant influences on individuals' learning effectiveness. Further, network ties and prosharing norms interact with learning orientation and knowledge sourcing initiative, respectively, to influence learning effectiveness. Implications of these findings for research and practice are discussed.