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Web-based collaborative learning and knowledge sharing in informal business networks

George Stalidis, Costis Papadimitrakopoulos, Theocharis Tsakiris


The work presented in this paper is the development of an integrated web-based solution to support informal learning among businesses through knowledge sharing. The aim was to offer a customized service to SMEs and larger organizations to address the needs of business managers for information and knowledge exchange, enhancement of high order skills and decision support. To this end, a set of services are proposed which support the formation of learning networks, allowing managers to learn from peers. The services are offered through a web-based platform that facilitates structured inter-organizational knowledge management operations, learning processes and enhanced communication. The platform includes tools for creating and operating learning networks, capitalizing and sharing informal knowledge and information, as well as effective and flexible communication, adapted to the needs of SME managers. The solution is highly customizable to the individual needs of various networks and is offered as a service. Trials in collaboration with pilot learning networks in Belgium, Ireland and Cyprus resulted in valuable feedback for service refinement and showed positive prospects for commercial vendoring of the services in the European market.


Informal Learning, SMEs, Customized Service, Decision Support


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DOI: 10.18780/jiim.v1i2.3054


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