E-Learning in the Workplace
Results and analysis
Current state of issues and possible solutions
In most viable workplace settings, the introduction and development of effective E-learning platforms, a number of factors must be taken into due consideration as ascertained in this study (Stacey, & Gerbic, 2008). Most employees in work settings are positive about the introduction of e-learning and are mostly ready to embrace the initiative. Correspondingly, the study asserted that a successful introduction e-learning in work environment will provide a comparatively flexible learning options for the workers (Stacey, & Gerbic, 2008). Per se, the workers will be in a good position to rapidly and constantly up-skill and be more proactive towards quality service delivery (Stacey, & Gerbic, 2008). The costs associated with up-skill are also reduced considerably given that the frequent study leaves and travels are minimized to a great extent. Notably, for a geographically discrete workplace, the introduction of e-learning is crucial especially in the delivery of a consistent training exercises and experiences (Stacey, & Gerbic, 2008). E-learning will be more relevant and effective for such firms with a geographically dispersed employees given that the new group of employees will be in a better position to trained and integrated into the system effectively.
According to the study results, the reception of e-learning in most workplaces is rapidly increasing with most employees and employers realizing the immense benefits (Stacey, & Gerbic, 2008). Most organizations are installing the relevant systems and infrastructural designs necessary in supporting the delivery of e-learning. However, the study confirmed that most workplaces are still not in a position to successfully implement and integrate e-learning among its employees (Stacey, & Gerbic, 2008). In overcoming such inherent challenges associated with the integration and implementation of e-learning, the study suggests the involvement of qualified personnel to offer more training on this new learning platform (Stacey, & Gerbic, 2008). The e-learning expertise will be responsible for the development and delivery of the appropriate form of internet erudition. It is necessary for organizations to initiate such strategies and plans that will adequately support their e-learning platforms (Stacey, & Gerbic, 2008). Such strategies and initiatives should be aligned and integrated with the organization’s overall plans towards the attainment of the set objectives and purposes. The management of such organizations should ensure sufficient support for e-learning in the work settings. For instance, allocating adequate time for the development and integration of it is critical in any viable firm (Stacey, & Gerbic, 2008).
The approval of e-learning in workplaces can be attributed to a number of factors conferring to this study. A management that is more inclined and focused towards being innovative and development minded is more likely to adopt e-learning into its systems (Stacey, & Gerbic, 2008). Indeed, the endorsement of e-learning in most workplaces is on the increase, especially in larger corporations. In most instances, the introduction of this modern type of learning serves at supplementing the traditional delivery systems (Stacey, & Gerbic, 2008). The study further asserted that relatively large organizations were more likely to implement e-learning compared to their small and medium-sized counterparts. This was largely attributed to the fact that most of these large firms had better infrastructure and systems that easily support the introduction of e-learning (Stacey, & Gerbic, 2008). Such big firms also operates on an expanded economies of scale and have higher return on any investment ingenuity. However, the small organizations can enhance their e-learning experiences by forming a collaborative network that will enable knowledge and resource sharing at a reduced cost. The relevance barrier commonly experienced in such organizations when implementing the e-learning programs can only be eliminated through collaborative networking (Stacey, & Gerbic, 2008).
The application of e-learning in workplaces doesn’t supplement the contemporary delivery learning systems (also referred to as the blended learning systems), but supplements it. The traditional learning systems in organizations is equally crucial as it contributes to the initial general development of the learners (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). Notably, this study further affirms that e-learning in most workplaces has shifted from mere ‘course taking’ to a comprehensive learning content. As such, most of the employees are currently able to access a large content of materials and to focus on quality work performance (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). When promptly accessed, the reflection and application of e-learning materials will be much easier in most organizations.
The introduction of technologies and other relevant systems in an organization will further support e-learning processes. Indeed, the introduction of Learning Management Systems (LMS), a range of mobile and video devices and many other social network tools is crucial in ensuring the successful implementation and integration of the e-learning in a firm (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). E-learning provides a flexible learning experiences to employees allowing them to increase their proficiency and professionalism. Successful introduction e-learning in workplaces decreases the training costs mostly allied classroom training programs (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). Mostly viewed as a content development learning approach, e-learning bridges the gaps that exists between the employees, employers and the clients in a commercial environment (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008).
Study results on the challenges and impacts of workplace e-learning
The study also identified some of the primary impediments towards the fruitful execution of e-learning in the workplaces. Arguably, in most organizations, the culture of learning is not as strong and introducing a relatively new learning initiative may be a big challenge to the management (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). Insufficient support from the management of an institution also impedes the successful integration of e-learning. Correspondingly, some of the employees at the workplaces resisted the introduction of e-learning into the organizational and operational structures of the firm (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). The relatively high costs linked to the introduction of the new learning culture may also be too high for the organization. For example, a workplace will be obliged to upgrade their systems, train e-learning experts and initiate the development of an interactive and personalized learning contents. Some of the e-learning technologies are very difficult to comprehend and access rendering them highly unreliable couple with insufficient technical support from qualified expertise (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). Majority of the employees in the workplaces also lacks the requisite skills and abilities to quickly cope and survive in an e-learning setting.
However, despite the massive challenges identified by the study, it was further re-affirmed that those employees who were trained through e-learning approach were in involved in an expanded number of activities (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). For instance, the employees were involved in a range of interactive sessions with other trainees and instructors making the whole process to be productive in terms of bonding. Training processes through e-leaning is also very resourceful given the large content of materials that are found online (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). A past research on education approaches suggested that there were no substantial differences between an education outcomes achieved through e-learning and traditions classroom approaches. This, according to the results of this study encouraged most of the employees to pursue e-learning give that it was more time and resource saving (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008).
Tips for successful implementation of e-learning in the workplace
Solution to the challenges and barriers to the implementation of e-learning in workplaces is to tailor it with the cultures and structures of an organization (Harun, 2001). The integration and subsequent implementation of e-learning in an institution must be incorporated within all the dimensions and framework in an establishment. As already asserted, the support of a strong management team is essential especially for slow learners (Harun, 2001). The support provided by the management, according to this study, can be in the form of provision various incentives to the employees who willingly accepts to participate in e-learning programs. These incentives may include achievement badges, monetary rewards and promotions for such employees (Harun, 2001). This serves at encouraging other employees to further pursue e-learning courses offered by the organization to help in enhancing their career achievements. In workplace, a manager or an employee is more likely to support e-learning when there are associated benefits and inducements allied with it (Harun, 2001).
A highly competitive organization provides a great e-learning experiences to its employees with an aim of achieving a good return on investment through a possible reduction in operational costs. It is very important that an e-learning initiative be supportive and helps improve the business environment of a workplace (Harun, 2001). While a satisfied work force will be productive in the long run, establishing the actual contribution of e-learning in an organization is very important. The study further emphasizes that a thorough evaluation should be done before introducing e-learning into an organization. Conducting and adopting a benchmark is critical in evaluation the efforts towards integration e-learning in a workplace. There should be access to the relevant equipment and software that gives the technical aid to the successful introduction of e-learning (Harun, 2001).
Skills and systems relevant in workplace e-learning
The study further identified some of the most imperative know-hows and systems necessary in supporting workplace e-learning (Slotte, Tynjälä, & Hytönen, 2004). For example, the Learning Management Systems (LMS) permits the employers to do a thorough monitoring and evaluation of the e-learning processes (Slotte, Tynjälä, & Hytönen, 2004). This is important particularly when determining the return on a firm’s investments and the ultimate success of the firm. Simulations are also another type of e-learning technology that allows for the practice and enhancement of skills that are very delicate with dire consequences in case of a mistake in implementation (Slotte, Tynjälä, & Hytönen, 2004). As such, simulation is very important when championing for the authenticity and relevance of e-learning undertakings in a workplace. The study also identified M-learning as a more flexible and customized form of e-learning in a workplace given that it permits easy access to enough information and data that are critical in a learning process.
Workplace e-learning and an ageing workforce
The study ascertained that the successful incorporation of e-learning among a group of older employees is relatively challenging (Slotte, Tynjälä, & Hytönen, 2004). This, according to the study can be associated with the perceptions that such a group of employees are challenging to engage through an e-learning approach. Most managers attributed this to the fact most of the ageing workforce have more limited access technology and less experiences of using such technological devices (Slotte, Tynjälä, & Hytönen, 2004). This explain why most organizations would rather engage the relatively young employees this new training and development approach (e-learning) given that they are more technologically savvy (Slotte, Tynjälä, & Hytönen, 2004). However, in most of these organizations the contribution of this ageing workforce is invaluable obliging the management to retain their services. Such organizations may find it quite challenging attracting a young brand of employees (Slotte, Tynjälä, & Hytönen, 2004). This study affirms that the solution to addressing this imbalance is to constantly engage workforce by explaining to them the benefits associated with e-learning. The ageing workforce should be supported and slowly introduced to the e-learning approach and to accept the associated technological tools (Slotte, Tynjälä, & Hytönen, 2004).
In essence, in most of these group of persons are ready to learn, though some are still skeptical about the ‘intent’ of the gadgets. The success of introducing e-learning among the ageing workforce relies heavily on the characteristics and competence of the instructors (Slotte, Tynjälä, & Hytönen, 2004). A well balanced organization in terms technological applications will experience a successful execution of the e-learning approaches. As a result, the returns on this type of investment will be considerably higher and the firm will be in a better position to achieve its long term goals and objectives (Slotte, Tynjälä, & Hytönen, 2004).
Gender differences of acceptance of workplace e-learning
The study ascertained that in most workplaces, the use of the internet among different genders has been relatively different with more men more than women using this online approach in carrying out a number of transactions (Slotte, Tynjälä, & Hytönen, 2004). Most female employees are less positive towards e-learning compared to their male counterparts. However, the increased access to social media has seen the gender differences on the use and acceptance of technology and e-learning reduced significantly (Slotte, Tynjälä, & Hytönen, 2004). The study further affirms the significance of increased acceptance of e-learning in organizations given the great opportunities associated with this leaning strategy (Slotte, Tynjälä, & Hytönen, 2004). With total acceptance, there will be a creation of value to the customers and increased wealth creation. The knowledge and experiences gained through e-learning are expanded and constitutes some of the core functions of establishments.
The future of workplace e-learning in organizations
E-learning in workplaces is increasingly becoming more central in the delivery of services and as a way of improving the quality and expertise of the expertise in most organizations (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). Most institutions asserts to the fact that e-learning serves an important task of bringing learning experiences closer to the workforce. As such, managements of such establishments are concerned about a complete elimination of any obstacles that may obscure the ultimate achievement of this objective. Such barriers, for instance, situational, procedural and structural challenges may hinder the successful incorporation of e-learning into an organization (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). Correspondingly, most managements are more apprehensive about the potential technological costs associated with the introduction of initiatives in an organization (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). Most professionals that are still in the training programs are constantly demanding an improvement in the e-learning platforms as part of their professional development programs. A recent survey in the US on the perceptions of e-learning in organizations revealed that most employees are becoming increasingly satisfied with the provision and initiation of this new learning approach.
However, to them, e-learning complements the blended leaning approach and is not a replacement whatsoever (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). Most of these organizations uses e-learning approach when offering training to new employees or when appraising the levels of expertise among the existing employees. Though a relatively expensive endeavor at the introduction stages, more institutions are more are willing to embrace this initiative given the long term benefits associated with it. As such, the allocation on training budgets off these establishments have increased considerably (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). Additionally, with more firms initiating feasible strategic plans to incorporate e-learning, the future of this new learning approach is relatively secure. An earlier survey on workplace e-learning reported that majority of the firm’s employees approved of e-learning given the immense positive impacts this learning approach had on their professionalism and service delivery (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). This is an explicit prediction of the future dominance of e-learning in organizations but unlikely to completely eliminate classroom learning. It is a clear fact that the application of e-learning in institutions is currently on the rise in most of the corporate training and development settings.
The demand for more accurate and cohesive learning prospects is currently on the rise giving rise to the acceptance and widespread use of e-learning (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). The collaboration and mentorship programs coupled with improved expertise and service deliveries defines some of the benefits of e-learning in workplace settings. The only intriguing question in the mind of opponents is on how this learning approach (e-learning) will be subjected to serious evaluation (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008). However, to majority of the managers, e-learning will be evaluated on the basis of potential ‘benefits’ the trained employees will bring into the firm. The benefits will be determined by the levels and quality of performance of the employees and the potential return on the company’s investments. In addition, the organizations may conduct a protracted and comprehensive cost-benefit analyses to further determine the influences of e-learning in an organization (Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, & Yeh, 2008).
Summary Statement and Recommendations
An overview of the roles and significance of HRD in the integration of e-learning in a workplace
Human resource development (HRD) can be defined as an organizational practice that is aimed at improving the performance of the individual, group, or the entire organization (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). In practice, it combines three basic aspects namely career development, organizational development, and training. HRD can further be defined as framework that is designed to help achieve and improve their personal skills, knowledge, abilities, as well as organizational skills (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). Nonetheless, the principal emphasis of HRD is the incorporation of competent workforce for the long-term advantage of the organization. It should empower the employees to accomplish their corporate goals and responsibilities successfully (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). Per se, the introduction of e-learning into a workplace may have serious implication of human resource development in an organization. All the elements of HRD discussed and ascertained in this study must be taken into due consideration before introducing this new learning program.
However, it worth noting that the practice and concept of Human Resource Development is based on the idea of continuous improvement of employee’s abilities and skills (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). Through this learning approach, an establishment helps its employees to improve their cognitive abilities in a planned and continues way. As explained by most intellects, HRD encompasses three processes that includes the acquisition or sharpening of employees ‘capabilities for performing certain functions expected in the future and the development of employees’ general or personal capabilities. Per se, the organization is in a better position discover and exploit the inner potentials and skills of the employees (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). Similarly, the development of organizational culture is crucial in promoting the collaboration, teamwork, pride, motivations and effective relations between supervisors and subordinates. E-learning and HRD are closely related in objective and functionality given that both aims at improving the proficiency and quality of the workforce at the workplace.
HRD is not nearly a set of techniques and mechanism but a process that be easily assimilated in the e-learning methodologies (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). It uses mechanisms such as training, counseling, performance appraisal, as well as organizational development to facilitate, initiate, and promote this process continuously. It is essential to note that this process, just like the introduction of e-learning into a workplace, has no limit in application and jurisdiction (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). In the modern business setting, there is no business establishment that does not need human resource development (HRD).
Any workplace that is growth-oriented and wants to be vibrant and efficacious needs a strong strategy for human resource development (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). E-learning plays an important roles on the fast-changing business environment and in championing for effective HRD in any viable workplace. According to some proponents of e-learning, organizations have the opportunity to grow rapidly and become dynamic only if they put concerted efforts and competences in improving their human resources (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). An organization can use personal policies to keep the motivational and morale of employees high, however, these efforts are not adequate in making the organization dynamic and take new directions. It requires concerted efforts by the human resource for an organization to take new essential directions (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002).
The human resource development and the effective incorporation of e-learning into a workplace is convenient in sharpening and directing the employee capabilities (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). There is need to continuously acquire, sharpen and use employee capabilities through an e-learning initiative. To achieve this, it is very essential to establish an enabling organizational culture that accepts e-learning. This culture can only be set in an organization by an effective human resource development program that aims at integrating all facets of management when initiating e-learning programs (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). In addition, the identification, sharpening, and use of employee capabilities in an e-learning workplace is very crucial in achieving the ultimate goals and objectives of the firm (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). They also help employees acquire the capabilities essential for future task in the organization. An organization is said to have an empowering culture when employees are able to use their ingenuities, be innovate, free to investigate, take risks, as well as make things happen. The introduction of e-learning is therefore crucial in the cognitive development of the organization’s human resources (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002).
It is the resolve of a viable HRD in a workplace is to help employees achieve these in an organization. Even an organization that has attained full growth limits still need to be adaptive to the ever-changing business environment and technological applications (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). Organizations cannot be immune to the need of increasing employee’s capability improvements and as such, the introduction and integration of e-learning in various places in long overdue. The management of any viable organization should integrate the fact that in this current age of technological innovations, e-learning is the best option for accelerating the development of the form’s human resources.
When introducing e-learning into a workplace, many aspects of the HRD practices need thorough improvements and refinement (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). For instance, on primary consideration before introducing the e-learning platform is the cultural aspects of human resource development. At the moment, this area of HRD practice is not fully developed in most workplaces. In fact, it has been overlooked for so many years and very little research conducted to ascertain how an organization can integrate cultural practices into the human resource development despite its key influences (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). Most proponents of e-learning further stresses that the cultural affiliations help employees make a decision on whether to accept a new online learning experiences in the organization or whether to refute such arrangements (Tynjälä, 2008). This is because the makeup of culture consists of several varying levels of interrelated beliefs and values, each of which has great potential to drive and react in a variety of circumstances.
The culture of the society or a nation may have very powerful effect on the perception of the employee on various aspects of HRD practices such as training, organizational development, career development, intervention, coaching, mentorship and motivation. It is natural for human beings to perceive things according to what they have learnt through their cultural practices (Fee, 2012). In particular, culture if not properly integrated, may serve as a barrier to the change efforts being initiated by the HRD department (Fee, 2012). For the past decades, there has been no proper mechanism and approach of integrating culture into the organizational practice. More even, the HRD practice has neither laid much emphasis on culture nor integrated it into system (Fee, 2012). For these reasons among others, the introduction of e-learning in a workplace must be done within the confines of organizational cultures and beliefs but without compromising individual cultural affiliations.
Another area of HRD practice that needs further exploration is the response to multiple stakeholders when introducing an e-learning process in a workplace (Fee, 2012). In essences, most organizations are currently focusing on capturing the attention of their stakeholders. This is an area that has been missing in HRD practice for many years and must be incorporated therein when introducing a new strategy or policy in a workplace. HRD in a workplace should be oriented towards the future, and the introduction of e-learning as the means towards that prospect.
As aforementioned, the practice of Human Resource Development is based on the concept of continuous improvement of employee’s abilities and skills, a process that can be enhanced by the introduction of e-learning in an organization (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). Through this process, an organization helps its employees to improve in a planned and continues way (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). A strong concept of HRD in an organization will ultimately promote collaboration, coordination, motivations and effective relations between employers and employees. However, this concept of Human Resource Development is limited within the context of organization and can only be enhanced by a viable system of blended learning that include e-learning (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). Through a strong e-learning program, the organization will be in a better position to offer training, counseling, performance appraisal, as well as organizational development to its employees and other stakeholders. This in turn facilitates, initiates, and promotes organizational cooperation and ultimately ensures a strong institutional culture.
The significance of HRD when introducing e-learning in an organization
In the modern business setting, there is no organization that does not need a viable HRD when introducing a new initiative into an organization (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). Any competitive establishment that is growth-oriented and wants to be dynamic and successful needs the inclusion of a vibrant HRD when planning to introduce e-learning among it its employees. The inclusion of e-learning plays very crucial roles in an organization that is in a fast-changing business setting (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). Through an e-learning platform, employees at an organizations have the prospect to grow rapidly. However, this entails a more become dynamic intensive efforts and proficiencies aimed at recording an improvement in the HRD department (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). In maintaining such levels of motivation and morale among the employees, the management of such an organization will record an improvement in service delivery and general improvement in work performances.
The HRD initiative is critical in sharpening and directing the employee capabilities in any feasible institution (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). Through a strong culture of e-learning, the employees are exposed to a continuous acquisition, polishing and usage of their full potential. In achieving this, it is imperative that the establishment first establish an enabling organizational culture that will encourage the implementation of e-learning programs. Notably, such a culture can only be established in an organization by the presence of a strong HRD (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). As part of career and vocational drill in an organization, fostering e-learning will ultimately leads to an optimization of knowledge application and practices in a workplace. The employees should be encouraged to be active and get more involved in embracing the new culture of information technology (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). Similarly, the significance of e-learning in facilitation interactions and in overriding time and space challenges in an institution cannot be underrated. The effective introduction of such online learning settings should be based on equity and trust given the constant misconceptions often associated with e-platforms (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002).
Implications of e-learning for HRD Practitioners
The concept of HRD practice is based on enhancing employee competencies through a robust learning process (Fee, 2012). However, there is a dire need to move from competency-based to capability-based system (e-learning system). Aptitude in e-learning is one of the most recent learning approach discovered that challenges the traditional concept of learning. The concept of a competent workforce has not been effusively assimilated into most of the HRD models (Fee, 2012). According to some intellectuals and proponents of e-learning, a competent workforce is characterized by the ability to learn, be creative and highly self-efficient. Such a staff have the innate ability to apply competencies in familiar and unique situations (Fee, 2012). On the other hand, in HRD practices, the notion of personnel know-hows is limited to acquisition of skills and awareness through different learning approaches. Unlike capability, this practice makes competencies a none-holistic attribute especially in modeling employee behaviors and integrating e-learning in a workplace (Fee, 2012). The workforce should be flexible, a none-desirable attribute for HRD practitioners to enable a successful consolidation of e-learning in an organization.
On the other hand, capable employees are more likely to deal effectively with turbulent work environment when they have more information that can only be provided through e-learning (Fee, 2012). There is a need to instill the attitude and culture of learning on the modern human resource development practitioners. The application of capability concept in HRD practice will certainly lead to the creation of learning experiences that are more innovative (Fee, 2012). The HRD field should develop more interest on how work-based e-learning develops capable and highly qualified. To integrate properly e-learning strategies into human resource development has become a major challenge in most workplaces (Fee, 2012). Today’s workplaces are becoming more and more complex and new unique challenges emerge every day. Indeed, meeting the need of current employees is becoming more and more diverse, but an integrated e-learning system will be beneficial in the end (Fee, 2012).
Though the introduction of e-learning in an establishment can be a great experience to employees, the blended approach to learning is still a crucial appendage of online education (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). For instance, in a medical or engineering settings, relying on the online academic material alone is not enough as one will still need a face-to-face acquisition of such expertise mostly in an organized setting (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). The employees in an organization may still attend seminars and other educational forums to gain more knowledge in their respective areas of expertise. They can at the same time obtain critical information from the internet through the organization’s websites or any other relevant website with educational content (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002).
Refining HRD and e-learning in an organization
In many organizations, the processes of realigning the HRD practice and e-learning is quite challenging, but worth improving all the same (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). Before introducing e-learning in an institution, there is a strong need align the cultural aspects of the employees with that of the HRD. In essence, e-learning as an HRD practice is not fully developed in most viable organizations with management teams constantly overlooking this fact. Indeed, little literature exists on how organizations can effectively integrate cultural aspects into the implementation of HRD programs among its workforce (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). E-learning as HRD program in an institution must be readjusted to incorporate the cultures of employees. This is attributed to the fact that different culture entails varying levels of interconnected beliefs and values, each of which has great potential to drive and react in a variety of circumstances (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). This kind of reaction and interaction eventually results in the establishment of acceptable and unacceptable norms and ethical practices within an organization.
Companies are now transiting from industrial to the notion of ‘mental fracturing.’ This is done to enable them take strong positions in a wider range of stakeholder interests (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). As a suggestion, the human resource development should be oriented to accommodate multiple stakeholders and stakeholder interests. This implies that the human resource development practitioners should start promoting accountability beyond the interest of the organization’s investors (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). Instead, their accountabilities should be promoted to target communities and societies. This will give it a wider focus, which is actually beneficial to the business (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). Perhaps, this approach will enable the HRD professionals to educate effectively the organization on the true meaning of social responsibility as well as its relations to the overall corporate performance. It will also empower the HRD professionals with the right tools of demonstrating the effective strategies for negotiating various interests of stakeholders.
A close analysis of the relevant literature on the introduction of e-learning in workplaces reveals massive gaps in the HRD practices in most organizations that need to be addressed bin order to improve the professionalism and quality service delivery. In addition, there are several new areas of work that need to be fully developed in order to enhance the service provision in workplaces (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). This study recommends that the current integral HRD roles to be revised to match the specific needs of organizations with respect to the incorporation of e-learning in workplaces. The core concept of HRD should be revisited to focus on developing human resource and aligning their skills to match the organizational needs through a robust education structure (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002).
The new approach in HRD practice should also focus on developing and enhancing capabilities of both employees and the organization through a vigorous e-learning system. The capabilities of the individual should be modeled through this learning approach to match their present roles as well as future anticipated responsibilities (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). From the Traditional learning systems, the focus of HRD practice has been to enhance the dyadic relationship between employees and their supervisors. However, e-learning approach is aimed at the maximum potential of the employees that will ultimately benefit the organization (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002). Therefore, this study recommends a further study to ascertain how e-learning in workplaces can enhance the dyadic relationship between employees and stakeholders and benefit the organization. The selective review of inclusion of workplace e-learning to establish the connection between the organizational characteristics is crucial in ascertaining the best way to incorporate HRD into an establishment (Garavan, Morley, Gunnigle, & McGuire, 2002).
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