The context of e-learning as a mechanism responding to the learning needs of an organization can be derived through the following definition – as developed by CIPD (2009): ‘e-learning is learning that is delivered, enabled or mediated using electronic technology for the explicit purpose of training in organizations’ (CIPD 2009). …
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In accordance with a report published in 2009 by CIPD, e-learning is a term, which appeared for fist time in 1999. As noted in the above report, two are the key forms of e-learning, as identified in organizations globally: ‘the web-based training and the Supported Online Learning’ (CIPD 2009). Current paper focuses on the examination of a particular aspect of e-learning: its relationship with organizational culture. Emphasis is given to the potential dependency of e-learning on the nature of an organization’s culture. The role of e-learning within modern organizations is critically reviewed. Then, the interaction between e-learning and the culture of each organization is critically discussed, taking into consideration the findings of studies that have been published in the particular field.
2. E-Learning as an element of the organization
In accordance with Rosenberg (2006) e-learning is likely to provide solutions in ‘informational or instructional organizational problems’ (Rosenberg 2006, p.72). The above description of e-learning is, partially, opposed with the most common role of this framework, as a tool covering various organizational needs, as analyzed below. On the other hand, Cross et al. (2002) note that the quality of e-learning, as part of an organization’s plans, is not depended on the funds invested on the relevant project. Rather, it is an issue of managing effectively the resources available and being aware of current challenges of the organization’s internal and external environment. However, the following problem should be highlighted: the term e-learning is often too vague (Servage 2006, p.304), i.e. the parts and the role of the relevant schemes are not clearly explained. This fact can have the following implication: the targets set by the scheme’s initiators are not achieved while valuable time and funds are spent without having the chance to be paid back. Despite the value of e-learning, its use in organizations is still limited, mostly because of its requirements. In accordance with a series of statistics published in CIPD, e-learning is mostly used in large organizations, at a percentage of 79% than in medium organizations – the organizations with less than 250 employees are likely to use e-learning just at a percentage of 39% (CIPD 2008). It should be noted that the benefits of e-learning have not been made clear to employees. This problem is reflected in the following fact: in organization where e-learning schemes are available, the percentage of employees participating in these schemes is not over 60% (CIPD 2008). Moreover, the use of e-learning as the unique learning process within organizations seems to be avoided. In a relevant research developed by CIPD (2008) it was proved that most organizations (95%) prefer a blended learning scheme, i.e. a learning scheme in which e-learning is combined with other e-learning processes (CIPD 2008). The research developed by Servage (2006) led to the following finding: ‘cost and technology are the most common challenges of e-learning’ (Servage 2006, p.304), a problem which cannot be easily resolved. The use of e-learni
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