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Understanding participation in e-learning in organizations: a large-scale empirical study of employees

Authors


Thomas N. Garavan, Professor of HRD, Department of Personnel & Employment Relations, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, Ireland. Email: Thomas.Garavan@ul.ie. Ronan Carbery, Lecturer in HRM, Department of Personnel & Employment Relations, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, Ireland. Email: Ronan.Carbery@ul.ie. Grace O'Malley, Psychologist and Lecturer in HRM, School of Business, National College of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland. Email: Grace.OMalley@eircom.net. David O'Donnell, Researcher, Intellectual Capital Research Institute, Ballyagran, Limerick County, Ireland. Email: David.ODonnell@ireland.com

Abstract

Much remains unknown in the increasingly important field of e-learning in organizations. Drawing on a large-scale survey of employees (N = 557) who had opportunities to participate in voluntary e-learning activities, the factors influencing participation in e-learning are explored in this empirical paper. It is hypothesized that key variables derived from the theories of planned behaviour and instructional design – general-person characteristics, motivation to learn, general and task-specific self-efficacy, situational barriers and enablers, and instructional design characteristics – will predict participation in e-learning. Using structural equation modelling, we find statistical support for the overall theoretical model proposed. We discuss the implications for practice.

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