The Role of E-Learning in Corporate Universities

By Watkins, Ryan | Distance Learning, March 1, 2005 | Go to article overview

The Role of E-Learning in Corporate Universities


Watkins, Ryan, Distance Learning


It is typically challenging to define either what a "corporate university" is and/or what it is not. Yet, this growing trend among organizational training centers to expand their roles beyond the traditional training functions has in tandem extended the role of e-learning in today's organizations. As organizations have moved through quality management, reengineering, outsourcing, right-sizing, and a half-dozen other trends, the role of e-learning over the past decade has become increasingly important in preparing the workforce for success. So as training centers look to expand their roles within organizations, it is becoming essential for e-learning to define its role within both the broader "corporate university" and the organization as a whole.

Corporate universities ideally assist organizations in accomplishing a range of organizational missions, including but not limited to the training of employees on the knowledge and skills that are required for workplace performance. By supporting the organization in the achievement of these missions, the corporate university can become a mechanism for creating company culture, encouraging lifelong learning, managing and retaining organizational knowledge, developing communities of practice, and building the capacity of the organization to change, grow, and succeed. These expanded opportunities for professionals in training, organizational development, instructional design, e-learning, and human resources development offer organizations unique prospects for using their skilled workforce to create an environment in which learning opportunities are utilized as a key element in the recruitment and retention of employees, as well as the long-term advancement of the company.

Moving from technologies like automated slideshows on floppy disk to interactive online group learning experiences, e-learning has kept up with the demands of organizations through the introduction of both new technologies as well as applicable pedagogy. This capacity of e-learning to evolve through innovations in both technology and pedagogy will also play an essential role in developing e-learning as an indispensable component of corporate universities. After all, e-learning offers organizations a means to expand learning opportunities outside the traditional training classroom.

Challenging the traditional notions of where training (and learning) takes place, e-learning can additionally do far more than just transform classroom training courses for online delivery. E-learning can help change the culture of an organization, facilitate knowledge sharing and management, build valuable relationships across organizational units, and prepare the workforce for the demands of evolving businesses. Yet, in order for e-learning (or even a corporate university) to be successful in achieving its goals, the strategic decisions of the initiative must be aligned with the strategic direction of the organizations, its clients, and the clients' clients. This alignment of strategic direction is what can, and should, define the role of e-learning in corporate universities.

As a result, effective strategic plans begin with some unconventional wisdom that starts outside of the organization (Kaufman, Stith, Triner, & Watkins 1998; Kaufman, Oakley-Brown, Watkins, & Leigh, 2003). By defining the common goals and objectives both within the organization and among the stakeholders outside of the organization (for example, external clients and their clients), strategic plans can begin to define the results that all agree must be achieved for everyone to be successful.

Among his reflections on healthy interpersonal relationships, the social philosopher and business leader Charles Handy (1999) adds: "It seems to be the same with organizations. The healthiest are those which exist for others, not for themselves" (p. 48). For organizations, this pragmatic perspective is applied through strategic planning initiatives that begin with the shared goals of the organization, its clients, the clients' clients, and the community they serve. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Role of E-Learning in Corporate Universities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.