Trainee Characteristics and Organizational Environment for Enhancing Individual Performance in e-Learning Involvement

Trainee Characteristics and Organizational Environment for Enhancing Individual Performance in e-Learning Involvement

Zakariya Belkhamza (Ahmed Bin Mohammed Military College, Doha, Qatar) and Muhammad Madi Bin Abdullah (University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS), Sarawak, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/IJWLTT.2019040106
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Abstract

Despite the emerging development of information technology which has significantly contributed to the learning organization enhancement, many organizations still find a great challenge to fully optimize the use of e-learning by their employees in order to enhance their individual performance. The objective of this article is to investigate what factors actually determine an effective training performance which leads to high individual performance from online training and e-learning. Drawing from the self-determination and institutional learning theories, trainee characteristics and organizational environment constructs were determined to investigate whether they have an impact on the individual performance of the employees. 203 employees in private sector in the Sabah state of Malaysia were used to test the research hypotheses. The research provides a significant insight and better understanding on how organizations better utilize the e-learning environment to enhance the learning process of their employees.
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Introduction

E-learning and online training programs have recently become an important method for organizations to facilitate the learning process to their employees. As part of training and development most organizations adopt, continuous learning is becoming more integrated with work with short-term length, most customized and with instant delivery systems. Because of this flexibility, e-learning initiatives have become a popular approach in many organizations and workplace settings (Yoo and Huang, 2017; Osenberg, 2006; Sambrook, 2003). These e-learning initiatives are subjected to a rapid rate of technological change. The hardware and software infrastructure and technological platforms are important institutional conditions for successful applications of e-learning technologies (Marshall, 2012; McGill et al., 2014). However, due to these technological fluctuations, the diversity of individual learning styles of employees become vulnerable to these fluctuations (Manochehr, 2006). Driven by this prolific development of Internet-based environment, many studies confirm that an educational content delivered in either blended or Internet-based conditions may be more efficient than the content delivered in a traditional face-to-face setting (Abdous and Yoshimura, 2010). On the other hand, some other studies oppose the argument, failing to find significant differences in the effectiveness between the two methods (Bernard et al., 2004; Delialioglu and Yildirim, 2008). This debate shows that a gap between the effectiveness of both settings still exists in the literature (Tsai et al., 2011). Moreover, despite the increasing adoption of e-learning programs in the workplace, a meta-analysis study by Sitzmann et al. (2006) shows that internet-based learning has only resulted in slightly greater learning than classroom learning. While it is always orated that internet-based learning is always preferred over the conventional learning, there is still little evidence on how to make the internet-based learning more effective and beneficial to employees and hence organizations (Bedwell and Salas, 2010; Salas et al., 2012), especially when considering the vast amount of money invested in the e-learning infrastructure (Kraiger, 2003). With many businesses and organizational changing their learning environment for their workforce, the question of whether these learning programs actually change employee behavior and enable them for a maximum potential remains crucial. Although knowledge can be learned by participating in e-learning programs, it is still arguable whether the outcome can help improve the work performance (Patel, 2010; Salas et al., 2012). This shows another crucial gap in the literature between corporate interests and learner needs (Servage, 2005; Rodriguez and Armellini, 2013). Therefore, the objective of this paper is to investigate what factors could affect employee’s performance when using e-learning. The paper further investigates how good training performance will lead to high performance of employees. In order to achieve this objective, the mediating role of the training performance towards the employee performance will also be examined.

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