eLearning as a Political Arena

eLearning as a Political Arena

Celia Romm Livermore, Mahesh Raisinghani, Pierluigi Rippa
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6154-7.ch019
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The goal of this chapter is to study the political strategies utilized in the context of E-Learning. The research is based on the E-Learning Political Strategies (ELPoS) model. The model is based on two dimensions: (1) the direction of the political strategy (upward or downward) and (2) the scope of the political strategy (individual or group-based). The model assumes that the interaction between these dimensions will define four different types of E-Learning political strategies, which, in turn, will lead to different outcomes. The model is presented in the context of the literature on E-Learning and is accompanied with four short case studies that demonstrate its components. The discussion and conclusions section integrates the findings from the case studies and outlines the rules that govern the utilization of political E-Learning strategies in different organizational contexts, including the application of the model across cultures.
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Before we consider the major themes in the literature on eLearning, it is important to define the concept and its boundaries. Cross (2004) is considered the person who coined the term eLearning. Since then, a range of definitions have been offered for eLearning. The first type of definitions focus on the fact that eLearning is based on the Internet. For example, Rosenberg (2001) defines eLearning as: “the use of internet technologies to deliver a broad array of solutions that enhance knowledge and performance, Rossett (2001) defines eLearning as: “Web-based training (WBT)”, and Adrich (2004) defines eLearning as: “a broad combination of processes, content, and infrastructure to use computers and networks to scale and/or improve one or more significant parts of a learning value chain, including management and delivery”.

Other definitions of elearning are so general that they include just about all interactions and experiences in organizations. For example, Manville (2003) defines eLearning as: “Not only Internet-published courseware, but also the tools for managing, modularizing and handling: different kinds of content and learning objects (including both electronic and non-electronic forms, and even traditional classroom instruction),just-in-time and asynchronous learning, such as virtual labs, virtual classrooms and collaborative work spaces, simulations, document repositories and publishing programs, tools for prescribing learning, managing development pathways and goals and handling e-commerce and financial transactions related to learning, and the utilities and capabilities for supporting informal learning, mentoring, communities of practice and other non-training interventions”. In other words, according to Manville, eLearning includes just about everything that happens in the corporate world except training.

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