Influences From Outside and Within

Contents Internet-based training allows organizations to leverage the intellectual content of mega-names, such as Tom Peters, Ken Blanchard, and Peter Drucker. These thought-leaders are enthusiastic to jump on the elearning wagon because they can only teach so many students in a traditional class. With elearning, the geographic barriers are lifted.

Outside Influences

Some organizations see elearning as their way into the learning market. Michael Milken, his brother Lowell, and Oracle's Larry Ellison run Knowledge Universe, a venture hatchery for educational and training companies. And there are more big players who want to sell elearning packages to you... even if you do not need it (The Virtual Classroom Vs. The Real One).

Influences From Within

The Industry Standard reported that while elearning is often associated with technical training, new software tools are now able to teach management principles that employees can tackle on their own. This is extremely helpful for the organization as there are only so many coaches and mentors to go around. These mentors and coaches can be replaced by elearning tools that take managers through simulated situations they might face on the job. It's hard to say how effective these programs are since the results of soft skills training are not as immediate as for example, training a programmer in Java; nevertheless, training departments see it as a way of leveraging scarce resources, in this case - skilled and knowledgeable workers.

Pressure from within the organization to implement elearning does not always mean it is the right thing to do. It is easy to get caught up in the hype. For example, Drucker (2000) recommends "Attach yourself to a strategic initiative or a core process in your organization that has a strong elearning component. Then outsource the rest of training." This is exactly where hype begins -- if you want to learn to do elearning, then fine, attach yourself to a strong elearning component. However, you do not outsource the rest of training so that you can learn more about elearning. . . you outsource learning when it benefits the learners and the organization.

Outside and Within

There are many valid reasons for implementing elearning programs. However, there are also many outside businesses who want to sell their elearning programs to your organization simply to grow their business, not necessarily because it is best for your organization. Managers and trainers must look beyond the hype of organizations wanting to make a dollar, instead they must look at the needs of their own organization.


Drucker, P., 2000. Need to Know: Integrating e-Learning with High Velocity Value Chains. A Delphi White Paper.



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Created January 21, 2001
Updated September 30, 2007


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