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Annie Hayes



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E-learning fails to grasp senior execs


Senior managers are turning their backs on online learning opportunities, according to a new study.

Figures published by the Chartered Management Institute and Centre for Applied Human Resource Research, show that whilst internet access is readily available for 90 per cent of senior managers, 67 per cent spend 30 minutes or less using company intranets, the internet or e-learning materials to solve any one problem.

Just over half have made use of online management resources in the past year, whilst one in five have participated in a structured e-learning programme.

In addition, 72 per cent admit they prefer face-to-face conversations over e-learning, with 20 per cent saying the content fails to engage them. Almost half admit they have too many distractions to focus on online learning. Just over a quarter say they lack the motivation to complete online courses, with 17 per cent blaming lack of appropriate support.

This is despite just over half suggesting online learning is a powerful resource allowing busy executives to ‘dip in and out as time allows’.

Jo Causon, director, marketing and corporate affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, said: “There are clear business benefits to adopting e-learning models, but until organisations provide engaging development tools and support alongside these, uptake will continue to be slow. However, the integration of social networking with other online routes is likely to help this process, particularly as personal development will go beyond the boundaries of organisations.”

According to the study, more junior managers use blogs, e-books, e-learning modules and social networking sites than senior managers.

The research is based on the views of almost 1,000 respondents and includes in-depth interviews with 12 large employers.

HR Zone recently published an in-depth report on the current trends in e-learning. Members can view it at: Growing pains: The emergence of ‘e-learning’.

One Response

  1. E-Learning and Experience both start with an ‘E’ but they are di
    I agree – Much of what Senior Executives need to learning is based on experience and I don’t think we have reached the point at which e-learning touches people’s head, heart and soul.

    This may change over time.

    We still crave experiences as human beings and virtual reality does not do the same job. It may however complement the ‘university of hard knocks’.

    There was an interesting programme on the value of experience in the context of failure on BBC Radio 4 yesterday – You can listen again to it at

    It features John Otway, cult punk rocker and the patron saint of failure, who lost a fortune on an attempt to rejuvenate his career via a World Tour that failed miserably.

    Clearly it would be better to use e-leaning to avoid the loss of £160 000, although in this case, the experience could not be replicated using a computer!

    Peter Cook

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