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Acceptance and Resistance to Corporate E-Learning: A Case from the Retail Sector


JDE Volume 21, Number 2, ISSN 0830-0445 Publisher: Athabasca University Press


The purpose of this study was to investigate what influences employees' acceptance and resistance to a corporate e-learning initiative provided by a large retail chain. The research used a survey design to gather interview and survey data to examine the factors affecting learner interest in, and resistance to, training and e-learning. The results provided insight into the attitudes and perceptions of employees in a large retail chain about the training and identified areas for further attention to facilitate a best-practices approach for increasing participation. The research asked: What barriers and enticers in relation to e-learning are present in a group of employees offered an e-learning training opportunity? The driving and restraining forces that influence an individual's fields (also defined as an individual's life space) as indicated in Lewin's (1997) Force Field Theory were examined and used as a framework for analysis of the findings to gain a clearer understanding of which factors support or deter these employees from participation in e-learning in the workplace. Lewin suggested that consideration of what encourages learners to embrace new methods for learning is important but equally, the factors that cause resistance to learning must be thoroughly examined. Supporting factors such a the rationale for the training being well understood and detractors like insufficient time to complete the modules were identified. Findings indicate that time, meaningful recognition for participation, and personal and technical support need to be provided for the successful implementation of e-learning initiatives. (Contains 1 figure and 4 tables.)


Rabak, L. & Cleveland-Innes, M. (2006). Acceptance and Resistance to Corporate E-Learning: A Case from the Retail Sector. The Journal of Distance Education / Revue de l'ducation Distance, 21(2), 115-134. Athabasca University Press. Retrieved November 26, 2020 from .

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