Purpose – This study aims to propose an integrative conceptual framework of e‐learning adoption and assimilation that is adapted to the specific context of small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). Design/methodology/approach – The literature on the state of e‐learning usage in SMEs and on the IT adoption and assimilation factors that can be specifically applied to e‐learning adoption and assimilation in this context are reviewed. These factors are then integrated within a research framework, and a set of 20 propositions formulated. Findings – The paper identifies the technological, organizational and environmental factors that are likely to favor or hinder e‐learning adoption and assimilation in SMEs, as well as the interaction among these factors. Research limitations/implications – The integrative framework and the 20 propositions that emanate from it constitute the conceptual foundation for a research program and hypotheses on the adoption and assimilation of e‐learning in SMEs. Practical implications – This study offers managers a frame of reference to analyze their firm's situation before initiating an e‐learning program by highlighting key adoption and assimilation factors in the specific context of SMEs. Originality/value – This study proposes an integrative conceptual framework of e‐learning adoption and assimilation that is adapted to the specific context of SMEs.
European Journal of Training and Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 31, 2012
Keywords: E‐learning; Information technology; Information technology adoption; Information technology assimilation; Small to medium‐sized enterprises; Learning methods; Internet