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“Modern” learning methods: rhetoric and reality

Eugene Sadler‐Smith (University of Plymouth Business School, University of Plymouth, UK)
Simon Down (University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia)
Jonathan Lean (University of Plymouth Business School, University of Plymouth, UK)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 1 August 2000

Abstract

The application of technology in both its “hard” (for example through computing technology) and “soft” (for example through instructional design ) forms has enhanced the range of training methods available to practitioners. Much rhetoric has surrounded the use of techniques such as distance learning and computer‐based learning methods. The study aimed to explore the attitudes of managers to these “modern” approaches and other more “traditional” methods. A questionnaire survey of over 200 managers in organisations of all sizes and from a range of sectors was conducted. The data suggest that distance learning is not widely used as it is perceived as less effective, whereas at‐job learning, as well as being widely used is also perceived as being the most effective method. An analysis in terms of firm size revealed more similarities than differences between larger and smaller firms. The theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.

Keywords

Citation

Sadler‐Smith, E., Down, S. and Lean, J. (2000), "“Modern” learning methods: rhetoric and reality", Personnel Review, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 474-490. https://doi.org/10.1108/00483480010296285

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited