Meeting the Training Needs of SMEs: Is e‑Learning a Solution?


  • Andrée Roy
  • Louis Raymond


e-Learning, training, SMEs, training needs analysis, learning, workplace learning


Training is one of the basic means of human resources development in business organizations, aiming to motivate employees, to develop their potential and to help them perform better. The end of the 20th century has seen the advent of globalisation and the diffusion of new information and communication technologies. Businesses have to change and adapt to the requirements of the new knowledge‑based and skill‑based economy. Facing pressures from an increasingly competitive business environment, small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs) are called upon to implement strategies that are enabled and supported by information technologies and e‑business applications in order to compete with others' organizations. One of these applications is e‑Learning, whose aim is to enable the continuous assimilation of knowledge and skills by managers and employees, and thus support organisational training and development efforts through the use of the Internet and Web technologies. Little is known however as to the level of awareness of e‑Learning in SMEs and as to the actual role played by e‑Learning with regard to these firms' training needs. A multiple case study of sixteen SMEs in the Atlantic region of Canada, including twelve that use e‑Learning with varying degrees of intensity, was designed to explore this question. We observed the firms' training process, identifying to what extent the SMEs know and use e‑Learning, and to what extent e‑Learning meets their training needs.



1 Apr 2008