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Title: The effective implementation of technology-based SME management development programmes
Author: Carr, James B.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2004
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Management learning technology is viewed as one possible solution to overcoming the training barriers faced by managers and other employees in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The aim of this thesis is to investigate whether higher education institutions can provide effective management development opportunities for SMEs using learning technology. Its objectives are: to explore the potential for the transfer of such materials to SMEs; to examine the specific pedagogic approaches that might be most effective in higher education and the SME sector; and to identify factors which can maximise the effective use of management learning technology across a range of contexts. The empirical work described has two main aspects: the first is a case study of learning technology implementation among undergraduate business studies students at the University of Edinburgh; the second is a case study of a technology-based management development programme for SMEs at the University of East London. From these studies barriers to SME learning are identified, both traditional and arising from the introduction of new learning technologies. The traditional barriers identified reflect the SME learning environment in which, for example, time, staff resources and finance are in limited supply. Barriers identified that arise from the introduction of new learning technologies include problems with speed of networks, inappropriate content and socialising distance learning. It emerges that there is potential for transfer of new learning technologies from higher education to SMEs. However this is a difficult undertaking, particularly where there is a lack of general SME training skills. The pedagogic approaches required in the higher education and SME sectors exhibit similarities and differences. The main similarity is that learning technology must be fully integrated into the context of learning delivery if its effectiveness is to be maximised. The main difference is that among SMEs there is often a need for one-to-one guidance, at least initially, owing to their diversity in terms of business type and learners’ educational backgrounds. In both sectors implementation will be most effective when attention is paid to the context of learning development (designing the teaching materials and activities) and the context of learning delivery (the delivery system and its associated support mechanisms).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available