Research Output
How eLearning drives organisational product adoption: An exploratory multi-case approach
  Purpose: Both industry and researchers have been discussing the need to close the learning skill gap in new product adoption for years. New business designs focusing on subscription models enabling online purchasing and cancellation of products in every country have changed the rules of the game. In this research, today’s usage of eLearning in organisations has been investigated and barriers and challenges are discussed. The guiding question is: How shall organisations adopt a product if, on top of the skills gap, there is nobody guiding them how to use it and ensure adoption, and, hence, market success?

Methodology: Academic literature shows that eLearning can be efficient if well-designed and developed. Most research around product adoption goes back to Rogers and his product adoption model. This research uses a case-based approach to understand how eLearning could drive organisational product adoption in the future. It uses a unique two-level network sampling to avoid bias, meaning the author used his network but had no prior relationship to anybody eventually interviewed. The author interviewed the SVPs, VPs or Directors responsible globally for Learning and Development to discover first-hand which of the eLearning trends have the power to be the eLearning innovation changing product adoption in the future. The results blend expert opinions from automotive, hospitality, medical products, distribution, medical care, eLearning and consulting, most of them Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies

Impact: This research contributes to knowledge by suggesting extending Rogers’ model of diffusion of innovation in two ways. First, by including a phase of very early conceptual eLearning and, in addition, it suggests replacing the communication channels by ubiquitous access to AI-influenced personalised eLearning. From a practice point of view, it suggests that developers need to listen to this case approach’s appeal to provide “short” eLearning with “immediate” and “ubiquitous availability” to the learners, making eLearning available on any platform. Furthermore, it highlights that, wherever uniformity is needed as learning outcome, to rethink the existing method and potentially replace it by eLearning. Finally, it suggests investigating whether the success of simulations in certain industries could be also useful in others.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    08 July 2022

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Ziegler, A. How eLearning drives organisational product adoption: An exploratory multi-case approach. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from


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