Perceptions of human resource administrators regarding decisions to support distance learning activities for employees

Date of Completion

January 1995


Business Administration, Management|Education, Adult and Continuing




This study examined perceptions of human resources vice presidents in a fifty percent sample of Fortune 500 corporations regarding excellence in distance education. Distance education as a delivery medium for staff training and development is the fastest growing innovation in the country. More must be known about standards for excellence from the standpoint of the customers of the new approaches.^ Sixty-five percent of the corporate officers returned questionnaires developed by the investigator and verified as valid by a jury of experts drawn from both corporations and business schools. Data from the questionnaires were subjected to one-way analysis of variance followed by Scheffe a Posteriori tests. Factor analysis and stepwise regression analysis were also used.^ The data indicated that corporations support distance education and urge their employees to participate in it. Most reimbursed 100 percent of tuition outlays. The corporate officers felt that course outcomes of distance education should match outcomes of regular classroom instruction, that distance education should meet the same accreditation standards as other programs, that distance education should be cost effective and that course credit should be awarded for both undergraduate and graduate levels distance education courses. The officers gave points to distance education programs which utilized the internet extensively.^ Regression exercises revealed that responses were remarkably similar across regions of the country, sizes of corporations and educational levels of corporate officers. Significant differences were found, however, in responses according to type of corporation. Corporate officers from firms specializing in finance, e.g., banking, insurance, et al., were more supportive of distance education and more concerned about its quality and cost effectiveness than were officers from other industries. ^