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Application of e-learning in enterprises provides the advantages of lower training cost, richer learning content, higher information consistency, and easier update of content. Despite the fact that enterprises have the intention to introduce e-learning, there is not a complete framework to which they can refer to ensure the benefits of e-learning for employee training or learning and understand which important factors affect employee’s e-learning effectiveness. Relative to the difficulties of introducing e-learning in management practice, the academic achievements in this aspect also seem very limited. Most the existing papers are focused on discussion and survey of e-learning in school, and very few of them are dedicated to empirical research of e-learning in corporate environment. Besides, these studies discuss e-learning only at the technical or the individual level without a comprehensive investigation into the factors affecting e-learning effectiveness with multi-level theoretic framework.

This paper applies the socio-technical systems theory to review and integrate theories about employee e-learning from a macro view. To make up the insufficiency of related research, literature review and case research are conducted first. Based on the interview results, an analysis model is constructed to thoroughly explore factors affecting employee’s e-learning effectiveness. Later, through a questionnaire survey on employees’ adoption of e-learning and subsequent multi-level data analysis, hypotheses on the relationship of the influencing factors and the research model are verified.

Results show that e-learning effectiveness (usefulness of e-learning, continuance intention to use, and e-learning performance) is simultaneously or alternately affected by direct or moderating factors of the technical system and the social system at the work environment level and the individual level. Compared with the existing research, this paper uses a more comprehensive system view to construct the theoretical model and empirically verify it. The results can be a reference for future researchers and managers of e-learning in enterprises.