Training Employees of IBM Through e-Learning

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB030
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1990 - 2002
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : IBM
Industry : Information Technology
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Online Training at IBM

In 1999, IBM launched the pilot Basic Blue management training program, which was fully deployed in 2000. Basic Blue was an in-house management training program for new managers. It imparted 75 percent of the training online and the remaining 25 percent through the traditional classroom mode.

The e-learning part included articles, simulations, job aids and short courses. The founding principle of Basic Blue was that 'learning is an extended process, not a one-time event.' Basic Blue was based on a '4-Tier blended learning model' (Refer Table I). The first three tiers were delivered online and the fourth tier included one-week long traditional classroom training.

Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies

The program offered basic skills and knowledge to managers so that they can become effective leaders and people-oriented managers. The managers were divided into groups of 24 members each.

Each group then entered the first tier of the Basic Blue program (without interaction with the other members of the group - learning from information)...

e-Learning at IBM - Future Plans

The e-learning projects of IBM had been successful right from the initial stages of their implementation. These programs were appreciated by HR experts of IBM, and other companies. The Basic Blue program bagged three awards of 'Excellence in Practice' from the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) in March 2000. It was also included among the ten best 'world-class implementations of corporate learning' initiatives by the "e-Learning across the Enterprise: The Benchmarking Study of Best Practices" (Brandon Hall) in September 2000...


Exhibit I: Top Five Companies in the Training Magazine's Top 100 List
Exhibit II: Understanding e-Learning
Exhibit III: Statement of ROI of IBM's Basic Blue Project
Exhibit IV: Traditional Modes of Training Employees
Exhibit V: Benefits of e-Learning for Employees


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