Human Resource Management, 10e
Lloyd L. Byars and Leslie W. Rue
Johnson & Johnson: Creating a Global Learning Organization
To provide current, cost-effective training in the fast-paced global business environment, many companies are turning to e-learning. One study shows that about 35 percent of large companies have implemented learning management systems, and another 45 percent are planning them.1 While the trend is to centralize learning to control quality, costs, and management, Johnson & Johnson launched a successful e-learning system using a different approach.
Headquartered on a small campus in New Jersey, Johnson & Johnson is one of the world’s most globalized firms, manufacturing health care and personal care products in
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How do you maintain a decentralized structure while providing development for all employees? In 2002, Johnson & Johnson created a corporate eUniversity, an electronic platform that makes training and development opportunities available to more than 100,000 employees spread across the globe. Begun as a platform offering three Credo-based training programs, eUniversity evolved into a single system that consolidates disparate learning programs and technologies used by the various J&J companies. Johnson & Johnson managers wanted the system to leverage existing functional, regional, and operating company-specific learning and development systems with full utilization of Internet technology.2 Rather than simply implementing a new technology, however, the eUniversity connects the separate business units with learning. “Success is less about engaging technologies and more about engaging people,” says eUniversity director Kee Meng Yeo.3 The principle is to tap into the independence of each Johnson & Johnson group and capture the diversity of thought, rather than trying to control all training from headquarters. The decentralized approach helps managers feel a sense of ownership in the system and builds enthusiasm that spreads through the workforce.
More than 75 Johnson & Johnson companies have offered training programs to other J&J companies through eUniversity. This cross-fertilization of knowledge gives employees an opportunity to learn and,