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Exploration of the key characteristics of mobile learning in a Chinese business setting

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posted on 2022-03-28, 09:34 authored by Yibing Zhang
In the last decade, there has been a dramatic increase globally in the use of mobile devices and mobile technologies. While mobile technologies have played a significant role in communications generally within business settings, the increasing use of mobile devices for employee's learning and development in workplace has caused much attention for researchers and human resource development (HRD) practitioners. This study aims to gain a greater understanding of the key characteristics of m-learning in a Chinese business setting, which is the world's largest market for mobile devices and mobile technologies. A mixed methods research approach of quantitative and qualitative methods was employed, which involved an online survey of 665 responses and semi - structured interviews with 40 employees from four business organisations in China. A number of findings were discovered from both the quantitative and qualitative analyses. First, the conditions appear favourable for m-learning to flourish in Chinese business settings, in terms of the high mobile device penetration, heavy mobile usage, and the increasing adoption of m-learning at workplace. Second, this study find s that employees in the Chinese business setting have generally positive perceptions of using mobile devices for learning. Third, this study identifies 19 themes of personal benefits and 17 organisational benefits of m-learning perceived by the respondents, which can be classified into three central themes: "Autonomy", "Real-world Relevance" and "Collaboration and Networking". Fourth, this study highlight s four concerns and three improvement areas of adopting m-learning in a Chinese business context. Fifth, while there are similarities between the characteristics of Chinese m - learning and the m - learning in the Western context, this study indicates a number of important differences; for example, the perceived importance levels of the affordances of m-learning, the ranking of the central themes regarding m-learning, and the perceived organisational benefits of m-learning. Based on the finding s of this study, the key characteristics of m-learning in a Chinese business setting are identified and the relationship between Chinese m-learning and Western m-learning is discussed.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction -- Chapter 2. Literature review -- Chapter 3. Methodology -- Chapter 4. Quantitative results and analysis -- Chapter 5. Qualitative results and analysis -- Chapter 6. Conclusion, summary and discussion


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 209-230

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Macquarie Business School, Department of Management

Department, Centre or School

Department of Management

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Paul Nesbit


Copyright Yibing (Ebin) Zhang 2019. Copyright disclaimer:




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