The online learning environment has become a highly competitive industry in which many stakeholders have become more interested and involved in its overall operation. One particular area that most stakeholders will agree upon is the value of human capital in this industry. Stewart (1997) classified Intellectual Capital into three key areas: human capital, structural capital, and customer capital. This paper will focus on the human capital element in the online learning environment. Human capital is explained as the capabilities of the companys employees necessary to provide solutions to customers, to innovate and to renew. As a result of changing technology and economic times, many organizations are realizing the need to update, innovate, and rejuvenate. InCaS (2010) noted that As a result of constant changes caused by globalisation, emerging technologies and shorter product life‑cycles, knowledge and innovation have already become the main competitive advantages of many companies. Especially Europ
ean small and medium‑sized enterprises (SME) are highly dependent on the ability to identify changes in their global economic environment quickly and respond to these changes with suitable solutions. (p. 4) Just liked their European counterparts, American enterprises and organizations are scanning their environments and focusing on responding to potential changes in order to capture and maintain their market share and prepare for the future. In additional in individual capabilities, human capital inc
ludes the dynamics of an intelligent (learning) organization in a changing competitive environment, its creativity, and innovativeness (Stewart, 1997, p. 13). Thus, there has been an increase in the focus as to how online learning providers are investing more money and time in preparing their online instructional staff. Sokolowska (2006) commented that if we look at learning organizations we can see two types of trends. She stated that such organizations are understood in dynamic organizational categories that are oriented at their development, searches for new chances on the market and continually increases their effectiveness, efficiency and flexibility. The second group of learning organizations consists of such entities that choose growth through development of their employees. (p. 158) This paper examines the online learning environment, requirements for the online instructional staff, and strategies to help better prepare and develop their intellectual capital in this particular learning environment. Further, this paper will examine how these strategies are reinforced by the commitment of the educational institution in terms of preparing their online instructors, as well as mentoring them along the way.