Several models have been proposed in the literature to understand e-learning acceptance in which social environmental factors are not primarily addressed. This paper aims to improve understanding of what social forces influence employee’s attitude and intention of e-learning adoption within an organizational context. Drawing upon the institutional theory, this study proposes a model to examine three social environmental factors of coercive, normative and mimetic pressures within the e-learning context. An empirical study involving 172 subjects and the partial least square method was conducted to test this model. The results indicate that normative and mimetic pressures significantly influence the attitude and intention of adopting e-learning, while coercive pressures appear not to. Attitude plays a mediating role between both normative and mimetic institutional pressures and e-learning adoption. For organizations, the results suggest that training managers may need to build an e-learning community to create normative expectations and provide success stories of high profiles employee’s e-learning experience to promote the adoption of their e-learning. The paper contributes to a deeper understanding of the social factors that promote the use of e-learning in on-job training.