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Training and development - a study of practices in Irish based companies

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dc.contributor.advisor Garavan, Thomas N. Heraty, Noreen 2014-10-03T10:55:20Z 2014-10-03T10:55:20Z 1992
dc.description non-peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract This thesis represents an exploratory study of training and development practices in Irish based companies, and seeks to ascertain the degree to which these practices reflect a strategic orientation. In particular, it examines the main training and development activities undertaken, the role of the training specialist, and the power of the training and development function. The study had five main objectives: to review the extant literature in order to determine the factors promoting the emergence of Human Resource Development (HRD) as a key mechanism of employee development, and to highlight critical characteristics of strategic HRD; to examine the contingent nature of the HRD concept, and thereby identify key contextual organisational characteristics that impact upon the functioning of HRD; to examine current employee development practices in Ireland in order to assess whether training and development activities reflect a strategic orientation, or are moving towards a strategic model of employee development; to identify whether the contextual factors identified in the literature affect the nature of training and development practices in Ireland; and to examine the role of the training specialist in Ireland and the relative status of the training and development function. In order to fulfill these objectives, an extensive body of literature was reviewed and a questionnaire survey was carried out on a sample of Irish based companies. The literature review indicated that the traditional model of training and development is insufficient to meet the changing needs of modern organisations. Specific factors prompting the emergence of Human Resource Development initiatives include the need to move from the provision of a narrow technical skills base, to a situation where employees are supplied with competencies in a range of varying skills to meet the demands of changing technologies. Several characteristics of strategic HRD were identified which focus on the need for the function to be perceived as contributing to organisational effectiveness, and fully integrated into the corporate goals and objectives of the organisation. The literature further suggested that HRD is contextually bound, and several organisational characteristics, such as size, structure, technology, culture, power and stakeholders, implicitely determine the extent to which the function achieves a strategic orientation. The strategic imperative of the function was also held to be contingent upon the nature of the individuals being developed, and the value they place on training and development. A process model of strategic training and development, outlining the external triggers, internal organisational triggers, organisation specific contextual factors and key facilitating mechanisms was presented. The results of the questionnaire survey indicated that, while a considerable amount of systematic training and development is being undertaken, the orientation of these practices remains operational in nature, with little evidence of a consorted effort to engage in strategic activities. The central focus of current practices seems to lie with short term results as opposed to long term effectiveness. The training specialists were found to be well educated and operated at management level in the hierarchy. However, they felt that their power was relatively limited, and were not afforded the opportunuity to contribute at the strategic level in many instances. In relation to the power of the training and development function, results indicated the existence of considerable horizontal power, with high levels of centrality and low levels of substitutibility emerging. Analysis suggested the existence of a number of contingent relationships between selected training and development variables (number of days training, power of the function, training activities undertaken, size of training budget) and key contextual variables (culture, internal labour market, external environment). Overall, the study provides a picture of the nature and scope of training and development in Ireland, in 1992, and, in light of the findings, the process model set down in chapter six is seen to have at least some explanatory power. It is therefore worthy of further investigation, particularly in the Irish context, given the existing paucity of relevant literature. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject training en_US
dc.subject development en_US
dc.subject employment en_US
dc.subject Irish companies en_US
dc.subject business en_US
dc.title Training and development - a study of practices in Irish based companies en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/masterThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.contributor.sponsor Irish Institute of Training and Development en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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