High level competence: a tool for coping with organizational change

Journal of European Industrial Training 11/2007; 31(9):727-741. DOI: 10.1108/03090590710846684

ABSTRACT Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to find out and understand the different competence development needs of managers and their ways of learning. The examined managers work in middle management in Finnish information and communication technology sector (ICT) and paper business sector. Design/methodology/approach – The research was qualitative by nature and the used research method was focused interview. The research group included 15 managers from three ICT companies (the ICT managers worked in software development projects) and 15 managers from three paper companies (the paper companies in this research produce pulp, paper and paperboard). Also three directors from both sectors were interviewed. Findings – Changes in organizations force managers also to change. New demanding duties and technological development require continuous training and updating of knowledge. Business sector and previous career path of a manager direct his/her further training need. Managers were responsible themselves for updating their competence. Various learning practices existed. Research limitations/implications – Only two Finnish business sectors were included in this study and the target group was in the middle management level in organizations. Therefore the study is not comprehensive. Practical implications – Useful information concerning training needs of managers generally and specially in ICT and paper business sectors. Originality/value – Provides information concerning the role of competence in changing work environments.

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