Industrial and Commercial Training

Published by Emerald
Print ISSN: 0019-7858
Publications
Purpose - This paper aims to outline the steps and process used by the American Cancer Society, a not for profit organization, when creating and implementing an internal coaching capacity. Design/methodology/approach - The paper examines in detail the design, implementation, successes, and key learning points of the creation of an internal coaching program. Findings - Organizations can build an internal coaching capacity utilizing current talent and limited external resources to benefit the development of targeted staff. Practical implications - The paper details steps to build a coaching cadre. Originality/value - The paper provides an alternative to buying coaching for an organization and outlines the multiple benefits to building an internal capacity.
 
The annual fiasco of the performance review continues in many organisations despite evidence that it has the potential to be one of the most effective management tools in the entire executive toolkit. Senior executives in many countries indicate that they regard the performance review (particularly the part where they are required to have an open and honest dialogue with the people who report to them) as one of the most difficult things they are required to do. Perhaps that is why so many do not do it at all! While the number of organisations that utilise their performance review programmes is increasing, a virtually useless version of form filling-in and filing that has become the annual fiasco of so-called performance review continues in many organisations. The message is clear. People make the difference and the successful enterprises of the current decade will have an integrated performance management programme that effectively links corporate strategy and individual performance.
 
Purpose - This paper aims to examine the two year Modern Apprenticeship undertaken by trainees in the English professional football industry. Design/methodology/approach - In the first round of this three-year project representatives of seven English clubs were interviewed in the summer of 2005; follow-up interviews were conducted in the summer of 2006. To contextualise these results, a representative of a leading French club who was responsible for youth training was asked about provision in that country. Findings - The paper finds that the apprenticeship system in France is more extensive and expensive but it produces players who are more likely to do well in major international competitions such as the World Cup. This in turn is due to the fact that more resources are allocated to training aspiring footballers; such spending includes extensive government subsidies. However, attrition rates are even higher in France than in England; at a micro level the system there is less successful. Practical implications - This paper argues that the British government is in one sense spending too much money subsidising youth development in football; 75 per cent of all apprentices are never offered a professional contract. However, in another (macro) sense, it is not allocating sufficient resources to youth development in professional football given that England has never been in a World Cup final in 40 years. Originality/value - Although a number of articles have been published concerning the physiology of training aspiring footballers, very little has been done by way of examining the resource allocations associated with the training given to young apprentices in the game, which is one of the UK's key sporting industries.
 
Presents some interim results, by way of an attempt to evaluate the football industry's Modern Apprenticeship scheme, which was introduced in 1998. Theoretical context is provided by the debate between advocates of human capital theory as opposed to those favouring screening theory. Relevant policy considerations are provided by the PFA, who are concerned about the high attrition rates witnessed in the industry. Data are presented from two years' worth of research into the progress shown by some 22 trainees, spread across three clubs playing in various divisions of the Nationwide League. The trainees were interviewed in situ, in the autumn of 1998 and again in 1999. Despite an attempt to improve college provision (compared to the former YT scheme), the results suggest that these apprentices are unlikely to maximise the opportunities afforded them.
 
Purpose - To provide a summary of self-help texts and ideas drawn from a range of self-help and "how to" books. Design/methodology/approach - Material subdivided into the ten most common (agreed) ideas for self-improvement. Findings - The advice is sound (common sense?) but applying it is not easy. Research limitations/implications - The material used is often subjective and anecdotal. Practical implications - If readers apply the principles they will experience direct benefits. Originality/value - That there is a consistency of advice from all sorts of sources as to how to be more effective, whatever the task that confronts one.
 
Four-Level Training Evaluation.  
Evaluation as Capability Building.  
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to provide training and human resources development practitioners with a practical, credible and strategically-useful training evaluation method. Design/methodology/approach - The suggested evaluation strategy and method are based on the author's experience as a thought leader and consultant with hundreds of organizations world-wide. Findings - Human resources development practitioners need a more practical, simple, valid and actionable approach to evaluation. Practical implications - Evaluation should focus on the entire training and performance improvement process, not solely on training events. Leverage for making improvements to training impact is found in the performance management system factors in the larger organization outside the boundaries of the training department or function. Originality/value - The paper proposes a new, more simple and valid approach to measurement of training impact that has been tried successfully in several dozen leading companies.
 
Purpose – This paper aims to demonstrate the value of physical experimentation in coaching to raise client awareness and enhance transformational potential. Design/methodology/approach – This action research case study involved working with an individual coaching client using an experimental Gestalt‐oriented approach. Findings – This study finds that physical experimentation during coaching can raise awareness for both client and coach and create powerful dynamics in and between them to catalyse change. Originality/value – This case study will help other coaching professionals to understand and apply a Gestalt‐oriented approach to their own thinking and practice.
 
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to expand existing tests of what drives training transfer, by including support originating from three sources, i.e. one's coworkers, supervisor, and organization. Design/methodology/approach - The results are based on a sample of trainees attending professional development programs in one organization in the USA. Findings - Coworkers emerge as important, yet neglected, resources employees can draw on as support for both maintaining skills and transferring them to a workplace setting. Practical implications - If the results are supported in other studies, more attention should be given to coworker support interventions. Originality/value - The study provides a first test of the extent to which support originating from three different sources (i.e. coworkers, supervisor, and organization) is related to maintaining and transferring skills acquired during training.
 
Corporate learning is at a crossroads. Existing courses and facilities are nearing the end of their useful lives, and there are new learning approaches and technologies to consider. A survey of the corporate learning plans and priorities of 69 organisations suggests there is widespread confusion and a lack of direction. Many courses are excessively general and fail to address particular requirements. The focus is overwhelmingly internal and on organisational needs. Individual aspirations and the requirements of customers and business partners are being overlooked. Existing information and knowledge are being shared, but training and development activities are contributing little to the creation and exploitation of new knowledge and intellectual capital. Opportunities for collaboration are being missed. In many companies training and development remain a cost although they could provide the basis for generating new income streams and become a significant business in their own right.
 
Purpose - The purpose of this two-part article is to introduce engagement and review key research on engagement-related factors. Design/methodology/approach - The author conducted a literature search on employee engagement and pilot interviews with ten professionals. Findings - Environment, leadership, job, and individual factors are connected to employee engagement. Environmental engagement factors include congruency between organizational and individual values, the quality of the workplace relationships, and work-life balance. Leadership engagement factors include vision and integrity. Job engagement factors include the meaningfulness of the job, itsw level of challenge, and the amount of control the employee has on the job. Finally, individual factors related to engagement include resilience, locus of control, active coping style, self-esteem, neuroticism, and extraversion. The author suggests that the connections (or the match) between organizational, leadership, job, and individual characteristics is particularly relevant for engagement. Research limitations/implications - The article includes a preliminary investigation of engagement. Further research is needed connecting environmental, leadership, job, and individual engagement factors, and confieming the importance of the "match" for engagement. Practical implications - The implications are that leaders should be educated on engagement, that career development opportunities are particularly important, that performance improvement professional should champion work-life balance, and that initiatives enhancing workplace relationships are likely useful to increase engagement. Originality/value - This paper connects research on various engagement factors, making it easier for performance improvement professional to gain an introductory yet holistic view of the topic.
 
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to consider whether secondary school education is adequately preparing young people for entering into the workplace. Design/methodology/approach – The paper seeks to match the expectations of the employee with the qualities which might be expected in school‐leaver appointees. Findings – The paper suggests there are gaps, but accepts that to date this has not been challenged. Recommends consideration of some components for bridging this area. Originality/value – Implementation would require some new thinking of teaching and presentation, but the benefits could be significant.
 
Purpose - This paper aims to show the value of a direct handling of multicultural issues and some of the details of how to go about motivating a multicultural workforce. Design/methodology/approach - Completely empirical, all based on hard-won experience in several companies although only one is shown here. Findings - The potential gain from properly addressing multicultural issues is huge. Research limitations/implications - This paper provides an empirical, hands-on, front line view of the multicultural situation, not an academic or theoretical view. The information has been tested and works. Originality/value - This paper presents information not otherwise available due to the personal, hands-on experience in this subject by this author.
 
Conference presentations often implore delegates to take human resource development issues seriously - after all, research has clearly shown that people are the key to business success. Moreover, a clear link between business strategy and people management significantly increases the likelihood of this success. This article presents an integrated performance management model that links the future directions of the enterprise with the strategies and competencies required to be effective today and to prepare for the future.
 
Innovation is the constant requirement for the twenty-first century. This comes first from individuals, but must permeate throughout the organisation. There is a new concept of the organisation itself being a learning, evolving organism. Knowledge must be shared freely to give it fuel for that growth. The status traditionally given to people who know a lot needs to be shifted to people who share a lot. This happens spontaneously in a crisis, when people are willing to try anything. We need to retain this willingness day to day. It takes emotional resilience, as change is difficult, and sometimes even seems threatening. The status quo has to be steadily challenged. Diversity is not something to be merely managed, but to be harvested as an essential ingredient for innovation. Leaders have to be behind the workforce, empowering them. Leading from the front is obsolete.
 
The small and medium enterprise (SME) sector is receiving increasing recognition and, as part of this, its human resources needs is a comparatively neglected area. This study of 300 companies consisted of a comprehensive investigation of all aspects of human resources. The focus here is on the training and development aspects. Evidence from the survey itself and the detailed case studies is presented. This shows that training is by no means neglected, although it tends to be hands on rather than theoretical. It is related to both countering competition and the corporate strategy of companies. Management education is a less certain area, and may depend on whether those in charge of companies have themselves been through management education. Suppliers are not invariably in touch with sector needs.
 
In January the Ashridge Management College hosted a novel conference jointly with the Association of Teachers of Management. More than 20 managers, academics and consultants from the UK and overseas, all with an active interest in solving management problems, debated some of the very many research projects currently in progress. After an opening session in which Philip Sadler emphasised the need for high quality, relevant and practical research, most time was in small sessions with researchers whose projects had common themes but who tackled the issues from different perspectives. Since almost all work presented at the conference was based on practical studies within organisations, there was much scope for sharing experience between managers and academics.
 
Purpose of this paper – Aims to consider the two scenarios facing a new manager appointee – the organization chart which outlines assignment of authority in the workplace and the involvement in a work group in which teamwork is advocated. Design/methodology/approach – Advises new managers that though they were appointed to their positions, their recognition as leaders has to be earned by their performance. Findings – Observes that if employees choose not to follow – which is voluntary – the manager will find it very hard to be effective. Originality/value – Emphasises what tends to be overlooked.
 
Purpose – The paper aims to consider how effective time management can lead to improved personal and organisational performance. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on the collective experience of the authors. The relationship between culture and chronicity is explained with reference to working styles. It deals with the notion of time and time span with regard to new technologies, and how these may impact on concentration, face‐to‐face communication and styles of learning. It discusses the importance of effective systems and task management, along with decision making. Finally, the paper addresses time issues pertaining to e‐mail. Findings – The paper finds that the nature of information has changed from face‐to‐face to staring at computer screens. Research shows that over one‐quarter of recipients of e‐mails misunderstood the communication, even where those interacting are close colleagues, while research at three US business schools found that colleagues were more likely to be dishonest with one another when using e‐mail because of the lack of face‐to‐face interaction. Studies have also shown that business teams co‐operate less if they have not talked face‐to‐face. Originality/value – The paper will be of relevance to all those working under time constraints in various cultural settings.
 
Purpose – To investigate practical methods of generating creative thinking in business. Includes De Bono's Six Thinking Hats approach. Design/methodology/approach – To articulate issues and challenges, highlight some of the key techniques and how they work. Also to provide case study evidence to demonstrate measurable benefits of the techniques. Findings – When creative thinking is applied it breaks through fixed thinking patterns but creativity also needs nurturing. Practical implications – Simple techniques can generate new perspectives for people management and problem solving. Originality/value – Stimulates management thinking.
 
We live in an age of change, unbalanced change. One computer generation succeeds another at the virtual drop of a hat. No sooner have we digested the silicon-chip than our appetites are whetted with bio-technology. The rate of technological progress, in the industrialised world is quite shattering. By comparison organisational change is proceeding at a snail's pace. A thousand years ago organisations, that is the church, the government and the army, were formed on hierarchical lines. In other words, there were those who ruled and those who were ruled. Things have changed but slowly since. Our major organizations are still run along largely hierarchical lines. But there are changes in the wind.
 
A review in depth of Policy Studies Issue 13:1 considering the progress made to date by the Training and Enterprise Councils in the UK. It provides an informed and valuable backdrop to the varied and interesting papers which go to make up this special issue. The papers consider the TECs from a variety of perspectives and are themselves considered from the standpoint of an adviser to their Boards and senior management teams. Argues that this critical stage of the TECs is one which is given scant consideration in the publication and that TEC managers are frequently overstretched and under resourced. While this is a common characteristic of work in the 1990s, the committed and hard working managers and staff of TECs should not become political footballs, becoming overburdened by initiative overload but should be permitted to get on with their very important task within a realistic strategic framework.
 
British policy-making has been characterised by a British political scientist. Jack Hayward, as ‘humdrum’. By humdrum he means a policy which is in essence ‘muddling through’. Though seen as a characteristic of liberal democracies, this style of policy-making has taken on an acute form in Britain. Thus, in contrasting the achievements of economic planning in Britain and France, he sees the British approach as ‘toothless tripartism’. This pluralistic paralysis was the result of a belief that administrative and pressure group consensus was a prerequisite to effective planning. Business organisations and trade unions were elevated into ‘corporatist veto groups capable of frustrating public policy’.
 
In my instalment Phoenix 20, in the February issue of this journal, I made some reference to the MSC and the conditions of service of those who staff it. I referred to the fact that the jobs in MSC are seen as reserved, in the main, for career civil servants and that the training specialists recruited from outside the civil service have what many regard as an inferior status and that this inferior status is such as to influence the efficiency of the service offered by MSC. In other contexts and on several other occasions I have referred to the bureaucrats having taken over the training business in the UK:
 
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to help organizations improve the overall effectiveness and utilization of talent management systems, including analysis of the evolution of technology and predictions regarding the next generation of systems, based on trends and organizational needs. Design/methodology/approach – Research for this article is based on over 15 years of research and actual implementation of talent management solutions. Discussions with organizations, analysts and providers provided key input to the findings. The article approaches human capital management globally, holistically and comprehensively. Findings – Results of the research confirmed that organizations still struggle with achieving a high success rate when implementing such systems. Utilization and effectiveness is directly linked to the overall solution, including content and services, as well as the technology. Research limitations/implications – Statistically, the research did not include every industry and nationality. Practical implications – Organisations that are seeking to deploy talent management systems should consider providers that can provide content and service, directly or via partners. The content and services should be examined as part of the overall solution and not post-implementation. Originality/value – Providers of talent management solutions are very fragmented and do not generally take an holistic approach. The concepts outlined in this paper provide human resources management with practical, “best in class”, guidelines for deploying such solutions.
 
Purpose – This paper aims to focus on the development of senior leaders within Abbey, part of the Santander Group. A strong leadership pipeline is essential to feed the succession plans into the executive roles; it is a critical strategic goal to ensure the continued health and strength of the bank. The paper aims to examine the introduction of a development and mobility process designed to achieve this goal and maximise the internal talent at the senior leader level (the “Band D” population). Design/methodology/approach – The paper describes the six stages of the Band D development and mobility process. It covers how each stage is implemented within the organisation, from one‐to‐one interaction with line managers, through to the provision of targeted development opportunities. It explores the critical vehicle of the development and mobility committee; in which Band D leaders are individually “presented” by a sponsoring director. The potential outputs of the committee include on‐job and formal development opportunities and functional or geographic role moves across the bank. The paper also examines the critical next steps. Findings – The paper highlights the qualitative successes of key elements of the new process. It also shows how the process is tracked through key performance indicators to measure the link between the investment and the delivery of tangible business benefits. Originality/value – The paper gives a practical insight into a structured process for developing talent.
 
Mr Walsh has already accumulated a great deal of experience in training for conversion to the new currency. In this article he presents his views on the problems and suggests an action programme.
 
Purpose – The purpose is to present a case study on transformational leadership. Design/methodology/approach – It adopts the 4 I's of Bernard M. Bass, the leadership researcher – individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation and idealized influence. Findings – It emphasizes that leaders have to act according to the situation, with more emphasis on transformational leadership, for motivating their people and institutions to achieve their goals and objectives. Practical implications – It stresses the importance of accepting feedback and making bold decisions, to ensure the longevity of an academic institution and achieve academic excellence. Social implications – It provides an example of a passionate academic leader who leads from the front through his visionary leadership. Originality/value – It describes how to turn around an educational institution through academic leadership.
 
Full-text of this article is not available in this e-prints service. This article was originally published [following peer-review] in Industrial and Commercial Training, published by and copyright Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. Leadership is essential in all organizations and educational institutions are no exception, but the concept of academic leadership is unique in higher education and, arguably, is concerned with leadership that extends beyond the organization into the wider world that higher education institutions seek to serve. Traditional concepts of academic leadership are closely associated with individual excellence. Explores the importance of the contingency model of leadership, which suggests that leadership style might change to accommodate changing and differing environments. The way in which teams function in higher education could be closely matched with the concept of the self-directed team. The concept of the learning organization as an organization which knows how to transform itself to meet changing circumstances defines specific roles for leaders.
 
Purpose – To introduce the framework of accelerated learning and some of the pioneers who have helped to shape it. It also aims to give the reader tips on improving the speed and effectiveness of their learning. Design/methodology/approach – A description of the MESSAGE model and review of research behind it. Practical approach to applying accelerated learning in personal learning and training situations. Findings – Insight into the multiple facets of a very wide subject area. Practical implications – Improvement of learning effectiveness or at least curiosity to find out more. Originality/value – An overview of accelerated learning. Useful for anyone studying or developing training.
 
Purpose – This paper aims to describe a powerful coaching intervention for leadership development. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on the writer's experience as an executive coach working in leadership development. Findings – The Hero's Journey intervention is especially powerful for work at the level of identity, for clients who feel at a deep, personal level that a new (or existing) role is not “really them”. Practical implications – The tool will make it easier to promote staff within an organisation. It will help people with potential, but who have “attitude problems”, to accept responsibility. As a formal process, it needs to be carried out by a professional coach or trainer, though the implications of it are of interest to anyone managing others through (or themselves undergoing) a process of personal change. Originality/value – The process itself is not original to the author, but its use in business coaching is still uncommon. The point of the paper is to stress its ease of use, power and wide range of applications, and to make it more commonly used.
 
“Staff training is one of the most effective ways of gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage.” This, from a current text, is a message which has been handed down for many years, but training does not always equate with learning and without supportive coaching subsequent performance may not be maintained. Training per se will not increase productivity – it is the second step in a continuum leading to the achievement of an objective. If a training specialist, however designated, is involved, the outcome of the required contribution should be defined in measurable terms and the accountability be assigned. The direct manager, however, remains accountable for the operational performance and output of employees.
 
The public debate on Industrial Democracy following the publication of the Bullock Report led me to make two observations. Firstly, it became abundantly clear that there is very widespread support for some kind of movement towards democracy and participation in industry. This appeared to stretch over a wide political spectrum, including Labour, Liberal and Conservative politicians, though excluding the extreme Left and Right. Support was forthcoming from leading trade unionists and the CBI. Various academics and others whose interests concerned industrial relations also seemed anxious to move in the same direction. There were, of course, a few who developed arguments totally opposed to any step towards industrial democracy, but those were clearly very much in a minority, though it should be stated that their reasoning was often difficult to fault. In short, therefore, it appeared that almost all informed opinion was in favour and considered that industrial democracy and participation is A GOOD THING.
 
Seeks to raises questions for consultants and practitioners working in organizational change about the nature of organizational development (OD). Ponders on what characterizes the nature of human resource change capability for South Africa in the 1990s, and how this can be transmitted into management education and training. Concludes with the challenges facing the prototype.
 
The reform of vocational qualifications is now under way. Britain's workforce is seriously underqualified and the need for competence, properly assessed and accredited, and personal qualities, such as attitudes and adaptability, must be met. The National Council for Vocational Qualifications is developing three major thrusts: towards competence, framework (the National Vocational Qualification), and accessibility and progression, giving a wide and more flexible range of learning opportunities.
 
Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger. This idea came about because of the author's involvement in a major training programme, to develop improved communications and sales skills for new employees, in a major UK group operating in the financial sector. Whilst working with this company, he became aware that the mechanisms for giving feedback paid little attention to the needs of programme recipients, or to the context in which the feedback was provided. To address these deficiencies, he started to read more of the material available in this area, and this led him to the conclusion that few of the training programmes he had worked on, in his formative years as a trainer and developer, provided effective feedback. Suggests a model which makes a clear distinction between positive and negative feedback, and between receiving feedback information directly (direct or intrinsic feedback) and indirectly (indirect or extrinsic feedback). Hopes to stimulate debate amongst fellow developers working in this area.
 
Under pressure from modern business conditions and practices, technology is being harnessed to help more people learn more things quicker than ever before – thus enabling them not only to do more things but to do new things, and do them better than would have been the case under the traditional, instructor-led training system. There is a danger, however, that people will fall in love with “technology” and ignore the value of ensuring that e-learning materials cater for learners’ needs and follow the principles of effective instructional design. One of the leading companies in the field of producing custom built e-learning solutions, VEGA Skillchange, outlines both its philosophy and the process it uses to ensure that this is the case. Finally, three case studies – Standard Life, Gartmore Investment Management and DailmlerChrysler – illustrate how e-learning is being used effectively in different contexts to produce competitive advantage.
 
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to share the learning gained from the experiences of The Glenmorangie Company in driving a step change in quality awareness within the business. Design/methodology/approach – The approach is taken in terms of raising standards in the organisation through a competency training and development programme, using a top-down approach to deliver against stretching business targets. Findings – The approach used at The Glenmorangie Company echoes the findings documented in the CIPD research paper “Managing change: the role of the psychological contract”. Practical implications – When considering embarking on any programme requiring a step change in business performance where a change in culture is vital, this approach will enable you to optimise its success, gain employee support to ensure sustainability and improve both employee and business performance. Originality/value – This case study will be of value to all those involved in improving business performance, providing a clear, structured approach to the process of building effective learning interventions based on a clear understanding of the need to change.
 
The MSC's Consultative Document A NEW TRAINING INITIATIVE foreshadows the development of new education and training programmes for young people, particularly the 25 per cent minority who have no school-leaving qualification. From the document it is possible to discern the main outlines of a policy for applying the large sums devoted to special programmes for the unemployed to more permanent schemes of training. These would centre on the Unified Vocational Preparation courses, a test bed for foundation training for young people in employment who are not apprentices and trainees, and extended WEEP projects of up to a year. Already the Chemical and Allied Products ITB, the Ceramic, Glass and Mineral Products ITB and the Rubber and Plastics ITB have taken the initiative in starting up multi-occupation, multi-industry WEEP provisions. Inevitably these schemes are directed at the 16–19 year old but it could be argued that these schemes are too late. There have been some moves like that of the EITB's proposal to extend vocational preparation back into the last years at school and this pattern is common in the schemes in France and Germany which A NEW TRAINING INITIATIVE gives as examples. But it could be that US experience is more helpful.
 
Employee involvement in the design and implementation of industrial training programs often reflects the culture, language and specific managerial interests of those designing the program, as opposed to learner-employees outside the boundaries of the design team. This article provides insight into how some organisations view this issue and what specific tools some are championing to launch programs that will have greater impact and success.
 
Purpose – This paper seeks to reinforce an awareness that the forces driving the business world today have changed quite dramatically in the last few years. Training must respond to this and become more actively involved in the quest for higher productivity. The article also aims to introduce a new factor into long‐range planning. Design/methodology/approach – The paper identifies and describes these changes and discusses possible reactions. Findings – This article expresses a concern that if short‐course programs continue to focus on resolving procedural issues the needs of wider issues today may be down‐played. Originality/value – The paper reiterates that the outcome of a training program should demonstrate the skill/knowledge gain and enhance the motivation to extend it.
 
That naïve piece of legislation, the Redundancy Payments Act of 1965, established the system by which employers pay monetary compensation to employees whom they make redundant, being partly reimbursed from the Redundancy Fund if they satisfy certain conditions. The size of the redundancy payments is related to the rate of pay, length of service with that employer and the age of the claimant. Perhaps artlessly, although in the best traditions of modern employment legislation, provision is made in the Act for appeals to be heard by those busy little bodies, the Industrial Tribunals. This apparently simple and just plan soon headed for problems; the Fund itself did not take long to go into the red and in the tribunals and courts legal technicalities reared their irritating heads. Even in the factories the unexpected happened, for in areas of low unemployment, to be declared redundant sometimes became a privilege; shop stewards demanded that those with the longest service should get the first chance of redundancy on the surprising basis of first in — first out. To study and report upon the working of the Act is a major undertaking and here it is proposed merely to look at some salient aspects which are of particular interest to management in general.
 
Today we are all for Action Learning — just as we are all against Sin. But what is it? What are its dimensions? To what extent has it developed particular and validated techniques? None of these questions is easy to answer and it is therefore illuminating to be taken behind the scenes of the GEC Action Learning experiment in a book published a short while ago entitled ‘More than Management Development’ The book describes the first British version of the exchange model developed by Professor Revans at Brussels, described in his own book ‘Developing Effective Managers’.
 
Action-centred learning (ACL) is a solution for enhancing the intellectual capital in a business. This article shows that ACL can be more effectively targeted by using metrics of excellence. The author’s company has developed cutting-edge metrics to identify gaps of knowledge and skills and identify training needs – an academically very sound process based upon the author’s years of involvement in postgraduate academic work. The article focuses on how ACL has been used for the development of procurement staff, also shows how it can be applied in any functional area of a business and for executive development programmes. Provides examples to show its effectiveness for multi-functional team development. Describes the diagnostic framework, client partnering, the costs, how the metrics are applied, and tailoring of the ACL to clients’ and participants’ specific needs. Feels ACL should be actively considered for inclusion in a training strategy because it offers a tailored, structured approach to self-development.
 
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore and explain the benefits of centring learning and development initiatives around charity projects, whether as part of an organisation's community engagement/corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy and/or as a sensible way to pool internal budgets for practical and identifiable return on investment (community action learning). It also aims to highlight the importance of understanding both the business' and the charities' motivations, expectations and capabilities about the process, in order to maximise success for all parties. Design/methodology/approach – The paper examines the range of benefits of choosing charity or community projects as a “live” vehicle for learning and development, then identifies common misconceptions, assumptions and mismanagement issues concerning the charity project‐learning link, and offers helpful strategies to gain the best outcomes for all parties concerned. Findings – There is a growing interest in the value of action learning, in CSR and community engagement, and in developing leaders who recognise the responsibility for how their business activities impact on society and the environment. However, the option to link them all through charity projects is still under‐utilised, and commonly misunderstood and mismanaged. This paper demonstrates that there are methodologies and best practice that can be employed, by both charities and commercial organisations, which break through preconceived ideas about the concept and gain the best tangible results all round. Originality/value – In times of recession, combining community engagement with solid learning and performance outcomes offers potential cost and resource savings, and ongoing justification for activities which go well beyond traditional “volunteering”. The paper explodes a number of myths and dysfunctional thinking about the business‐charity relationship. In good economic times or bad, this approach helps to weave CSR principles and practice into the mainstream activities of a business. It is an approach that should have particular appeal to organisations keen to develop inspirational leadership which reaches well beyond the office or factory doors.
 
At Kingston Works both parties to this agreement have attempted to evolve an approach to the operation of the plant that is somewhat different from the traditional approach for large industrial organisations. This approach is based on the belief that conscientious employees, properly informed and carrying out their duties in an intelligent manner, are the best assurance of an effective operation from the point of view of our customers, the shareholders of the company and the people who work here. Thus, both parties to this agreement have worked together to set up plant procedures which reflect these convictions and which give freedom to employees to discharge their responsibilities without unnecessary restrictions. This approach, and the response of employees to it, made it possible some years ago to eliminate time clocks. Later on, the traditional hourly pay system was discontinued and since that date all employees at Kingston Works have been paid on a salaried basis. Both parties take pride in the progress that has already been made in developing an improved working climate which benefits both the employees and the company and intend to continue their efforts in this direction during the life of this agreement.
 
This is an account of how the London Borough of Bromley introduced an approach to Management Development based around a performance appraisal mechanism (which they call Performance Review) from autumn 1985 to spring 1986. The need for an improvement in management methods and approaches was inspired by a strong and imaginative paper on “survival management style” published by the Chief Executive in June 1985. This was a time when local government in Britain was thinking very seriously about its right to continue doing what it had traditionally regarded as its own. However, the strong guidelines contained in the Chief Executive's paper were not in themselves capable of getting a common approach to better management started on its own. It needed much more in the way of structure and order, and this is what the management development programme set out to provide.
 
The desirability of shared action on training by employers and trade unions, through a legislated right to training, training plans, training audits and organisationally based training committees, is discussed and recommended by the General Secretary of the TUC to help smooth Britain's path into the 1990s when the EEC's “internal market” will come into being and the school-leavers‘ market will drop by a quarter.
 
Action research has been described as the basic model — underlying most organisation development activities. It is, however, a process which is not too well understood but which apparently offers some promise of effectively applying behavioural science findings to organisational problems whilst at the same time adding to social science knowledge. In this article the history and development of action research is considered; action research is then defined by contrasting and comparing it with pure and applied research and consultancy; finally through an examination of some cases its advantages and limitations in practice are explored.
 
The author, a 57-year-old managing director of a small engineering company, describes why he decided to take an MSc Management by Action Learning, and the benefits he gained. He sets out the processes of the Action Learning Set, and how he and others learned from each other and the tutors.
 
Between the wars leadership style was mainly autocratic and was well suited to the demands of stable structured work patterns. The leader was seen as the expert who was capable of making effective decisions on most work matters since he dealt with a pattern of recurring work problems. At the same time, the educational level of most workers was low and their social values, shaped by the British class system with its emphasis on levels of authority, status and influence, were such that autocratic decisions were accepted without question, indeed expected. During the period 1945 to 1970, the growth of union power was the main force which caused leaders to adopt what could be called the consultative/negotiative style. The aim of consultation was to gain commitment to decisions made by management and resulted in the creation of the so-called works councils. The aim of negotiation, on the other hand, was to reach compromise decisions and resulted in the employment of an army of industrial relations experts, and an explosion in industrial relations procedures and government legislation. Now, as we are moving towards tomorrow's world, we are entering a new phase.
 
Top-cited authors
Steven Appelbaum
  • Concordia University Montreal
Angappa Gunasekaran
  • Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg
Amy Glass
  • BRODY Professional Development
Carole Tansley
  • Nottingham Trent University
Usha Lenka
  • Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee