Advantages and Disadvantages of Organizational Models for Training
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Training can be considered as an inherent factor in the success of any given organization. According to Noe (2013), training can be referred to as a “planned effort by the organization to facilitate the learning of job-related competencies, knowledge, skills, and behaviors by employees” (pp.8). Development, on the other hand, can be described as the process in which an individual pursue growth opportunities that will help prepare them for their future. The aim of the training and development is to enable employees to enhance their quality and transfer what they would have learned in this process into their daily activities, which cause the organization to benefit from not only gaining a competitive advantage but also a reduced rate of turnover, among many others benefits. As such, the training department or whichever department that is responsible for the training function in any given firm can be considered as a critical department. There are many organizational models for training and development that are used as a means of providing structure, insight, and relevance specific initiatives that will align with a firm’s business strategy. Three popular models can include the corporate university model, the business-embedded model, and the change perspective model. Noe (2013) indicated that businesses are now gravitating toward the use of the business-embedded and corporate university model as they are valuing human capital and consider training as part of the learning system designed with the purpose of creating and sharing knowledge. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to discuss the aforementioned models as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
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The corporate university model which is also known as corporate training university/corporate university is a model that takes into consideration all stakeholders (both internal and external) that have vested interest in the business. This model is a tool that organizations use as a means of meeting their goals and objectives by facilitating employee learning and development. Ilyas (2017) indicated that “it is set up by a corporate organization as an in-house educational entity to serve as a strategic tool for achieving its objectives” (pp.87). The model is widely used, facilitates emerging market trends through the training and development of employees and is known to improve an organization’s revenue and profit, customer service, employee productivity, efficiency and retention as well as spurs cost reduction. However, it does not only impart new skill set for employees; it instills corporate values, history, leadership skills, culture and philosophy among others. El-Tannir (2002) describes it as “a function or department in the company that develops the skills for employees and integrates them into the strategic orientation of the corporation with strong emphasis on leadership and improved work-related performance” (pp.77). In the creation of a corporate university, there are nine distinct steps that are to be followed. The first step that should be undertaken is that of senior managers and business managers forming a governing body for the purpose of developing a vision for the university. The second step involves linking the vision statement to the business strategy while the third step deals with deciding on the funding sources. Assessing the degree to which the training will be centralized is that of the fourth step. The fifth step involves the identification of the university’s needs. The sixth and seventh step deals with the development of product and service and the selecting of learning partners respectively. The development of a strategy and utilization of technology to train employees entails the eighth step. The final and ninth step involves linking learning that occurs as a result of the corporate university with performance improvement (Noe, 2013, pp.92-93).
The corporate university model can provide many advantages for an organization’s learning effort. By the provision of a clear mission and vision for learning and aligning them with that of the business needs, the model can help make learning more strategic. As stated above corporate universities impart culture and values, therefore it can ensure that emphasis is placed on their inclusion in the learning curriculum for organizations that possess strong business cultures and values. In addition to this, it can maximize the benefits of learning while controlling costs. This can be done through the provision of consistent training activities, the dissemination of the best learning practices throughout the company, using technology in an effective manner to support learning, evaluation of the impact that learning has on employees and business results as well as the establishment of partnerships to develop training and degree programs. On the other hand, the model yields some disadvantages. The building and maintaining of a corporate is an expensive endeavor, therefore excessive costs are incurred to ensure functionality. Focus and the delivery of the program become poor and the best training practices are not shared. Apart from this, the training practices that are used are inconsistent and the training lack integration or coordination (Noe, 2013, pp.89).
The Business-embedded model is one that focuses on the controlling of training costs but heavily on training alignment. Its main objective is the provision of direction alignment of training with the current business environment as well as organizational needs. It is characterized by five competencies which are inclusive of strategic direction, product design, structural versatility, product delivery and accountability for results. The strategic direction, the first competency, clearly sets out the needs, objectives, and goals of customers that are to be met so that the training program can be customized accordingly and continuously improved. Hasan, Jameel & Subhani (2011) posits that “a strategic direction of a company should clearly communicate its objectives of training and ultimately provide solutions that could cater to the real needs of the customer” (pp.238). The training program design, the second competency, involves a series of steps with the acronym ‘ADDIE’ which include assessing training needs and ensuring employee readiness-the analysis process; creating instructional objectives, ensuring transfer of training and developing an evaluation plan-the design and development stage; selecting and using a training method-the implementation stage and monitoring and evaluating the program-the evaluation step. Hasan, Jameel & Subhani (2011) indicated that it is very important to ensure that the training objectives and needs that the company aims to develop are well understood prior to the designing of a training program (pp.239). Training program structural versatility, the third competency, takes into consideration as the name suggest, the program’s ability to adapt to different activities. In developing the structure for an effective program it is important that all the relevant parties are involved and it must be ensured that the program is flexible enough to facilitate changes as per the training audience so that trainees can receive the best and contribute the best to the organization. Training delivery, the fourth competency, deals with the manner in which the content of the program is executed. It must be noted that the success of the program depends on the delivery methods employed. Therefore, as Hasan et al. (2011) rightfully suggested “the training needs to be executed in a manner that gives employees the information, skills, and motivation that they need to aid your organization in the achievement of its strategic goals” (pp.239). The fifth competency, accountability for results, focuses on the evaluation component of the training program. Evaluation methods should be determined on the basis of the goals of the training program and should meet the demands of the various stakeholders that are involved (the training division, employees and other business units). The administers of the training program are accountable for what the employee learn from the program and are also accountable for ensuring that the employees transfer their knowledge to their daily work performance.
The advantages of this model include allowing companies to gain benefits of centralized training programs; ensuring that the training can provide programs, content and delivery methods that meet the needs of specific businesses; better control of the cost of the training program as well as the program’s structure; the model is customer-focused and takes more responsibility for learning and evaluating the training program’s effectiveness. The model also has a few disadvantages. A strategic direction that fails to clearly communicate the objectives of the training and provide customized solutions that cater to the customer needs makes it impossible to strategically align or arrange training and development with business needs. Failure to conduct thorough needs analysis (very time consuming) can lead to poor training delivery and failure of the program to correspond with business goals and objectives. In addition to this, training evaluation, a costly and time-consuming practice, is sometimes avoided. However, if avoided, this can lead to a waste of resources in inadequate activities; the effects of the company’s investment would be unknown as well as any changes that may have possibly risen. As a result, improvements then become a difficult task.
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Change is inevitable but important and occurs for a number of reasons. As Richards (2019) rightfully stated “Change is important in organizations to allow employees to learn new skills, explore new opportunities and exercise their creativity in ways that ultimately benefit the organization through new ideas and increased commitment” (para.6). The change model perspective is one that seeks to help in the identification of potential areas that may yield resistance and implement strategies that will reduce or eradicate the resistance prior to the commencement of the change process. There are four conditions that are necessary for a change to occur which include: employees must understand why change is necessary and agree with those reasons given for why the change must take place; employees must have the skills that are relevant for the implementation of the change; employees must see that managers and other employees in powerful positions are modeling behaviors that represent and support the change and organizational structures must support the change (Noe, 2013, pp.96). Change has never been and would never be easy for employees and by extension managers, which gives rise to the likelihood of resistance. Therefore, with regards to training and development practices and their implementation, it is essential that the likelihood of their acceptance is increased and that change-related problems are addressed. In regard to the advantages, the change model provides effective means of measuring how individuals manage change and the necessary interventions that may be most useful. It also helps create an effective communication strategy and provide clarity regarding the roles of different professionals and when they are required in the change process. The model provides the opportunity to develop new and improved competencies, behaviors and knowledge. Apart from this, it creates an intention for change which enables the people that are involved in the change to consider their role in the process and be accountable for their own transition (Change Management Coach, n.d., pp.1). However, the change model can also pose some disadvantages which include managers and employees possessing not much control over resources based on the change initiated. Additionally, managers and employees may even gain control over processes in which they have never been a part of in the past. Managers can even lose their ability to influence employees in instances when employees gain more access to resources and information which makes them become more autonomous.
- Change Management Coach. (n.d.). A change management model is an essential planning tool. Retrieved from https://www.change-management-coach.com/change-management-model.html.
- El-Tannir, A.A. (2002). The corporate university model for continuous learning, training and development. Education and Training, 44(2), 76-81.doi: 10.1108/00490910210419973.
- Hasan, S.A., Jameel, O.R., & Subhani, M.I. (2011). Effect of business embedded & traditional training models on motivation. Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, 4(5), 236-244.
- Ilyas, M. (2017). Making of a corporate university model: Transition from traditional training to learning management system. Journal of Education and Practice, 8(15), 85-90.
- Noe, R.A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th edition). New York: Mc Graw Hill.
- Richards, L. (2019). Why is change important in an organization? Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/change-important-organization-728.html#:~:targetText=Change Means Growth Opportunities, new ideas and increased commitment.
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