a) Distinguish between the concepts of training, development and education. b) “Training is a management process intended to ensure that control is effectively maintained and that the position of management is confirmed.” Discuss this statement. a) Education: activities which aim at developing the knowledge skills, moral values and understanding required in all aspects of life rather than a knowledge skill related to only a limited field of activity (Armstrong; 1991; p 414) Training: planned on the part of an organisation to increase job knowledge and skills, or to modify the attitudes and social behaviour of its members in ways consistent with the goals of the organisation and the requirements of the job (Lardy & Trumbo, 1976, p. 222). Development: the growth or realisation of a person’s ability, through conscious or unconscious learning (Armstrong, 1991, p.
414). All three, although they are different they contain certain common characteristics. For example, they all include learning. The way to differentiate them is to understand to which degree they are job orientated and how broad or specific is the range of skills they refer to.
Starting with education it is less orientated and more general. Education is also, concerned with a long-term prospect of the person involved. It is concerned with all aspects of life rather than a specific skill or activity. Whereas training although it is offering knowledge, it is more skill orientated and it is directed to specific activities or range of activities. Therefore, it is concerned with the short-term prospects of the person. On the other hand, development is less specific and is concerned with the long-term view.
It has to do not only with the “acquisition of broader knowledge and skills” (Brown & Moburg, 1980, p. 397), but also with the individual growth as essential distinguishing feature of development as Warre is putting it (Warren, 1969). So, we see that education, training and development are overlapping and contain each other partially. A way to understand this concept better is to use an example. In a Master Degree, the student is educated, learning through lectures on different subjects.
Then, he / she is going through learning experiences, like case studies, and directed, specialised to achieve effective performance in certain tasks. But he / she also, has to achieve “individual growth” (Warren, 1969). This is happening through the necessity to be creative and construct his / her own ideas and critique for certain thoughts. For example, every student has to write essays describing his / her own ideas rather than copying somebody else’s work. So, as in the Master Degree in the other parts of the persons’ progress all of the three exist, but probably in different proportions. For example, primary, secondary and undergraduate education put more weight on education and training and less in development.
As the person is going through the process of self improvement, the balance is changing towards training and development rather than education, as it happens in the Master Degrees. Therefore, education, training and development can be seen as parts of one process, which puts appropriate weight on every part, depending on the situation of the individual. b) In order to see if the statement “Training is a management process intended to ensure that control is effectively maintained and that the position of the management is confirmed” is true, we have to try to understand how training is seen from the point of employees, the organisation, and the management; furthermore, try to emphasise the political side of the statement as there is little doubt that politics in an organisation plays a very important role. As we said in the first part, training is “planned activities on the part of the organisation to increase job knowledge and skills, or to modify the attitudes and social behaviour of its members in ways consistent with the goals of the organisation and the requirements of the job” (Lardy & Trumbo, 1976, p. 222).
And according to the Oxford Dictionary of current English Control is “the power of directing or restraining. Generally, in my view, there are certain factors which are taken into consideration in order for training to take place. The ability of the subordinates to be trained, the motivation of them to be trained, the potential benefits to them it can provide and motivation; for example, new qualifications can give promotion and financial rewards to the individuals paired with prestige. And for the firm, his / her higher performance can bring higher returns to the organisation. Also, the prestige that the organisation is offering high quality training and is looking after its employees is beneficial to the company. Another very important result of training is the stabilisation of the organisation through the teaching of the expected behaviour patterns.
From the employees point it can be said that training can be a self satisfying experience giving the sense that the employee can still learn and through training and he / she can contribute to the organisation. The training’s main purpose is supposively to make the employees perform more effective. Of course, one can argue that the trainee is expecting that higher performance is followed by higher financial rewards. In order for the employees to take part in the training, which will lead to this rewards, they have to have certain characteristics that the management is setting as necessary in order to be selected for training.
At this point, the management is exercising a kind of control on who is having access on training. Basically, the employees need to possess certain skills, characteristics and capacity (skills) that the future post will demand. As the selection of the people for training is made, at the end by the management, the management’s formal and informal contact with the employees is going to influence the final selection. As this fact is known by the employees, they will try to be “accepted” by the management, following their views and try to confront with the opinions without risking any kind of confrontation leading to “misbehaving” in the eyes of the management. So there is a self-control imposed on the employees in order to be identified as good employees by the management and be accepted as trainees. After the training process begins the employees start to modify their “attitudes, knowledge or skill behaviour in order to achieve effective performance in an activity (s) ” (Armstrong, 1991, p 414).
So accept the acquisition of new skills and knowledge the patterns of behaviour are changing as well. The trainees are also receiving directions on what it is acceptable and what is not, (e. g. attitudes, practises and objectives), how things work and what is the line of the management, in the firm in the new position they will have after training take place. So the employees in order to succeed in their training they are conforming with the norms and behaviour patterns of their organisation Based on what has been said control is maintained on the employees from the management in the following terms; firstly there is control on how they behave and perform before training takes place, as they try to comply with the managers demands so that they can have access to training. Secondly, they are subject to control as they go through training, because they have to accept the performance standards, the behavioural patterns and new skills that the management is setting so that they can succeed in their training.
In effect the control is maintained by the organisation on the employees, because the organisation can provide the financial rewards and the prestigious positions to the employees. And the way to have access to these is to accept its practices, objectives and power relations within it, and a fast way to learn, as an employee, and understand them is training in the organisation. If now we consider the management’s prospective, there is a number of points to take under consideration, concerning training. First of all managers need to provide training to their employees for the good of their organisation.
As Warren argues training “is a measurable increase of improvement in a persons contribution to the organisational goals” (Warren, 1969, p 2). In order for the manager to control their improvement of a persons contribution, training is a good measure. For instance when new technology is introduced, training is necessary so the employees can familiarise and be more effective in using the new technology. The same can happen when new ideas need to be introduced for the management of the organisation in order to remain competitive when the environment is changing. Here the managers need to go through training so that they will be more effective under the new conditions they operate.
As we talked about before, in the course of training, employees parallel to the acquisition of new skill and knowledge they modify their behaviour patterns and attitudes to the norms and the attitudes that the organisation is identifying with. At this point the manager is responsible to control not only their performance but their behaviour in relation to the function of the organisation as well. The manager is responsible and control what the training program consists off in terms of knowledge, skills and what messages on attitudes and behaviour are getting through to the employees. The messages that are getting through are most probably influenced by the personal objectives and ideas of the management.
It is only natural that the management, except from looking out for the good of the organisation, will try to preserve its own position in the hierarchy of the organisation. Therefor the management will try to create a situation of stability in the organisation, where there is no challenge or confrontation with the management by the subordinates. As we talked before the management is responsible for the selection of trainees, having the control on who is going to train, and have better prospects and subsequent promotions and financial rewards. Therefor the management will try to choose subordinates who except having the formal qualifications, skills and knowledge for instance, will be in good terms with the management. Subordinates which are “different (better) from the rest and yet be able to fit with superiors (Stephen Borrow, 1995, lecture notes on Politics, p 1).
That is to say, managers exercise control over the selection process, taking under consideration not only abilities related to the potential to contribute to the organisation but considering also if the future trainees are to the personal liking of the managers and would not challenge the authority of the managers later on. While training takes place the management will try to implant its ideas. Putting forward ideas and objectives that are the management’s, parallel to the other aspects of tainting such as the introduction of new skills and concepts concerning for example new technology or environmental issues. As a result the employees will have to comply and accept at least partially these ideas in order to get through training. As a result at the end of training the employees will be more effective on their tasks and at the same time they will be complying with the position of the management, and the norms of the organisation as a whole. We can conclude that the management is using training as a control process in order to achieve better performance from its employees and preserve its position in the hierarchy in the organisation.
Through the modification of the ideas and behavioural patterns of the employees that training is offering. If now we try to analyse how the organisation is viewing training, we have to take into consideration the reasons why training is important for the organisations employees. as we discussed before training is necessary in an organisation to improve the employees performance (e. g. introduction to new technologies) and implant them with the notion of “how things are getting done” in the particular organisation. Placing control over their actions and behaviour in order to check on their performance and their harmonically co-existance with the other parts of the organisation.
Or according to D. T & L. H “to increase the new recruits awareness of the rules, improving self confidence and self discipline… reduce risk of safety offences, negligible or unreliability” (D. Torringhton & L.
Hall, Personnel Management, 1993, p 539). In effect In other words it is also used to orientate the employees in the power / political interactions that take place between people at work. Therefore as we have seen already training is also a method of controlling except performance, the interaction s of the people within the organisation. This can also be translated as keeping a stability in the organisation and confirming the position of the employees, management and the relations between these two groups. Looking back now on the way employees, management and the organisation is viewing training, we can conclude that there is control maintained through training in certain ways through training. First of all before even training begins, the employees are experiencing control through the selection process.
Where they have to conform to the expectations of the selectors, the management. During the training process they are complying with the messages that they receive. Which messages are for the benefit of their senders, the organisation and its management. When the employees are going through the process and after they conform with the management’s views in order to advance in the organisation. And in effect they are confirming the management’s position. Then the statement- given, can be said that is true, in terms of, training is used as a control filter on performance and behaviour, and to confirm the position of the management as such.
REFERENCES: … Landy, F J & Trumbo, D A, (1976), “Psychology of Work Behaviour”, Dorsey Press… Oxford Dictionary of Current English, 1989, Oxford Press… Warren MW, (1969), “Training For Results.”.. Borrow S. (1995), Lecture notes on ” Politics .”..
D. Torringhton and L. Hall, (1993), ” Personnel Management .”.. Brown WD and Moburg, DJ, (1980) “Organisation Theory and Management, XLV (365) “.