These new practices rely upon the idea that performance depends not only on hard and attenuating work of the personnel, but also on such essential characteristics as competence and ability to learn and develop. Despite seeming simplicity, the problem of effective learning and development of employees is exceptionally complex, and if a company fails to properly, effectively and continuously train and educate its human resources in the right areas of the business, at the right time and at the right cost, serious inefficiencies are likely to arise. This will inevitably result in considerable operational difficulties and sometimes may even lead to failure of the organisation (Buckle & Caple, 2004). Information, knowledge, and skills have already become the key aspects of new economic environment (Guest, 1987). As a result, modern organizational studies place increasingly distinct emphasis on issues associated with learning and development of personnel.
An effective HRD programme should be built around three basic theoretical concepts: organizational development change, leadership development, and individual, group and organizational learning (Reid, Barrington & Brown, 2004). ...
In the past, learning focused primarily on individuals: people worked in large bureaucracies or assembly lines and, consequently, the goal of learning under such circumstances was training of the skills required for their functioning. However, since approximately three decades ago the focus of learning in organisations started to shift from individuals to groups and, what was even more important, the meaning underlying the concepts of 'learning', 'training' and 'development' transformed dramatically. Scholars began to perceive these constructs as continuous rather than occasional while the purpose and the process of learning were also reformulated and recognised as vital for effective organizational performance (Harrison, 2005).
The existing research in organizational learning available up to date demonstrates that there are at least three major things adult learners need to know:
- What will be learned;
- How the learning will be conducted;
- Why the new knowledge will be of any value (Knowles, 1984).
The need to know about these three aspects strongly affects employees' motivation to learn, outcomes of learning, and motivation to use new knowledge. Normally, five phases of organizational learning are identified in the literature:
The first phase involves full analysis of the organizational needs, identification of the goals which, when reached, will equip employees with knowledge and skills to meet the organization's needs (Buckley & Caple, 2004). The first questions to be asked in the analysis phase are "Is there a need for training" and "If something is wrong, is it caused by a performance problem that training will fix"
In the analysis phase the responsibilities/duties required at a certain position are identified and