A customised version of Integrated Management Process (IMP) used by SAB to set the ball rolling relies on the same set of principles, techniques and practices as the case study demonstrates.
Evidently, 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 the visible simplicity, the problem of effective training and development of employees faced by SAB during the attempt to solidify and further reinforce their market positions was exceptionally complex. A failure to properly, effectively and continuously train and educate the human resources in the right areas of the business, at the right time and at the right cost would have inevitably result in serious inefficiencies, considerable operational difficulties and even collapse of the organisation (Buckle & Caple, 2004).
In order to evaluate the programme implemented by SAB one must be aware of the basic theoretical principles an effective programme must rely upon. An effective SHRD programme should be built around three basic theoretical concepts: organizational development change; leadership development; individual, group and organizational learning (Reid, Barrington & Brown, 2004). Although IMP focuses primarily on business planning, communication and performance management processes, the key element of the company's transformation was apparently learning since new skills and attitudes were required.
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 began to shift from individuals to groups, and, what was even more important, the meaning underlying the constructs 'learning', 'training' and 'development' transformed dramatically. Scholars started conceiving 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). Such continuous perception of learning as the key element of business transformation was probably the main factor of SAB's success: heavy investments in learning and development to support change turned systematic rather than being occasional. The systematic approach toward training, learning and development of employees emphasises such crucial element of the process as continuity while the earlier perspectives often viewed the process as linear and discrete with clearly defined beginning and end (Armstrong, 1996).
Systematic approach to organizational development implies clearly identification of what employees should know and how they should act to be effective at a particular job; it also ensures that employees are adequately prepared in terms of the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to fulfil their responsibilities (Kenney & Reid, 1994). Such systematic strategy implemented by SAB helped managers and supervisors get