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Article example - Trainingâ€™s Woeful Countenance
Pages 2 (502 words)
Kopp and Katie P. Desiderio explore the flawed physiognomic sales training manuals of the past. By pointing out that these manuals but reflect the prevalent environment, the authors make the reader aware of the need to…
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The objective of the article is to use this exploration to emphasize that all contemporary training outcomes and interventions, mediated by Human Resource Development, should conform to ethical standards. Kopp and Desiderio successfully highlight the fallacious reasoning behind the physiognomy-based training manuals of the last century and sound a wake-up call for a critical evaluation of all contemporary training methods.
Kopp and Desiderio draw the reader’s attention to several training manuals of the last century which are founded on the folk science of physiognomy, such as J. A. Hargrave’s Secrets of Selling, F.B. Goddard’s The Art of Selling, Ford Products and Their Sale and the Merton Method of linking physiognomic traits to job performance. The authors cite several of the axioms of this approach, which associate customer buying with the appearance of the face, or the shape of the skull: a Jew’s nose is acquisitive; a pointed chin is a mark of cunning; a broad forehead denotes idealism; a receding forehead indicates idealism. By this method, Kopp and Desiderio create a consensus among readers that “the sales training manuals that relied on physiognomy for their training techniques were at best, by today’s standards, politically incorrect and, at worst, blatantly bigoted, exploiting historical stereotypes” (2009, p. 136). The authors differentiate between the use of physiognomy in America as a tool to increase sales, and its use in Europe as an instrument to advance the agenda of racial discrimination. Having firmly established their case as to the illegitimacy of physiognomic traits as the foundation of training, the authors go on to interpret the implications in terms of contemporary practices in training and development.
Kopp and Desiderio make the reader aware that the now discounted physiognomic influence which pervaded training in the early twentieth century was but ...
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