Learning and Change in
Organisations

 

Learning and development is crucial in every company for growth
and improvements. By implementing learning and development this will allow PEL
to identify, anticipate and subsequently react to change. From my reading of the
case study I have identified that PEL are facing a multitude of challenges that
need immediate attention to ensure the company continues to grow and improve.
Susan Sparrow has been appointed to provide advice and support to chief
executive Graheme Evans.

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After analysing the case study, there are many challenges
facing PEL which need to be addressed immediately. Management, the admin staff
and the production team will need development.  In this particular case, it is evident staff are fearful of
new things and as result the organistaion should introduce Performance Appraisal  as (Harrison
2009)  outlines   that performance appraisal has the potential
for establishing the extent to which performance problems exist, and wheather
some form of development will help overcome the problem.

It is
evident in this case that the production team need development. As a result of
outdated technology managers need to introduce new technology. ( Garavan & Hogan
&  Cahir-O’Donnell 2003 ) outline
how changes in technology will have significant impacts on training and
development. (Garavan et al.2003) explain
that  technology change impacts the organisation in
various ways including understanding the kind of impact the system has on the
role with the organisation, identifying  the importance of the nature of new working
practices required for the system and the timing involved. New technology
developments are crucial for this organisation and (Garavan
et al.2003)explain how it will determine the reaction of the employees
to the system, accepting that they need training, being aware of the role of
the “computer department” and its interaction with staff, accepting complete
commitment to the systems adoption and usage and its complete efficiency and
effectiveness. Managers should plan training activities aimed at producing
maximum attainment of objectives. New demands in the workplace need to be
addressed by appropriate Training and Development.

 

CAREER DEVELOPMENT –MANAGERS

In this particular case,
there are no opportuinities for progression. As a result the organisation
should implement a career management structure. Managers should have the opportunity
to move onto senior roles such as becoming middle manager or senior manager. By
using competency profiles this enables current managers to focus on certain
knowledge and skills required for more senior roles. They are a mix of
corporate competencies, core management competencies and personal competenecies
for career aspirations. Current managers can also take part in formal development
methods such as training courses, management education programmes. In this
organisation, managers should have the opportunity to take part in job
inconcruity from 6 months to 2 years.  Managers
should be informed about what job routes are available, whether job profiles are
available and  gain advice on career
progression.

 

There is evidence from this
case that as a result of challenges within the organistaion such as
repercussions, reward/pay being the only motivator, a lack of flexibility and
no shared vision amongst the workplace managers need to train in performance
and reward management.
As a result this will increase consumer demand and enables the
manufacturing team to perform better.

 

It is evident in the case that the managers are using an autocratic style of management in which employees
don’t participate in making any decisions in which theres no shared vision 
and they deal with constant pressure to reach
financial targets.  A key group in
this organisation that I feel is detrimental to the overall success of the
business is the managers. As a result mentoring and coaching is the most cost
effective development for the managers. Mentoring
focuses on the longer term development of the person. The most widely used
definition as Kram 1985 (cited in Stewart 1983, p608)
describes is “the relationship between a young adult and an older, more
experienced adult that helps the younger individual learn to navigate in the
adult world and the world of work. A mentor supports, guides and counsels the
young adult as he or she accomplishes this important task” Benefits that exist
where mentoring are reported consist of being persuasive in diverse fields such
as business, nursing, education, Accounting, law engineering and others  and as Ghosh 2012
(cited in Stewart 2014,  p107) decribes
what’s crucial to mentoring success is the “development of the relationship
between mentor and mentee as this is often considered to be more connected to
“friendship” . This is not the same as coaching. However,
(Kram 1983) has
identified serious impacts on the relationship and outcome on individuals after
undertaken research assessing the role of personality traits and mismatches in
mentoring. The purpose of Coaching is to
guide individuals on their current job in making decisions or carrying out work
activities and according to Whitmore 1996 (cited in
Garavan et al., 2010,p.401) describes it as “unlocking a person’s potential
to maximise their performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching
team” Coaching aims to help individuals in their current role and enable them
to develop the skills for their role which results in being more autonomous and
effective in the role. Compared to the definition and role of a mentor, coaches
are still seen as a more experienced and more knowledgeable person. Based on
the (2004 CIPD Training and development survey)(cited
in Stewart & curaton) coaching had the overall largest increase in
organisations(51%), followed by e-learning(47%)
and then mentoring or buddy systems(42%) . As a result managers should adopt a
coaching management style. Coaching is extremely effective in supporting
individualised personal development and career coaching which supports people
on the job and within leadership and personal development

In this case it would be effective if managers adopted a
blended approach to learn and maximise effectiveness in the workplace. A
blended approach involves e-learning and (Garavan
et al,.2009) describes different types of e-learning including
webinars(live-learning) that involves live internet-based education. E-learning
can be useful for certain types of training or education that doesn’t
necessarily involve face to face interaction. And allows organisations to adopt
a tell style approach in the delivery of the content.  E-learning has many   benefits  for the organistaion  and (Garavan et,
al,.2009) outlines how it can access large numbers and various locations
simultaneously. Other benefits(Garavan et al,. 2009)
outlines are how sessions can be taped and archived, it is a cost
effective approach in that it is used in larger numbers and its wide usage. By
using a
blended approach according to Stewart et
al,. (2011,p.209) describe how “blended learning refers to the approach
where new media are combined with traditional face-to-face training as part of
a ‘blended approach’

 

By keeping an autocratic style of management it will be
difficult for the organisation to achieve what they want. In this particular
case, it is evident that no one is taking responsibility for the development of
the managers. Managers have adopted a closed system approach to management
development. The characteristics of a closed system approach identified by ( Beardwell &  Claydon 2007) which is evident in this
case is how there is no management infrastructure,
a lack of responsibility for management development, development focuses on the
needs of the organistaion and not the individual needs and aspirations. In
addition, in this case a controlling culture is illustrated and there is a lack of flexibility.  By adopting an open-system approach ( Beardwell et al,.2007) describes how this
approach will overcome many of the problems associated with the closed system
approach which is identified in this particular case by looking at the
management development in isolation. It is essentially an integral part of the
wider organisational system and (Beardwell et
al.2007) outline how this approach views management development as a
system and a process which is composed of identifiable parts or components that
act together in an organised way. It would be an effective way in changing
technology, the culture of the organisation, the way in which work is done, and
the style of management which is used in this case.

In this
particular case the organisation want to grow and improve quality etc. As a
result of this managers can rotate roles, combine some
mentoring and coaching. Job
rotation is the movement around a number of jobs to build experience across job
roles.

 

Creating a Training Plan

In this
particular case, it is essential to conduct a training needs analysis. It is
crucial that the organisation perform a training needs analysis and Stewart & Sidhu (2012, p.99) describe how this
will enable “an organisation to identify areas of development(weaknesses) and
how these may lead to business threats which can have a significant impact on
performance, as well as surfacing areas of strengths which can be utilised to
sustain business performance. Firstly an organisation need to identify gaps in
performance that need training. However, conducting a training needs analysis
is both time consuming and expensive and (Garavan et al,. 2009) describes how an analysis
of training needs at this level will provide top management and training
specialists with good quality data on training and development. In this case,
it is recommended that the organistaion involve senior management, staff and
team managers in conducting a training needs analysis.

Developing
the learning content

There are errors in conducting a training programme that organistaions
need to be aware of and Garavan et al,. (2003, p.202-205)
outlines how training may not be aimed at the target audience, there can be a
wrong medium of presentation, insufficient preparation and poor pacing. In
addition there may be bad timing of the learning event, poor organistaional
linkage and the organisation may adopt only a tell style. Training methods vary
and a didactic stratedgy is decribed by Garavan et
al,.1995( 1997 p.589) something that that “provides the ‘nuts and bolts’
information e.g lectures or classes. There are theories and linkage of
information and content. Whereas, an inductive stratedgy is learning through discovery,
using methods such as exercises, projects, brainstorming and workshop-type
activities and working through problems. For this organisation it is advisable that they combine both on the job
and off the job training using a blended approach. According to Glaister&Holden&Griggs
(2013 p166-169) (cited in stewart et al,. 2014)  By using role plays this allows trainees to
enact a role they may have to play at work, for example interviewing a customer
or negotiating an agreement. The organisation may also employ other trainees or
actors to play the role of significant others to enchance credibility. Group
dynamics enable managers to carry out a simulated exercise and then behaviour
is examined, for example group descision making, intergroup conflict,
intragroup communication. It is essential that the organistaion looks at the sequence
and timing of their training plan. It should be in a logical order and as Garavan et al,.( 2003 p.122) describes how it should “proceed from
the practical or concrete to the more abstract or theoretical”

 

Evaluation

Bye evaluating training the organisation can assess peoples
reaction levels and wheather they are content with the training. In addition, Garavan et
al,. (2003,p.491) describes that for the organistaion it “determines
wheather or not the programme has achieved its agreed objectives. It can also
provide you with information to assess the overall cost-effectiveness and return
on investment. Evaluation also supports the transfer the learning back into the
work enviornemnt”

The Kirkpatrick Model

By measuring four dimensions of outcome; reaction ,learning,
behaviour and results this model is used frequently in organistaions. In relation
to learning (Garavan, Hogan et al,.(1993 p. 494/5) outline
learning criteria measures “whether participants have observed the concepts or
content of the training. The concern is with measuring actual learning achieved
within the event” By observing behaviour organisations should look at whether the
trainee has learned the relevant concepts. This criteria will be concerned with
any changes initiated by the learning events in terms of job behaviour and performance.
Results will then measure the business impact of the programme. Organisations
should monior work output, and perform performance
Appraisal reports.

 

There can be many potential benefits of organisational
learning. In this particular case the organisation is resistant to change.  The Organisation should perform a multistage
process in which (Harper & Row et al,.1951)
cited in ( Lewin 1951)  uses unfreezing
which is a process by which people become aware of the need for change. Change
should illustrate a movement from the old way of doing things to a new way.
Finally the organisation should use the process of refreezing which makes new
behaviours relatively permanent and resistant to change. The organisation can
create new vision and stratedies or introduce a new company direction. The organisation
needs to considerwhat changes are needed to achieve these goals such as the
structure of the organisation and new skill sets for managers and staff,
introducing new technology.  In this
case, there is no organisational structure and as a result resistance to change
leads to cultural change. Change has an impact on culture and Chatman & Cha cited in (Mullins 2005,p.898-Chapter 22)
suggests that the following tools for leaders to develop, manage, and change
culture are recruitment
and selection, social tools and training and reward systems.  In this case in particular the organisation needs
to look at change agents both internally and externally. Consultants may be
brought in from OD,HR,Training and development. In addition according to( Smither et al,. 1996) outlines the effect of managers being appointed to launch
an OD effort or intervention in which their level in the organisation may give
them credibility. Other examples include appointing leaders as change agents
and utilising informal change agents such as supporters,popular people and
networkers. In this case, the organisation can being in external change agents
which according to (Smither et al,.1996) tend to be from consulting firms or
specialist OD firms.  When looking at the
potential benefits these agents can bring to this organisation Smither et al.( 1996,p.67) outlines that external change agents have the
credibility as an expert, there’s no negative history with organisational members.
In addition, they can be an objective outsider and have a wide experience of
organisations and OD.  By using internal
agents  they already have the credibility
as being an insider and ( Smither et al,.
1996) outlines how they
know the people, the norms and the culture of the organisation. In addition,
they have already established personal relationships with organisation members,
they know the organistaions technology and they are continuously available to organisational
members.

The organisation will need
to consider wheather they are going to change performance management. In
addition, the process of recruitment and selection will change as the business
has now evolved in both organisational structure and new company objectives.
Study policies will allow further education.

 

 

 

Bibliography

Stewart,
J. and Rigg, C., 2011. Learning and talent
development. Kogan Page Publishers.

 

Stewart,
J. and Cureton, P.J. eds., 2014. Designing,
Delivering and Evaluating L&D: Essentials for Practice. Kogan
Page Publishers.

 

 

Garavan, T.N., Hogan, C. and Cahir-O’Donnell, A., 2003. Making training & development work: a” best
practice” guide. Oak Tree Press.

 

Harrison, R., 2011. Learning and development. Development and Learning in Organizations: An International
Journal, 26(1).

 

Stewart, J. and Rogers, P. eds., 2012. Developing people
and organisations. Kogan Page Publishers.

 

Garavan, T.N., Hogan, C. and Cahir-O’Donnell, A., 2009. Developing managers and leaders: Perspectives, debates and
practices in Ireland. Gill & Macmillan Limited.

 

Garavan, T.N., Costine, P. and Heraty, N., 1995. Training and development in Ireland: context, policy, and
practice. Cengage Learning EMEA.

 

Lewin, K., 1951. Field theory in social science.

 

Beardwell, J. and Claydon, T. eds., 2007. Human resource management: A contemporary approach. Pearson
Education.

 

Mullins, L.J., 2007. Management and
organisational behaviour. Pearson education.

 

Smither, R., Houston, J. and McIntire, S., 2016.