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Learning Systems. Dr. Steve Training & Development INP6325. Learning Organizations. Importance of learning to success of organizations Kapp (1999): the only sustainable advantage an organization will have in the future is its ability to learn faster than its competitors

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learning systems

Learning Systems

Dr. Steve

Training & Development


learning organizations
Learning Organizations

Importance of learning to success of organizations

  • Kapp (1999): the only sustainable advantage an organization will have in the future is its ability to learn faster than its competitors
  • Rousseau (1997): To survive and thrive firms will need to learn at an increasingly rapid rate
learning environment survey tannenbaum 1997
Learning Environment Survey (Tannenbaum, 1997)

Is your organization a learning organization?

  • My organization typically:
    • Provides people with opportunities to learn new things
    • Assigns people to positions to stretch them
    • Tolerates mistakes when someone is first learning a new task or skill
    • Views new problems and work challenges as opportunities to develop people’s skills
    • Monitors to see that people continue to develop and learn throughout their career
    • Expects everyone, not just mgt, to solve problems and offer solutions
    • Provides paid release time for employee development purposes
    • Rewards employees for using what they have learned in training on their job
learning environment survey tannenbaum 19971
Learning Environment Survey (Tannenbaum, 1997)

What is the organizational climate conducive for training

  • In my organization:
    • Supervisors and co-workers help reschedule work so that employees can attend training
    • Supervisors provide constructive feedback when someone tries something new on the job
    • Supervisors offer people opportunities to use new skills they learned in training
    • Training is considered an important part of career development
    • The successful people go to training
    • It is acceptable to question others about why things are done a certain way
learning organizations1
Learning Organizations
  • Models for becoming a learning organization
    • Building internal capability
      • Training the trainer
      • Pay for knowledge work system
    • Focus on total quality
      • Providing a vision
      • Decentralized decision making
      • Continuous improvement
    • Corporate universities
      • Train employees consistent with organizational values
      • Train technical and interpersonal skills
corporate universities
Corporate Universities
  • Corporate Universities – promote continuous learning in an organization by:
    • Building competency-based training curriculum
    • Providing employees with shared vision and values of company
    • Extending training to customers and suppliers
    • Serving as a learning laboratory for experimenting with new approaches
  • McDonald’s Hamburger University
  • Oak Brook, Illinois
  • Founded in 1961
  • Avg class of 200
  • 65,000 mgrs graduated
  • 30 professors
training and societal concerns
Training and Societal Concerns

How training impacts societal problems

  • Increase readiness of individuals entering workforce
    • Ex: training at-risk youth, literacy programs, WAGES
  • Enhance fair employment practices once individuals enter the workforce
    • Ex: training to comply with ADA, provide minority opportunities for advancement
  • Retrain individuals to maintain current employment or prepare them for other jobs
    • Ex: re-train displace factory workers, train computer skills
workforce readiness
Workforce Readiness
  • Problem
    • 27 million functionally illiterate Americans
    • 21% of adult population has only rudimentary reading/writing skills
    • Disproportionately large number of minorities are illiterate
    • H.S. dropouts 28% unemployment rate, diploma still not enough
  • Training solutions
    • Programs aimed at developing not only technical job-specific skills, but also basic work skills (e.g., interpersonal skills, reliability, punctuality)
    • Ex: Worker Training and Assistance Program (WTAP):
      • Orientation
      • Workplace skills
      • Transition skills
      • Managerial skills
school to work transition
School-to-Work Transition

Secretary’s (of Labor) Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) identified 5 sets of competencies necessary to keep and hold a job

  • Resources: Identifies, organizes, plans, and allocates resources
  • Interpersonal: Works with others
  • Information: Acquires and uses information
  • Systems: Understands complex interrelationships
  • Technology: Works with a variety of technologies
training and equal opportunity
Training and Equal Opportunity

Relevant Laws

  • Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII – It is illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national original.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 – It is illegal to discriminate in employment against a qualified individual with a disability. Those with a disability must be provided a reasonable accommodation.
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) – Protects workers age 40 and over from discrimination in employment.
training and equal opportunity1
Training and Equal Opportunity
  • Equal Opportunity Legal Issues for Training
    • Training as a job prerequisite
    • Training performance as criterion for another job
    • Receipt of training as basis for advancement or raise
training and equal opportunity2
Training and Equal Opportunity
  • Glass ceiling – invisible barrier preventing women and minorities from ascending to top managerial positions
    • Training must be equally available to women and minorities so that they may succeed and advance
training and equal opportunity3
Training and Equal Opportunity
  • Disabled Workers – disabled workers must receive reasonable accommodations, which may include additional training
    • may need to provide training to those who work with the disabled
training and equal opportunity4
Training and Equal Opportunity
  • Retraining Older Workers – Older workers may become unemployed due obsolescence of job skills or layoffs.
    • May need additional training to compete with younger individuals who received recently updated training
    • Orgs may provide outplacement services including training, counseling, and other services to aid job search.
other societal issues and training
Other Societal Issues and Training


  • How will training be used to fight terrorism?
    • Different type of military training
    • Training civilians how to recognize warning signs
    • Training for airline industry (e.g., baggage inspectors to be more vigilant, flight attendants in self-defense)
    • Training cultural diversity and tolerance to prevent backlash of bigotry, harassment, and discrimination
    • Training medical health specialists to identify symptoms related to chemical/biological attacks
    • Emergency crowd egress training