Learning And Development As An Organisation Process Management Essay

If the Challenge of the past has been to ‘get organized’, the challenge of the future is to find ways in which we can remain open to continous self-organizations: so that we can adapt and evolve as we go along (Gareth morgan, Imagination, p.17)

Learning and development is an organisational process. Learning & development is a multi-faceted study. L&D activity first acquired a specific organizational meaning in the USA in the 1970s. Termed ‘human resource development’ its purpose was regarded as primarily about short-term training ,encompassing skills acquistion and behavioural change . It was defined by one of its most influential commentators(Nadler 1970) as:

“a series of organized activites conducted within a specified time and designed to produce behavioural change”.

Hall(1984) defined it in more strategic perspective as

“Strategic human resource development is the identification of needed skills and active management of learning for the long-range future in relation to explicit corporate and business strategies”

According to CIPD’s defnition L&D purpose is as follows (CIPD 2001a):

“The organizational process of developing people involves the integration of learning and developing process,operations and realtionships.its most powerful outcomes for the business are to do with enhanced organizational effectiveness and sustainability .For the individual they are to do with enhanced personal competence,adaptability and employability. It is therefore a critical business process , whether in for profit or not-for-profit organizations.’

Rosemary’s definition of L&D purpose is shorter than the CIPD’s and has a rather different emphasis:

‘The primary puropse of learning and development as an organizational process is to aid collective progress through the collaborative and expert stimulation and facilitation of learning and knowledge that support business goals, develop individual potential, and respect and build on diversity’


learning is a selfdirected, work based process leading to increased adaptive capacity in other words an environment where individuals ‘learn to learn’ and possess the capabilities that enable them to build thier skills and help thier organisation retain competitive advantantage.


Development implies a longer process of learning , acquiring skills or knowledge by different means such as training, coaching, formal and informal interventions, education or planned experience. It can be strutured by human resource development (HRD)professionals, or created as a personal plan.

Learning and development (L&D) as a field of management research and practice is concerned with how individuals acquire or create knowledge and skills which enable them to perform and grow in thier current or future occupational role.

Historical background

Terms for L&D as an organisational process ;

In the past three terms have been widely used to describe the L&D field: ‘training and development ‘, ’employement development’ and ‘human resource development’.The term training &development is still a popular one , however training is only way of achieving development .

The term ’employee development’ is now touched by political correctness , it gives a view of ‘master- servant’ relationship. It is no doubt that is falling out of use at time when many organisations are referring to their members as associates or partners rather than employees.

The term ‘human resource development ‘ retains its popularity amongst academics but it has never been as attractive practitioners. They tend to dislike it because reference to people as resource is felt to be demeaning. Putting people on a mission with money, materials and equipment creates an impression of ‘development’ as an essentially unfeeling, even manipulative activity.

However ,using the term ‘learning and development’ is not the perfect solution. What is gained in scope is lost somewhat in generalisation. ‘learning has so many meanings . a common view is to see it as a life long activity involving three processes (onions 1973):

To develop : to unfold more fully , bring out all that is contained in

To educate: to bring up from childhood , so as to form habits , manners and mental and physical aptitudes

To train : to instruct and discipline in or for some particular art, profession, occupation or practice: to exercise , practice ,drill.

Combining these terms a conditioning process and the gaining of competencies through planned instructional activity . another kind of defnition would draw more attention to learning driven by natural curiousity.

So the terms we choose to describe things matters. They influence peoples perceptions and bestows identity. An organisation that uses the term ‘human resource development’ in preference to ’employee development’, or ‘training’ or ‘learning and development’ has reason for that choice.

L&D activity is first acquired a specific organisational meaning in 1970s. Termed ‘human resource development’ its purpose was regarded as primarily about short term training , encompassing skills acquistion and behavioural change . it was defined by one of its most influential commentators (Nadler, 1970) as ” a series of organised activities conducted within a specified time and designed to produce behavioural change”.

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By 1980’s some commentators were moving towards a more strategic perspective. According to hall(1984) ” strategic human resource development is the identification of needed skills and active management of learning for the long range future in relation to explicit corporate and business strategies”

Now it is easy to find out the stated purpose of L&D activity in HSBC? And how well or badly do the employees think L&D is linked to other HR practices and to organisational goals.


The importance of context

Although many employers today increasingly call for thier L&D activity to be more convincingly tied to business needs, there are still many organisations where there is not happening and also where L&D professionals are to make a strategic contribution. Often this because they do not relate thier activity sufficiently to context. The term has two dimesions , external and internal.

The external context consists of the business environment of the organisation and other factors that have a direct relevance for L&D practice within the organisation.

The internal , organisational context, expressed most obvisouly in workplace culture, is most powerfully shaped by

Top management’s vision and values , goals and leadership

Management (espcecially front line management) style and actions

HR strategies and practices.

According to survey by CIPD 2004 on Training and development, it showed that greater attention is now being paid to workplace learning, and that on the job training and coaching/mentoring are the most popular processes here. Thier main use , however is to improve individual peformance , tackle underpeformance and improve productivity again, not an indicator that value is placed on longer term development.

CIPD (2004a) revealed

Minimal evaluation of either coaching or mentoring process against business objectives

Very little training provided for the line managers who carry the main burden of coaching roles

Uncertainity as to what activities coaching and mentoring involve.

Thus research however should be continued to show a gap between strategy delivery across the whole HR area .To tackle this gap in thier field, L&D professionals need to work with line managers to build and support learning cultures that will make L&D plans come to life in the workplace. Front-line mangers in particular need helping in coping with thier L&D responsibilites they are much pressurised by the organisations that regulary restructure in search for competitive advantage.

Importance of planning

Planning is a process of developing strategies to accomplish the goals. Planning in organizations provides a logical framework approach to the goal. It helps to improve the performance of the company. Planning, learning and development is becoming increasingly important in all organizations to become successful in the present competitive world. There are various planning models like strategic planning, Issue based planning, alignment planning, scenario planning, organic planning etc.., People have to continue learning to develop their skills along with the changing world. Learning theories like behaviorism, cognitive, constructivism, design-based and humanism theories will help in understanding the importance of the L&D in the organization.

The concept of identifying and analyzing the importance of training and learning is necessary at different levels. The various theories and models have a functional involvement for L&D research and practice. However, all the models present only a partial imminent in actual workplace. Learning and development is concerned with how the individuals can gain the knowledge and skills which will assist them to execute the performance well in his future career. Planning is very important and has to be done properly to attain a goal of the organization.

Development occurs as a result of the learning,coaching,mentoring,training,planning etc..The motivation of learning and development may differ in individuals depending on their goals.Through Learning people should change from what they were and should be able to produce a proper output.

L&D Management development planning term refers to the activities involved in enhancing leaders’, managers’ and supervisor’s abilities to plan, organize, lead and control the organization and its members. Consequently, many view the term “management development” to include executive development (developing executives), supervisors). leadership development (developing leaders), managerial development (developing managers) and supervisorial development (developing

Management development is an effort that enhances the learner’s ability to manage organizations. Managing includes activities of planning, organizing, leading and coordinating resources. A critical skill for anyone is the ability to manage their own learning

The main purpose of learning and development as a process is to help collective improvement through the joint and expert stimulation and facilitation of learning and knowledge that support business goals,develop individual potential and build on diversity.

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Leaning and development provides a wide range of activities to improve the capacity of the individual. L&D can be designed to deliver specific skills in a short time to meet an immediate need or can be designed to attain broader requirements over a longer period.

Theories surrounding Learning

There are various theories surrounding the learning and development which include

Behaviourism theories, Cogtnitivism theories ,Humanism thories, Social and situational theories etc.There are different roles for all the theories in the individual development.





Social situational


Planning consists of some essential and significant aspects to be considered, which include goals, strategies, resources, objectives, tasks etc., Goals: Goals are the important aspects that should be accomplished in total by the organization. Goals are mission of an organization. Strategies and achievements: To achieve the goals in the organization strategies should be planned and followed. Strategies are the processes in the system.


Objectives are specific targets that must be accomplished to achieve the goal in total. To achieve the goals, objectives are the milestones, which should be implementing the strategies. Tasks: In organizations people are usually assigned with various tasks to implement the plans. If the scope of the plan is small then the responsibilities and activities are essentially the same. Resources: Resources in an organization include people, material, technologies, money etc.., which are required to implement the strategies to accomplish the goals. Costs of these resources are estimated in the form of budget.

Planning models

There is no one perfect planning model for each organization. All the own environment and model of organization ends with developing their developing their own planning process, planning often by selecting a model and modifying it as they go along in The models like strategic planning, Issue based planning, alignment planning, scenario planning, organic planning etc…

An organization might choose to integrate different planning models, e.g., work force planning model in an organisation is used in developing and retaining the staff. Using a scenario model to creatively identify strategic issues and goals, and then an issues-based model to carefully strategize to address the issues and reach the goals.

Planning determines the future of the organization. The focus of strategic planning is mainly on the entire organization, while the focus of the business plan is usually on a service, product or program.

The planning is developed depending on the nature of the leadership, size, capability of planners etc.., in the organization. Development of the planning greatly helps to clarify the organization’s plans and make sure that key leaders are all “in the same play”. The process of planning is more important than the strategic plan document.

1. Basic strategic model

Basic strategic model of planning is a very fundamental process is normally followed by organizations that are enormously small, busy, and have not done much planning before. Planning is usually conceded out by top-level administration. This basic strategic planning process includes:

a. Identifying the function of the organization (mission statement) – This describes the organization its basic purpose. The statement should explain what are the client needs are and what are the services expected by them. The toplevel management should develop and agree on the mission statement. The statements will change over the years.

b. Selecting the goals the organization must achieve – Goals are about what the

organization need to accomplish to meet the purpose.

c. Identify specific strategies that must be implemented to reach the goal – By closely examining the environments of the organization or by conducting PEST and SWOT analysis specific strategies should be implemented to accomplish the goals

d. Implement the action plans for each strategy – These are the definite actions that each department must undertake to make sure that the implementation of each strategy is done properly. Objectives should be clear, to the extent that public can assess if the objectives have been met. The top management should ideally develop detailed committees that each has a work plan.

e. Monitoring the plan – Planners frequently reflect on the level to which the goals are being reached and whether the action plans are being implemented correctly. The most significant indicator of accomplishment of the organization is the positive feedback from the customers. Monitoring requires existing and appropriate data. When the plans are not being implemented according to targeted time, corrective actions must be implemented to reach the target.

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1. Issue based Model

Organizations that start with the “basic” planning evolve to using this wider ranging and more efficient type of planning. Issue-Based (or Goal-Based) Planning The organizations may not perform all the following activities every year. 1. External and internal measurement to identify “SWOT” and “PESTEL”.

1. Calculated analysis to classify and prioritize major issues and goals.

2. Design most important programs to address issues and goals.

3. Design and update idea, mission and principles. Some organizations may do follow this step first in planning.

4. Establish action plans for implementing the plans.

5. Document the analysis, issues, goals and action plans of the organization.

6. Develop the yearly Operating Plan record.

7. Develop and approve financial plan for year one.

8. Monitor, estimate and update Strategic Plan document

3. Alignment Model

The main principle of this model is to make sure that there is a strong alignment between the organization’s mission and its resources to efficiently function the organization. This model is useful for organizations that require altering strategies and finding out the problem during the function of a plan. An organization plans to choose this model if it’s facing a large amount of issues.

4. Workforce planning model

Effective workforce plan is an important tool to identify appropriate.Effective workforce plan is an essential tool to identify suitable staffing levels and validate budget allocations so that organizations can accomplish their objectives.Workforce planning is a efficient process for identifying the human capital necessary to meet the organization goals and developing the strategies to meet their requirements.

This step involves linking between the workforces planning process with the organization strategic plan. The main purposes of workforce planning are

a.To ensure that an organization has the required workers to support their mission and strategic plan. the objectives of its strategic plan Those responsible for workforce planning should identify the organization’s mission and

b. Analyze workforce, Identify skill gaps and conduct workforce analysis Analysis of workforce data is the main element in the workforce planning process. Workforce analysis usually considers information such as occupations, skills and experience, retirement eligibility, diversity, turnover rates, and trend data.

c. Develop and implement action plans Implementation brings your workforce plan to life. You may need a separate action plan to address the implementation of each strategy in the workforce plan. The workforce plan should be implemented in connection with the requirements of the organization’s strategic plan. If the strategic plan changes due to unanticipated customer, leadership, or legislative changes, adjustments to workforce plan strategies may be necessary.

d. Monitor, Evaluate, and Revise

The evaluation and adjustments are very important in workforce planning and are keys to continuous improvement. Although a workforce plan should cover five years, it should be reviewed annually. If an Organization does not regularly review its workforce planning efforts, it runs the risk of failing to respond to unexpected changes.

Key enabling features in managing learning and development

Everyone has a responsibility in managing learning and development to achieve outcomes efficiently and effectively. Learning and development are critical processes for enhancing productivity and organizational performance. Research shows high-performing organizations in Australia and overseas share certain features in relation to learning and development as follows:

• They align and integrate their learning and development initiatives with corporate and business planning by reviewing existing activities and initiating new learning programs to support corporate plans.

• The corporate culture supports these initiatives and addresses cultural barriers to learning. They focus on the business application of training rather than the type of training, and they consider appropriate learning options – de-emphasizing classroom training and allowing staff time to process what they have learned on the job consistent with adult learning principles.

• They evaluate learning and development formally, systematically and rigorously.

Most organizations carry out evaluation at the reaction level,but few attempts to assess changes in behaviour of criteria of organizational effectiveness(Ralphs and Stephan,1986;Saari et al..,1988;Training in Britain,1989). (Performance = Ability Ã- Motivation Ã-Opportunity). People development will have a lot of impact on the organization performance. Competitive success through people involves fundamentally altering the way we think about the workforce and the employment association. Success can be achieved by working with people, not by replacing them or limiting the scope of their activities. Firms that take this different perspective are often able to sucessfully outsmart and outperform the rivals.

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