Education and Development - Training and Development

Most writers of human resource development and adult education history focus on the development of worker and employee education and ignore a vital part of HRD;namely, management education and development (hereafter referred to as MED).MED has developed largely as a separate field of adult education spurred by unique and independent forces. It is only in modern times that mainstream human resource development and MED have converged.

The history of MED is also the history of a relatively young profession of management.One thing that is clear when studying the history of MED is that the field has many different components. It is also clear that it is difficult to divorce the higher education component from the more traditional HRD components since there are important interactions between them. MED has developed into a concept of lifelong learning for managers, and since management is regarded as profession requiring professional preparation, the higher education component is part of the lifelong process. The system of MED providers includes higher education, university-based MED, corporate-based training programs, association activity, and private training.

Asa final introductory note, it is also useful to define the term"management education and development" because it is subject to greatly varied use. We use the term broadly to include any educational or developmental activity specifically designed to foster the professional growth and capability of persons being prepared for or already in management and executive roles in organizations.

Several aspects of this definition deserve highlighting. First, it includes formal educational activities and on-the-job types of programs. MED is more than just classroom activity, and all aspects of it must be included. As will be seen,the concept of MED has changed significantly through the years, but it included primarily more informal activities, though systematically planned and designed,in the early years.

Second,it includes only those activities designed to prepare employees for managerial and executive roles. There is a distinction between training for management roles and training for managers, although the two training types have some overlap. Many managers and executives might participate in training that is skill-oriented rather than managerial-oriented. For example, a manager might take classes to improve his or her computer skills. Obviously, such classes cannot be considered as training in management development.

Finally,it includes MED programs designed for all levels of management, including what is often called executive development, but excludes supervisory development. Supervisory development is generally considered to be targeted at employees supervising hourly, or nonprofessional-level, employees. Let's apply these definitions to familiar activities. We can quickly identify some"leadership" and "pre supervisory" and "personal development" programs as educational activities. People who have been identified as "promo table" often attend such workshops to enhance their capacity for leadership—to receive special orientation in organization goals, policies, or procedures. Assessment centers and career-planning system soften reveal lapses in people's capabilities for future assignments. Educationist needed. In these cases, the word is apt, paralleling the Latin origin of"educing," going out from something that is already there. The identified capabilities are used as a basis for an expanded repertoire of skills in the individual. Why increase this repertoire or inventory?

So these individuals can make larger contributions to the organization in their next positions for which they are presumably bound. Such activities are legitimately called "education."

The development activity can often take the form of university enrollments for top executives. They can thus acquire new horizons, new technologies, new viewpoints.They can lead the entire organization to newly developed goals, postures, and environments. This is perceived as a way to maintain growth and development for the entire organization, not just for the individual. Yet that's misleading,since the sponsors of such "developmental" activities feel that the organization will grow to meet the future precisely because the individual leaders will grow in their insights about the future in their capacity to bring change when the future has become the reality of the present.

Training and development also encompasses organizational development (OD) efforts. OD is a change program where change is observed as it happens. It involves launching and managing change in the organizational society. OD is very definitely within the purview of the training and development department. However, in OD training and development specialists focus on the organization first—and on the interrelationships of people and units within the organization, on structure sand communications—not on the growth of the individual. To be sure, individuals will change—and, hopefully, in larger, "growth ful" directions. Thus cause and effect are inextricably linked: People develop because an organization develops; the organization develops because people grow to new dimensions!

Why have such an OD program? Quite possibly because too many resources (human and material, time and technological) are being invested or squandered in ways that do not produce the desired output. Or perhaps they produce the desired output—but at too great a cost in time, material, or human values. Organization development may question the real "success" of organizations that meet their goals in ways that make the human resources feel miserable or unfulfilled, and, in the process, miserable about the condition of their work lives. They agree with Hamlet: "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark"!

How can things become that rotten? There are lots of reasons. For instance, such thorough reappraisal of an organization may be necessary because individuals or subgroups have consistently invested their talent, energy, and resources to achieve personal or departmental goals rather than the objectives established for the entire organization. Such reappraisals might be needed simply because communications go sour—key messages are never sent, or they become distorted,or they are lost. Perhaps feelings are never shared; they are "all bottle dup" and only the content of doing business is shared. Everything is tasks,tasks, and more tasks!

Organization development programs use the human beings within the organization as resources in a problem-solving effort that might reassign or reorganize the subgroups,restructure the communications channels or media, and reshape individual responsibilities, behavioral modes, or communicative style. It might even examine every facet of the inter human and systemic structure in an effort to find a better way—a way that would permit the human energy to produce desired outputs cooperatively to reach organizational goals in ways that prove satisfying and fulfilling to all participant members of the organization.

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