Placement As a Line Function - Training and Development

If the T&D function can report to the chief staff officer of an organization,it can just as logically answer to the chief operating officer—and with rather greater impact. Many T&D managers prefer this arrangement. Among its advantages:

  • They are more clearly identified as solvers of operating performance problems.
  • They are close to the operation and can give a quicker response to operational performance problems.
  • Their proximity to operating managers permits quick access to key data needed for the analysis of performance problems.
  • The entire T&D function is more clearly identified with "where the organizations"—a kind of organizational halo effect.
  • The actual instruction is done by people affiliated with and responsible to operating authority, yet under the direct control of the T&D manager.
  • Budgets for line operations are attractive: They are more flexible, therefore they can respond to sudden developments; they are inclined to be more realistic; and they are often more generous.

Of course, one disadvantage of this placement is that there is no natural mechanism by which the T&D manager can access performance problems on the staff side of the organization—and therefore no mechanism by which staff managers can access the T&D manager to ask for help. Obviously, such mechanisms can be devised, installed, and made to work just as they have in the reverse placement.

It is equally obvious that some organizations can afford—and do require— a T&D manager on both the line and staff sides at the executive level. About the only problem arising from this dual arrangement is the occasional skirmish over territorial imperatives. For example: Which one is responsible for management training and development? Who handles the training in a new technology that cuts across the line/staff barrier?

An answer to these questions is the final placement we might consider in answer to our question, "Where is the Training Department located?"

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