A Contingency Approach: Building the Capacity of Managers to Facilitate Professional Learning in the Workplace

By Susan Bolt.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The effectiveness of staff training and development and the successful implementation of organisational change depend on the suitable education and training of managers. Even though literature typically indicated that there was substantial education and training available for managers, recent research showed that middle managers could not easily access suitable training and development in relation to staff development. This interpretative research was conducted in three large Australian public and not for profit organisations in 2007-2008. Data were collected using mixed methods; 70 semi-structured interviews were conducted and 218 written surveys were completed. The results of this research also showed that even though in the literature effective training and development programs were aligned with organisational change agenda, in practice employees were often unaware of the relationship between their professional learning and organisational change. Consequently, a management education and training program designed to enhance a contingency rather than universal approach to the management of professional learning was developed. In this paper, research results are provided which confirm the need for targeted role-related training and development for middle managers and the subsequent integrative model of professional learning is described. The three key elements of the model are capacity, process and approach.

Keywords: Management Education, Training

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp.65-78. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.193MB).

Dr. Susan Bolt

Coordinator Teaching and Learning, Curtin Business School, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Susan Bolt provides professional support and leadership in the area of teaching and learning for academic staff at Curtin Business School in Western Australia. Her research interests include adult learning, organisational change and the scholarship of teaching. As a result of her PhD research Susan developed an integrative model of professional learning in dynamic environments. Through the use of this model she encourages the integration of formal and informal learning to enhance human resource development. Moreover she is interested in furthering an understanding of how best to truly integrate knowledge from the disparate fields of education, business and psychology to enhance learning in the workplace.


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