Thesis: Training Needs Analysis Practices

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[. . .] The key achievement of this chapter is that it introduces the training needs analysis in Saudi Arabia and explain why the need to measure effectiveness of TNA. Then it indicates the research gap and the purpose of the research. In addition, the chapter also looks into the overview of the research questions and issues. Finally, the chapter looks into the justification of the research and the overview of the methodology. Next, the review of the research is being looked at.

Chapter Two: Review of Related Literature

2.1 Introduction

The review of related literature begins with a discussion of human resource management and its model. The discussion then progresses to the topic of strategic human resource management which provides a springboard for a presentation of training as a strategic human resource tool. The review of related literature then concludes with empirical studies related to training needs analysis.

2.2 Human Resource Management

The concepts of human resource management (HRM) started in the mid-1980 and have engaged those in the academic field and those who actually apply its ideals. Academics repeatedly question the rationality and ethics involved in the application of HRM concepts. On the other hand, those who practice it believe that it is the correct approach in the administration of employees (Armstrong, 2004). Even though the academic and practitioner fields do not agree on certain factors about HRM, it is however concurred that the organisation can tap on its workforce and use it as a competitive advantage over its competitors. Unlike technologies and machineries, the workforce cannot be duplicated as easily (Akhtar & Mak, 2003). Thus, the organisation that invests in searching, developing and maintaining its workforce is assured of a distinct set of employees that are hard to imitate as a factor contributing to competitive advantage. This will give the organisation a head start in the industry.

According to Armstrong (2004, p.6) HRM can be defined as a strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organisation's employees who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of its objectives. Armstrong continued that HRM developed into strategic human resource management (SHRM) as the organisation try to accentuate the tactical element of HRM. Billsberry, Salaman & Storey (2005, p. 4) describe SHRM as a unique approach to employment management which seeks to achieve competitive advantage through the strategic deployment of a highly committed and capable workforce using an array of cultural, structural and personal techniques. These techniques may include the following: human resource planning, job design, job analysis, employee selection and staffing, training and development, performance appraisal, compensation and benefits, grievance and complaint procedures, employee involvement and participation plans, information sharing programs and attitude surveys. Other companies also added: increasing recruiting efforts, polishing promotion schemes like seniority vs. merits and increasing average training hours per employee per year (Akhtar & Mak 2003). Through the use the aforementioned techniques organisation can help its employees develop job-related abilities and know-how which could greatly boost their effectiveness.

2.2.1 Models of HRM

It is crucial that a discussion of the models of HRM be made because training needs analysis of the manufacturing companies will be assessed and analyzed, not as an exclusive system, but within the context of other HR systems. This is in accordance with the idea that training needs analysis must be assessed in a holistic context. Therefore, looking at the models and components of HRM would allow such holistic analysis. Hard Model

There are two known models for HRM; these are the hard and soft models. Kaye (1999, p.580) define the hard model of HRM as that which focuses on the quantitative, calculative and strategic aspects of managing the workforce in as rational a way as any other economic resource. This model adopts the idea that the workforce is another expense that needs to be lessened and managed. Organizations following this model tend to view the workforce as a cost and not as a resource; thus most of their strategic decisions are motivated by the end result. For instance, to be able to control personnel numbers, organization using this model will turn into downsizing since it is through this that the desired outcome is achieved most quickly. However, this decision fails to consider the human and long-term repercussion of the choice (Kaye, 1999). Most of the time, in this model the term employee is often used instead of people which mirror the kind of relationship the management has with its workforce. Relationships are commonly based on outsourcing, subcontracting and franchising (Druker et al., 1996). It has been said that it is somewhat related to scientific management since it focuses on the resource characteristic of HRM where the workforce are regarded as inert entities not capable of creativity. Therefore, they are not appreciated as a whole but are measured individually on whether they have the right skills and quality that the organization needs (Gill, 1999). To be able to attain competitive advantage in this model, the organization uses a business focus thinking that stress on acquiring added value from the workforce. It puts importance to the interest of management, implementing a tactical method that incorporates business strategies, getting added value from the workforce through human resource development and performance management, creating a robust company culture that is articulated in the mission and vision statements and is strengthened by constant communication, training and performance management (Armstrong, 2004). Soft Model

On the other hand, the soft model is based on the human relations school of thought that centers on communication, motivation and leadership. The workforce in this model are viewed as proactive individuals that are competent and worthy of confidence and partnership (Kaye, 1999). With this model, the employees are considered to be the most valuable resource and will serve as the key in achieving the organisation's goals and objective. By the means of ingenuity, commitment and skills, the workforce adds value into the business. Under this model, people management involves hiring of only the finest people, training and development of employees are suitable and first rate, compensation schemes exhibit the importance of the employee, and obtaining the loyalty of the employee (Druker et al., 1996). It believes in mutuality where the management and the workforce share the same interests and concerns. Moreover, in this model, it is presumed that all the members of the organisation, management and workforce, are acting together as a team creating a well-balanced business (Armstrong 2004).

Based from the explanations above, the hard and soft models seem to have apparent differences. In practice, however, the two models are used hand in hand by organisations. Since times have changed and employees nowadays cannot tolerate inferior treatment, absolute use of the hard model can get the company into trouble. Thus, it needs to be balanced by the soft model to be able to appease the needs of the employees as humans. In the words of Kaye (1999, p. 851) strategic HRM requires a balance of emphasis. It needs to be in line with the organisation's strategy but at the same time must create policies that could lead to employee loyalty.

2.3 Strategic Human Resource Management

Following a discussion of HRM and its models, the review of related literature proceeds with a discussion of strategic human resource management or SHRM. The strategic approach to HRM can be characterized by the following traits: consolidation of internal workforce strategy with the general business strategy, use of line management style in HR execution and policy creation, relationship with the workforce is individualize instead of a traditional communal one, and putting focus on dedication to the organisation and encouraging manager ingenuity. In addition, SHRM plans, designs and administers HR systems rooted on policies and strategies that are substantiated by a philosophy, and the workforce is viewed as a strategic tool that can be a source for competitive advantage (Baker, 1999).

It can be said that SHRM is a more specific method in application of HRM distinguished by a deeper examination of processes and more extensive coverage (Martin-Alcazar, Romero-Fernandez & Sanchez-Gardey, 2008). It is a framework that the firm uses to be able to reach its goals with the use of designed human resource distribution and endeavors. As mentioned, it can be considered as a strategic way in managing the workforce that is in line with the goals of the organisation. A part of its endeavors are continuing problems related to the workforce. The results of its activities are choices that the organisation takes in managing its people and through its activities parts of the organisation can be identified where particular HR strategies are needed (Martin-Alcazar et al., 2008).

SHRM is concerned with organisation, philosophy, culture, excellence, loyalty, complementing the human resource with the expected needs of the organization, accomplishment, proficiency, knowledge management, workforce development, and creation of positive employee relations. It aims to produce strategic capacity through the assurance that the company possessed competent, loyal and inspired personnel… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Training Needs Analysis Practices.  (2011, April 30).  Retrieved July 15, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Training Needs Analysis Practices."  30 April 2011.  Web.  15 July 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Training Needs Analysis Practices."  April 30, 2011.  Accessed July 15, 2019.