NZIM : Meeting the Management Market - Building Capability; Research, Both Local and Global, Consistently Suggests That Employers Are Sceptical about What the Tertiary Education Sector Delivers. Most of Them Believe "In-House Training" Delivers Better Management and Employee Education Results

Article excerpt

Byline: David Chapman

There is currently a good deal of emphasis on the importance of building management and business capability. For example, several key government agencies have specific goals in this area.

NZIM's response to this demand is to focus on the importance of good learning outcomes which in turn lead to relevant individual qualifications that meet the skill and development needs of the New Zealand economy.

We are a professional membership organisation dedicated to improving management competence and capability through education, management development, knowledge, research and advocacy.

Effective education and training is one of the ways by which we can achieve our goals. To this end NZIM has for many years developed and maintained key programmes in foundation business and specialist education and training.

A 2005 Business New Zealand survey of 1100 businesses suggested that there was "a low rate of employer satisfaction with the entire tertiary education sector", while the private training providers "are consistently highly valued by employers". Most highly valued was in-house training. Other research, from both England and New Zealand, indicates management courses run through tertiary providers have little effect on business and management competence.

These pieces of research indicate that universities and polytechnics may not be the most appropriate providers of business and management training for those actually in work. Qualifications like those offered by NZIM, that typically have a few days of intensive facilitation, together with workplace training and supervision and a major workplace project, are more in tune with business needs.

One of the toughest markets to serve is the training of small business managers and profiles of many of the courses being offered indicate that the main participants in those courses are aspiring small business owners. Overseas research indicates that the best programmes for small business proprietors have three elements: action research that meets the defined needs of the participant, mentoring, and a support group of small businesses.

Research conducted by Massey University indicates that small businesses rank mentoring as the most effective way of improving small business success, but few businesses are able to access mentoring in a consistent way. Attempts to run such programmes through polytechnics in New Zealand have met with little success. Yet in other countries these courses have been extremely successful. These programmes are effective, but meet few of the requirements in New Zealand for funding or criteria to measure effectiveness.

Effectiveness

NZIM does not see qualifications as ends in themselves but as a means to developing management competence and leadership potential in organisations. They are not valuable in and of themselves but as a vehicle for personal and professional development.

The measures of effectiveness of NZIM programmes include:

* The value to the organisation of the training programme.

* The value of the learning experience itself for the participant.

This effectiveness is measured through:

* Feedback throughout the course, from participants and client organisations.

* Formal post-course feedback from clients.

* Repeat business and new business. …