Academic journal article ATEA Journal

Meeting Organizational Global Challenges through Training

Academic journal article ATEA Journal

Meeting Organizational Global Challenges through Training

Article excerpt


The necessity to enhance human productivity in order to maintain organizational competitiveness and success in the global economy continues to be an issue of high concern within organizations. However, enhanced productivity is not possible without effective and efficient employees (Gordon, 2009). The emergence of developing economies throughout the world supports the need for continuous development of employees. For the United States, the major challenge is that industry will not be able to meet the challenges from developing economies by competing on price alone. Instead, remaining competitive means increasing productivity and exploring niches for services and goods not available elsewhere (Grey & Herr, 1998). With the intensity of competition, one of the key methods for enhancing productivity is through effective training using technology when appropriate and helpful. The need for comprehensive, formalized training programs throughout global organizations has never been more evident.

Silberman (1998) described training as a "method of enhancing performance. Whenever a person's ability to perform a job is limited by a lack of knowledge or skill, it makes sense to bridge that gap by providing the required instruction" (p.1). Bridging the training gap within the global training context is a means of performance improvement. Training focuses on the "gap" or the assessed need of the individual to acquire some specific knowledge and/or skill (Banks & Zakaria, 2005).

Marquardt and Engel (1993) laid out the causal chain that could lead to success in a global economic environment. Beginning with a dedicated, high-quality HRD department, employees could be well trained and managed for the global challenges that their companies faced, and such training would then lead to the global competitive edge companies need to prosper. Thus, Marquardt and Engel leave little doubt that for many organizations, training is inextricably linked to economic survival.

The purpose of this article is to review and discuss the literature related to: 1) challenges to training within the global context; 2) solutions, including the use of technology, through which organizations may increase competitive advantage through human productivity enhancement; and 3) major challenges facing technical training practitioners as they design training programs for global organizations.

Review and Discussion of the Literature

A review of the literature on global training and training transfers was conducted using key terms. The research databases used to obtain articles associated with this topic were Proquest, PsycINFO, and Ebsco Academic Search Premier. Sources of articles included refereed journals, books, conference proceedings, dissertations and scholarly documents located at websites.

Background of Globalization and Workplace Training

The extent of globalization has attained a position where adjustment and adaptation to change has become a principal concern for organizations and governments. Marquardt (1996) noted this: "Political and economic freedoms have proved to be essential to the development of any society, but human resource development is critical in building on these opportunities" (p. vi). As organizations adjust and conform to global changes, they recognize that this can only be accomplished through employee development. Global competition encourages the facilitation of productive people which allows countries and organizations to expand and increase economic prosperity (Bishop, 2008; Carrig & Wright, 2006; Rivera & Paradise, 2006).

Marquardt (2002) listed globalization and the global economy as first of "the eight most significant forces that will change the business world and necessitate company-wide learning in the 21st century" (p. 2). It is significant that he notes company-wide learning because all employees must be developed to the extent that organizations would like to achieve a competitive advantage and maintain their success (Pfeffer, 1994; Carrig & Wright, 2006). …

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