Training Theory and Approaches
Over the past decade, organizations in both the public and private sectors have become more aware of the need for increased attention to the training and retraining of their work forces. As discussed in Chapter 2, forces such as the New Federalism, legal issues associated with equal employment and affirmative action, evolving collective bargaining requirements, and various health issues have significantly altered the environment of local governments. In addition, vast changes in technology and information access, demographic changes in the work force, and fiscal pressures that consistently require governments to do more with less have altered the ways local governments do business. And although it is certainly true that training is often the first item cut from the budget in terms of fiscal austerity, it is also true that government agencies, like their counterparts in the private sector, are beginning to recognize the role that training can play in helping agencies meet the challenges brought on by these vast changes in their task environments ( London and Wueste, 1992).
This chapter focuses on several broad issues associated with training. It begins by briefly examining the changing nature of training in work organizations, which has resulted in a need for an expanded definition of training. Next, the chapter discusses training from an organizational perspective and examines train-