Business Studies Papers

Question

i need it 2000 word, simple English and use all the slides i attached. i need more reference for the project!

Northouse, P.G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and Practice (6th end). London: Sage Publications
use this as one of the references

Essay Description:
Specifically, the essay will focus on the following:
• The use of training methods (one each from Off-the-Job, On-the-Job, and Blended Learning)

in this part i need 2 or 3 methods from each Off-the-Job, On-the-Job, and Blended Learning)

Answer

An Analysis of the Success and Limitations of the use of Various Training Methods and the Role of Learning Theories in Training and Development

Training is a vital element of any business. The employees acquire training to ensure that they carry out the business activities effectively and that the resources employed are used efficiently. The aim of this paper is to discuss different training methods and to determine their effectiveness in ensuring that employees improve in terms of the quality of work they perform. The paper will focus on the three key methods which are: on-the- job training, off-the-job training and blended learning. In addition to this, it will address their success and limitations in addition to the role of two theories: the Kolb-learning style and the Adaptive Control of Thought (ACT) theory of learning. By discussing these methods, their pros and cons, the essay will shed light on the effectiveness of each of them in terms of applicability in an organization. For a combination of on-the-job training, off-the-job training, and blended training to deliver the best outcomes in terms of producing employees who will generating the desired results in their respective workplaces, it should be characterized by the adoption of the principles outlined in Kolb’s leaning style theory and the ACT theory.

On-the-Job-Training Methods

            There are various on-the-job-training methods used when training employees, for example coaching, mentoring, and apprenticeship. These methods are cost-effective and would work for many organizations as they are applied at the individual level. Coaching is an example of one- the-job training methods. It is effective as it enables the coach to identify the weak points of the employee during the process. By focusing on these areas, the employee is able to improve, and this ensures that the value of the work is improved. Furthermore, coaching can be done by people at the same level as it targets the weaknesses of an employee and is geared towards ensuring there is improvement in employee performance (Northouse, 2013). The method can work in a variety of organizations as it I does not involve intensive use of resources such as time and human capital. In addition to this, the method is easy to implement and can be used progressively for both new employees and current employees of an organization to address weaknesses identified in the course of employment.

            Similarly, mentoring can be employed to training employees while working. It focuses on the development of an individual’s approach to job execution, and in many instances it is directed to employees in management positions. The application of the method at this level can easily lead to effective work execution because the mentee learns the rules of managing the organization and the boundaries that he/she should not cross. Moreover, the mentee is able to develop skills in a certain area, for instance, in public speaking. The mentor is always a senior as this ensures that the mentee is inducted into the practices of the role before he/she steps into it. Since mentoring is also done at an individual level, the progress of the mentee can be checked constantly and he or she can be trained using different methods to ensure that they understand their role in management. The method can work for different organizations as it focuses on the managerial employees (Chand, 2015). Moreover, the method is easy to apply as it only requires two people, one holding the managerial position and the other undergoing the training process as part of the process of becoming a manager. Thus, the training can be planned for adequately between the two individuals and it can take place through the involvement of the mentee in different meetings and events facilitated by the mentor. Applying this tactic would train the mentee faster as they get the feel of different environments where in which they will be working.

            On the other hand, apprenticeship entails a new group of practitioners in the performance of a skill. This method is applied for new employees who need to be introduced into the culture of an organization. It could include training on how to interact with customers in a business. However, it is more frequently employed in technical and crafts fields like engineering than in other areas like management. This form of training is geared towards gaining proficiency in performing a particular skill. Thus, it requires the involvement of experts and apprentices in a cooperative manner within a specific field of specialization, with the experts being the supervisors and the apprentices being the trainees (Chand, 2015). The method is expensive, has an element of unpredictability in regards to the trainee’s employment status, and it is time consuming. Moreover, some trained apprentices may still make mistakes leading to wastage of a company’s resources and subsequent financial losses. Moreover, the method is time-consuming; time that could have been spent in production-related activities is dedicated to training efforts. Nevertheless, its adoption greatly enhances the level of expertise in various fields by acquainting apprentices with different ways to performing various tasks. Thus, it is strongly recommended in companies that operate in technical fields.

Off- the-job Training Methods

            Training that is undertaken off-the-job in many cases focuses on educating the employees on particular skills. In these methods, the employees concentrate on learning instead of performance. Thus, their scope of knowledge on a particular subject, often in their area of practice, is developed. Lectures and conferences constitute a dominant example of off-the-job-training. They have traditionally been employed for direct instruction. Today, technological developments have greatly contributed to the increased use of presentation software during lectures and conferences. Moreover, it has led to efficiency since training notes can easily be shared by being forwarded to the email addresses of the trainees to ensure that everyone has access to the necessary information. Not only are trainees motivated by this element of efficiency, speakers are also given access to adequate resources that they can use as a basis for discussions. Moreover, trainees are encouraged to share information on issues they not have understood regarding the subject under discussion. Consequently, it is highly likely that those who go through this form of training are adequately prepared for subsequent employment.

            Additionally, off-the-job training may take the form of vestibular training, which is done in a prototype environment in a location near the actual place where the trainees would work. It is cost-effective as it aims to ensure that the trainees do not perform costly mistakes while performing actual job-related tasks such as operating machines. Moreover, exposure to an area that resembles the actual working space reduces the anxiety trainees may have while being introduced into the actual working environment. Thus, they not only get acquainted to some machines to be used but also attain the level of confidence that is essential for effective job performance in actual workstations. In many organizations, this method is normally applied when prior to on-the-job training.

            Simulation exercises are also a commonly used off-the-job training method. It involves use of an artificial environment that is similar to the actual situation. Using management games, role-playing, case studies, and in-basket training, individuals acquire knowledge on how to handle different situations. Management games enable trainees to develop the analytical, logical and reasoning capabilities that are required in a job. On the other hand, case studies show a problem’s context while allowing the application of theoretical concepts. In contrast, role-playing enables trainees to learn the impact of certain aspects of their lives and by extension, their approach to work-related problem-solving. Finally, in-basket training develops the prioritization skills of a trainee by providing him or her with tools like email, short messaging systems, memos, and reports. It enables the trainees to develop a variety of skills and can be applied in companies which aim to develop the trainee fully to tackle different situations. The method is often applied in law enforcement and in Intelligence. However, it is expensive as it requires setting up of different case scenarios where the skills could be developed. Thus, its application would be limited to companies which have the adequate finances to cater for the setting up the different scenarios and the use of resources in the various scenarios. Evidently, off- the- job training methods provide an effective platform for the development of skill-sets among trainees in addition to educating them on different matters relating to actual job practice.

Blended Learning

            Blended learning involves the use of more than one delivery method to enhance training. It has become increasingly diverse in recent times particularly following the introduction of online components due to technological advancement (Graham, 2006). Its effectiveness arises from the aspect of flexibility that it accords trainers as they seek to shift from one delivery channel to the order in efforts to meet the goals of the training (Garrison & Kanuka, 2004). There are opportunities for trainers and trainees to collaborate given that training programs can be executed simultaneously for trainees who are situated in geographically diverse locations. However, the choice of method is normally influenced by a wide range of factors, including learners’ preferences and cost-effectiveness (Malamed, 2015).

Kolb Learning Style

            Developed by David Kolb, the experiential learning theory is concerned with learners’ cognitive processes. The style is based on four-stage learning cycle, the first of which is the concrete experience stage whereby a person encounters new experiences. In the second stage, called reflective observation, the individual reflects on that experience. During the third one, known as abstract conceptualism, the person derives conclusions based on the experience. The fourth stage known as active experimentation, individual embarks on the task of applying what he/she has learned in a real-life environment. During each of the aforementioned training methods, individuals go through these stages in a cyclic manner.

            According to Kolb (1985), different people naturally prefer to use various learning styles depending on various factors, including the educational qualifications acquired and the social environment. However, the choice of a learning style is based on two mutually exclusive choices which include how a task is approached, also known as processing continuum and how an individual feels about a task, also referred to as perception continuum (Kolb, 1985). Moreover, the theory sheds light on different learning styles, including diverging, converging, assimilating, and accommodating. The diverging learning style is employed by people who learn by feeling and observing. They work well in groups where they can listen to people’s opinions and have an open mind before making a decision. On the other hand, the assimilating style involves observing and thinking. Those who prefer to use this style prefer to use of facts and take time to make decisions after analyzing the available facts. Those who employ the converging learning style focus on performing and thinking (Kolb, 1985). Thus, they prefer technical tasks to social issues in their day-to-day work-related activities. Finally, those who adopt the accommodating learning style aim to “do” and “feel”; they are excellent at performing technical work and they tend to decisions based on “gut” feeling (McLeod, 2013).

            Managers should put in place efforts to incorporate the four stages of training in their use of on-the-job, off-the-job, and blended training. In addition to this, training could be effective if the trainees identify their least preferred learning style hence so that the necessary improvements can be made (McLeod, 2013). Thus, when training a group, trainers should ensure that a variety of these learning techniques are adopted to enable the trainees to identify their strong areas and the ones they should improve on.

ACT Theory

            The Adaptive Control of Thought (ACT) theory was developed by John Anderson and it focuses on trainees’ memory processes. According to Anderson, cognitive skills are realized through the production rule, such that knowledge that takes the declarative form, for example, instructions on how to perform a task, is transformed into procedural knowledge. The difference between experts and novices is that experts excel in their respective domains, meaning that their skills cannot be applied in other domains (Anderson, 1992). Moreover, such experts tend to have extensive knowledge on their domains, they can predict outcomes based on patterns, and they are able to solve a problem at a deeper level than a novice. Anderson (1992) also elaborates that practice leads to skill improvement. Thus, for a novice to develop his or her skill set, he needs to practice for a long period of time in consistent time shifts. For instance, in driving, a novice will only become a skilled driver by driving frequently. As he develops his skill, he will be able to handle various conditions based on established patterns and increased accuracy in the prediction of outcomes based on prevailing scenarios.

            Similarly, trainees can only develop their cognitive skills in a job by practicing. The production rule applies in on-the-job training because the expertise of a trainee will only improve if he is given an opportunity to handle handles different situations in an actual work environment. Completion of various tasks can only be done by receiving instructions and learning the methods to find the solutions to the instructions or the problem at hand. By so doing, they will develop their procedural knowledge and subsequently ascent to an expertise level.

Conclusion

            The presence of many methods of training provides organizations with a range of choices in terms of the procedures that should be applied to ensure that their employees acquire adequate knowledge to solve problems that may arise in the work environment. Employing a combination of on-the-job training and off-the-job training methods will ensure that the employees are adequately prepared to handle different situations. Moreover, application of the Kolb’s leaning style and the ACT theory will lead to development of expertise among trainees. Sufficient training that is founded on the principles of these two theories can produce employees who will generate the desired results in their respective workplaces.

References

Anderson, J. R. (1992). Automaticity and the ACT theory. The American Journal of psychology, 2(8), 165-180.

Chand, S. (2015). Training methods: On job training and off the job training methods. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Garrison, D. R. & Kanuka, H. (2004). Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 7(2), 95-105.

Graham, C. R. (2006). “Blended learning systems”. In CJ Bonk and CR Graham, The handbook of blended learning: Global perspectives, local designs. Amsterdam: Pfeiffer.

Kolb, D. (1985). Learning styles inventory. London: Routledge.

Malamed, C. (2015). Best practices in blended learning. New York, NY: Free Press.

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice, sixth edition. London: Sage Publications.

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