Investing in Strategically Relevant Training Programs

The importance of training and educating the workforce has been highlighted by leaders from different and diverse sectors. The oft-quoted line, “the only way America can compete and win in the 21st century is to have best-educated, best trained workforce in the world,” (Clinton & Gore, 1992, p. 6) only shows how important it is for any country to keep an updated pool of knowledge resources for a healthy survival. Turning to the value of educational and training programs for “business organizations,” it has been shown that there is a positive relationship between implementation of training programs and productivity growth (Bartel, 1994; Ottersten & Mellander, 1999).

 Nonaka and Toyama (2003) reason that training programs help in the process of internalization of knowledge; the explicit knowledge imparted during training sessions (in the form of written documents or lectures) helps enrich the tacit knowledge base of trainees, effectively creating new knowledge that can be utilized on the job. Moreover, as training programs often bring people with diverse sets of skills under one roof, they provide a mature environment for knowledge creation (Fong, 2003). Training is also beneficial in that it acquaints organizational members with available information repositories and knowledge-sharing systems and teaches their effective use (Cabrera & Cabrera, 2002). Training programs help create smart employees who get their work done in a better and more efficient manner because of the acquisition of new skills. Training and development activities also contribute to creating an atmosphere where employees get better opportunities for job success and growth. Better opportunities in terms of job success and growth help create a “virtuous spiral of success” for both the individual as well as the organization (Lawler, 2003). Accordingly, organizations should focus on developing a training strategy so that they are better equipped to face the future needs in terms of employee skills and knowledge inventory (Lawler & Worley, 2006).

By investing in strategically important training programs, leaders help in the process of knowledge creation.


Kunal Kamal Kumar T. A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), India
Kamal Kishore Jain Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Indore, India
Rajiv Ranjan Tiwary IBM India Private Limited, India

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