Training needs analysis (TNA) refers to organisations’ data collection activities that underpin decision making, particularly in relation to whether training, can improve performance, who should receive training and training content. There are relatively few models to guide training practitioners, and the models fail to fully capture the range of factors that affect the quality of training decisions. These models are based upon a unitarist and rational view of organisational decision making, ignoring the extent to which the nature of social relationships and dynamics within organisations may influence training‐related decisions. Supporting this proposition, the article presents findings from a case study, suggesting that organisational politics as a result of self‐interest, conflict and power relations, influenced the validity of the data provided by managers and subordinates during a TNA. Presents a framework to assist practitioners in recognising when and how organisational politics may affect TNA, and attempts to map the specific political dimensions that impact on training decisions, to guide future research in the area.
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