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Bridging the relationship gap between the training function and chief financial officers: practices, challenges, and solutions

Keith F. Keating (Department of Education, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 1 December 2022




This paper provides a review of literature on associated practices, challenges, and proposed solutions to bridging the relationship gap between training practitioners and chief financial officers (CFOs).


This is a descriptive research paper based on a multidisciplinary and critical review of existing literature discussing the relationship gaps between the training function and chief financial officers.


Available literature suggests a relationship gap exists between the training function and chief financial officers. As a result, both functions interpret the value of workplace training differently, leading to misalignment in their respective operations. The lack of relationship between the functions may result in defunding of the training function, which can adversely affect an organization’s financial performance. Although CFOs and training functions have the same goal of creating organizational value, an opportunity exists to create a stronger partnership between finance practitioners and training practitioners, leading to increased investment in training and ultimately improved organizational value.

Research limitations/implications

This article presents contextual research findings and may not fit all settings, but offers a comparative account of challenges associated with relationship challenges between the training function and CFOs. A paucity of research exists on the relationships between training and CFOs.

Practical implications

This paper has real and practical implications for learning and development, finance, and human resources practitioners. The findings seek to encourage training practitioners and CFOs to build stronger relationships and jointly define measurement and reporting practices. This research aims to provide an informed perspective on practices to help executives better understand the value of workplace training, leading to an increase of the investment in training, and ultimately changing the categorization of training spend from a cost to an investment.


This paper provides original insights and reviews newly published studies regarding relationships between the training function and chief financial officers, the development of workplace training valuation approaches, the associated challenges faced, and proposed solutions. This paper will be of value to human resources, learning and development, and finance, assisting practitioners in thinking differently about approaches to quantifying the value of workplace training.



Keating, K.F. (2022), "Bridging the relationship gap between the training function and chief financial officers: practices, challenges, and solutions", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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