Skills utilisation in Scotland: exploring the views of managers and employees

Kirsteen Grant (Department of People and Organisational Development, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Glasgow, UK)
Gillian Maxwell (Department of Business Management, Glasgow School for Business and Society, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)
Susan Ogden (Department of Business Management, Glasgow School for Business and Society, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Publication date: 29 July 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore empirically manager and employee views on employees’ skills utilisation in organisations in Scotland.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires to managers and employees, plus three case studies comprising manager interviews and employee focus groups.

Findings

Highly significant differences are found between manager and employee views on: the match of employee skills to their current jobs; the extent of utilisation of employees’ skills; and opportunities for promotion. The main difference in views is on the match of employee skills to their current jobs, with employees opining more than managers that employees’ skills exceed the requirements of their job. Also, for managers and employees alike, the meaning of skills utilisation is obscure despite the language of skills being widely used in organisations.

Research limitations/implications

The scale of the empirical research is possibly limited. There is potential for manager and employee bias. A case study of a private sector organisation is not included.

Practical implications

It is apparent that there is potential to increase employees’ skills utilisation in organisations in Scotland. Managers are challenged with better utilising the skills within their workforces by using these skills to drive improvements in work processes and practices.

Originality/value

Previous commentary and research on skills utilisation mainly centres on policy and employer standpoints. This paper focuses on manager and employee viewpoints on employees’ skills utilisation.

Keywords

Citation

Grant, K., Maxwell, G. and Ogden, S. (2014), "Skills utilisation in Scotland: exploring the views of managers and employees", Employee Relations, Vol. 36 No. 5, pp. 458-479. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-09-2012-0069

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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