The idea of the training department as a passive provider of a menu of courses appears to be giving way to the concept of training as an active management function which contributes to the growth and development of the organisation. This notion has long been debated in the literature and is increasingly practised in organisations, under the twin influences of economic pressure and critical examination of effective learning methods. As a result, training managers' roles are changing and their political skills of boundary management (e.g. acquiring resources, exercising influence, building relationships, protecting their departments from pressures and threats, co‐ordinating activities with other functions) are becoming even more crucial to the survival of their departments as the latter become more exposed. It was in precisely these areas of boundary management that many of the ITBs failed and, in the final analysis, their problem was one of evaluation — the ITBs did not successfully demonstrate that they were making a valued contribution.
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