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Interviews, questionnaires and focus groups were conducted to determine the training needs of small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) in relation to the Internet…
Interviews, questionnaires and focus groups were conducted to determine the training needs of small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) in relation to the Internet, e‐commerce and electronic data interchange (EDI) in the UK, Poland, Slovak Republic, Germany and Portugal. The main findings indicated that there is a lack of skills and knowledge regarding use and implementation of these information and communication technologies (ICTs), and managers require training in both the business and technical issues associated with these ICTs. As a result of these studies, a Web‐based intelligent training system (WITS) has been developed. The aim of the system is to provide awareness in how to implement the Internet, e‐commerce and EDI into business processes. The WITS system aims to address the needs of SMEs by providing computer‐assisted instruction on the main elements identified for e‐commerce success. This paper describes the rationale for the structure of the WITS system, the means by which the content was classified into modules in the training system, the level of information provided, and the type of interface guidelines used to improve usability of the system.
The rapid advancement in information and communication technologies (ICTs) has brought enormous business opportunities as well as challenges. One of these challenges is…
The rapid advancement in information and communication technologies (ICTs) has brought enormous business opportunities as well as challenges. One of these challenges is the demand for ICTs skills and expertise in adopting and implementing these emerging technologies. Coping with skills shortage poses a serious challenge across all European countries. Lack of ICTs skills and knowledge is more evident in small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). As training is regarded as the most effective way of improving skills and enhancing knowledge, this paper attempts to address skills shortage at pan‐European level by identifying SMEs’ needs on ICTs training in the UK, Portugal and Poland. The investigation focuses on the most needed training areas, the required training levels and the preferred training delivery channels. The paper summarises findings from three‐country investigations and highlights the implications of findings for the design and development of a Web‐based training system for the use of ICTs in SMEs.
Vertical integration is a key strategic management decision which requires research support. Existing literature is extensive but is preoccupied with measures of the…
Vertical integration is a key strategic management decision which requires research support. Existing literature is extensive but is preoccupied with measures of the extent of vertical integration rather than the fundamental effectiveness of the strategy. The industrial community that the research seeks to benefit is left with an array of measures of integration and an array of widely differing conclusions regarding its potential benefit to a business. Research should be driven by customer need and the decision areas industrialists need to address should set the research agenda. Identifies the key issues relating to vertical integration and the extent to which these are addressed by existing methodologies. Develops a new methodology which avoids the intractable problem of measuring the extent of integration. Adoption of this methodology would enable more coherent and clear messages to be sent to management, thus enabling more informed decision making.
Beginning in February 1973, an experimental course was run by Durham University Business School for Durham Probation Service. The course was an innovation as far as the…
Beginning in February 1973, an experimental course was run by Durham University Business School for Durham Probation Service. The course was an innovation as far as the Business School was concerned, as no member of staff had extensive experience in the teaching of management concepts to members of a social service department. Similarly, experience of this type of management course was, for Probation Service personnel, very limited. A feature of the course was the composition of the participant group from the Probation Service. The entire top management strata were to attend, together with the area groups of Senior Probation Officers. Figure 1 illustrates the upper organisation structure of the service.
Following publication of a new vision for the English National Health Service (NHS) in 2014, known as the NHS Five-Year Forward View, a Vanguard programme was introduced…
Following publication of a new vision for the English National Health Service (NHS) in 2014, known as the NHS Five-Year Forward View, a Vanguard programme was introduced by NHS England charged with the task of designing and delivering a range of new care models (NCMs) aimed at tackling deep-seated problems of a type facing all health systems to a greater or lesser degree. Drawing upon recent theoretical developments on the multilevel nature of context, we explore factors shaping the implementation of five NCM initiatives in the North East of England.
Data collection was based on semi-structured interviews (66 in total) between December 2016 and May 2017 with key informants at each site and a detailed review of Trusts' internal documents and policies related to the implementation of each NCM. Our analysis explores factors shaping the implementation of five NCM pilot sites as they touched on the multiple levels of context ranging from the macro policy level to the micro-level setting of workforce redesign.
It is far too early to conclude with any confidence that a successful outcome for the NCM programme will be forthcoming although the NHS Long-Term Plan seeks to build on the earlier vision set out in the Five-Year Forward View. Early indications show some signs of promise, especially where there is evidence of the ground having been prepared and changes already being put in place prior to the official launch of NCM initiatives. At the same time our findings demonstrate that all five pilot sites experienced, and were subject to, unrealistic pressure placed upon them to deliver outcomes.
Our findings demonstrate the need for a deeper understanding of the multilevel nature of context by exploring factors shaping the implementation of five NCMs in the North East of England. Exploring the wider national policy context is desirable as well as understanding the perceptions of front-line staff and service users in order to establish the degree of alignment or, conversely, to identify where policy and practice are at risk of pushing and pulling against each other.
The intention of this research paper is to shed light on the key factors influencing the human resource management (HRM) performance of first tier managers (FTMs), and the…
The intention of this research paper is to shed light on the key factors influencing the human resource management (HRM) performance of first tier managers (FTMs), and the vital importance that a holistic strategic framework can have in this regard.
The research paper uses an up‐to‐date historical approach and, additionally, draws on detailed case study evidence from an aerospace manufacturing/engineering company via manually and electronically analysed in‐depth semi‐structured interview and company documentation.
The case study findings reveal that the FTM's HRM performance is greatly influenced by a group of four key factors, and their interrelationships.
The literature survey was mainly industry‐specific (manufacturing), and the sample was restricted to one sector (aerospace), as well as one case study organisation. Furthermore, the views of FTMs' staff are not directly represented.
The FTMs' HRM role shows no signs of abating; in addition, questions regarding their performance of this role have increasingly emerged. This has become more evident as organisations have continued to expand the FTMs' role by devolving greater HRM responsibilities to them, and their performance of the role demonstrates that many FTMs are ill equipped to perform their HRM duties to the required standard. However, the vital importance that a holistic strategic framework (which encompasses the four key factors influencing their performance) can have on their performance of this role is not acknowledged. The present research paper, gives an empirical example of a case study, and therefore provides a springboard to address the weakness in the literature.
In recent years the use of formal, centralised training courses to promote the development of managers has been criticised by people such as Alistair Mant, Reginald Revans and Hawdon Hague. Mant calls for a drastic reappraisal of management education and training. He argues that, unless a coherent theory of management action and learning is developed, little real progress can be made. Revans advocates project‐based or action learning as an alternative to training courses, whilst Hague sees the individual coaching of managers as another possible solution to the problem of management training.
Decisions on management development need to be taken by a wide range of people in different parts and at different levels of the organisation. This article looks at the…
Decisions on management development need to be taken by a wide range of people in different parts and at different levels of the organisation. This article looks at the information needs of the main decision makers in management development, i.e. senior, line, specialist and trainee managers. It is illustrated with examples from the authors' current work in British organisations.