Search results

1 – 10 of over 54000
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 28 May 2021

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether hard-skills trainers and soft-skills trainers have different perspectives regarding the instructional skills and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether hard-skills trainers and soft-skills trainers have different perspectives regarding the instructional skills and knowledge they require.

Design/methodology/approach

From the previous training literature the authors used 14 items covering relevant instructional knowledge and skills in a questionnaire which was applied online. Following an exploratory factor analysis a one-way multivariate analysis of variance [MANOVA] was conducted with the training content being the independent variable and the training requirements being the dependent variables.

Findings

Soft-skills trainers and hard-skills trainers differed in the variety of instructional methods and in their emphasis on interpersonal relations and interactions, group management and communication. Those trainers with train-the-trainer certificates did not differ significantly from those who did not have them. Trainers with a university degree in educational science/psychology were more likely to teach soft skills than hard skills but did not agree more with the relevance of instructional skills and knowledge than those without such a degree.

Research limitations/implications

The authors note that the results reflect the subjective perceptions of instructional requirements by trainers rather than objective requirements which would need to be tested by other means.

Practical implications

This study has a range of practical implications including the importance of skill and knowledge content and that of the trainers' perceptions in determining the extent to which what is learned is transferred into day-to-day work.

Originality/value

Previous literature has given little attention to the content of training and it has been unclear how this might affect learning and its transfer.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 9 July 2020

Susanne Wisshak and Sabine Hochholdinger

This study aims to investigate whether soft-skills trainers and hard-skills trainers have different perspectives regarding their required instructional knowledge and skills.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate whether soft-skills trainers and hard-skills trainers have different perspectives regarding their required instructional knowledge and skills.

Design/methodology/approach

An online questionnaire was completed by 129 soft-skills trainers and 61 hard-skills trainers. The authors used 14 items covering relevant instructional knowledge and skills based on the training literature.

Findings

An exploratory factor analysis identified the following two factors: managing interactions and instructional activities. A multivariate analysis of variance showed significant differences in the assessments of managing interactions (p = 0.00) and instructional activities (p = 0.01) between soft- and hard-skills trainers. The differences in managing interactions were larger than those in instructional activities. The soft-skills trainers showed higher agreement with all items. Most individual items had medium effect sizes. The differing perspectives of soft- and hard-skills trainers are not an effect of different educational backgrounds.

Research limitations/implications

These findings suggest that differences exist in the required instructional knowledge and skills depending on whether trainers teach soft or hard skills. Further research should consider the training content.

Practical implications

Practitioners can ensure that soft-skills trainers meet the respective requirements.

Originality/value

This study is the first to investigate the differences in soft- and hard-skills trainers’ perceptions of instructional requirements.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 12 September 2018

M.S. Rao

The purpose of this paper is to achieve sanctimonious status to the soft skills discipline. It explores soft skills in global organizations and educational institutions.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to achieve sanctimonious status to the soft skills discipline. It explores soft skills in global organizations and educational institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper explains the significance of soft skills and the methods to acquire these. It differentiates between soft and hard skills with examples and illustrations. It draws a blueprint to offer soft skills program. It unveils expository strategy, guided strategy and active strategy for teaching and training soft skills.

Findings

The finding of this study reminds that the world is shifting from knowledge economy to self-knowledge economy and of the importance of soft skills with the advent of artificial intelligence. It enlightens that a judicious blend of hard and soft skills is essential for achieving professional and leadership success. It implores not only to build hard skills but also mind soft skills. It concludes that soft skills are essential for everyone from janitors to chief executives to achieve the desired outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

This paper explains from the academic and organizational perspectives only.

Practical implications

This methodology can be applied in any industry and in any size of organization globally.

Social implications

The social implications of this research suggest that educational institutions and global organizations can adopt these methods and strategies to impart and improve soft skills.

Originality/value

This research explores tools and techniques to measure soft skills. It encourages experiential learning to impart soft skills. It coins an innovative evaluation tool – Meka’s five-level model – to measure soft skills training. It outlines a few sample questions to measure soft skills training. It crafts course curriculum for soft skills. It unveils a list of soft skills essential for leaders.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 14 October 2013

M.S Rao

Highlights the importance of top people in an organization having both hard and soft skills.

Abstract

Purpose

Highlights the importance of top people in an organization having both hard and soft skills.

Design/methodology/approach

Connects hard and soft skills with left and right-brain respectively. Distinguishes between book-smart and street-smart.

Findings

Argues that leaders with hard and soft skills are more likely to enjoy career success and to achieve organizational excellence.

Practical implications

Observes how successful leaders treat others as partners rather than as subordinates.

Originality/value

Demonstrates how leaders with soft skills along with hard skills handle knowledge workers who crave partnership rather than traditional command-and-control management.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 21 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 3 September 2020

Mason Ameri, Terri Kurtzberg, Lisa Schur and Douglas Kruse

This purpose of this paper is to explore to efficacy of influence tactics at the outset of a job interview. Across three empirical studies, five influence tactics were…

Abstract

Purpose

This purpose of this paper is to explore to efficacy of influence tactics at the outset of a job interview. Across three empirical studies, five influence tactics were manipulated during a simulated job interview to explore first impressions for candidates with or without a visible disability.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants viewed videos of candidates (either in a wheelchair or not) responding to the opening question in a job interview by using one of five influence tactics (i.e. revealing a strong alternative, setting a numerical anchor, demonstrating approachability through imperfections, presenting hard skills that described job-related competencies or presenting soft skills including connecting well with and leading others). Perceptions of trustworthiness, fit for the current job and perceived appropriate salary amount were rated.

Findings

Results show that, in general, tactics that might have beneficial effects when used at later moments, including the use of a strong alternate, anchor or imperfection display, may instead harm first impressions of anyone. When discussing specific skills, hard skills helped in both cases. However, the presentation of soft skills helped only the non-disabled job candidate. Trustworthiness acted as a mediator for most of these relationships in both populations.

Originality/value

Results provide insight into how the use of these tactics very early in an interaction unfolds. Further, parsing the use of influence tactics into their effects on specific populations (such as people with disabilities) allows us to better understand the conditions under which they may help or hurt perceptions of employability.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 December 2019

Hendrik P. van Dalen and Kène Henkens

The purpose of this paper is to see whether attitudes toward older workers by managers change over time and what might explain development over time.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to see whether attitudes toward older workers by managers change over time and what might explain development over time.

Design/methodology/approach

A unique panel study of Dutch managers is used to track the development of their attitudes toward older workers over time (2010–2013) by focusing on a set of qualities of older workers aged 50 and older. A conditional change model is used to explain the variation in changes by focusing on characteristics of the manager (age, education, gender, tenure and contact with older workers) and of the firm (composition staff, type of work and sector, size).

Findings

Managers have significantly adjusted their views on the so-called “soft skills” of older workers, like reliability and loyalty. Attitudes toward “hard skills” – like physical stamina, new tech skills and willingness to train – have not changed. Important drivers behind these changes are the age of the manager – the older the manager, the more likely a positive change in attitude toward older workers can be observed – and the change in the quality of contact with older workers. A deterioration of the managers’ relationship with older workers tends to correspond with a decline in their assessment of soft and hard skills.

Social implications

Attitudes are not very susceptible to change but this study shows that a significant change can be expected simply from the fact that managers age: older managers tend to have a more positive assessment of the hard and soft skills of older workers than young managers.

Originality/value

This paper offers novel insights into the question whether stereotypes of managers change over time.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Thomas Bolli and Ursula Renold

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the questions as to how important skills are; which skills can best be learned at school, and which skills can be acquired…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the questions as to how important skills are; which skills can best be learned at school, and which skills can be acquired better in the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors exploit data from a survey among professional tertiary education and training business administration students and their employers in Switzerland.

Findings

The authors find that skills used in the business processes strategic management, human resource management, organizational design, and project management are most suitable to be taught in school. However, the results further suggest that soft skills can be acquired more effectively in the workplace than at school. The only exceptions are analytical thinking, joy of learning and organizational soft skills, for which school and workplace are similarly suitable.

Practical implications

The paper provides empirical evidence regarding the optimal choice of the learning place for both human resource managers as well as educational decision makers who aim to combine education and training, e.g. in an apprenticeship.

Originality/value

Little evidence regarding the optimal learning place exists.

Details

Evidence-based HRM: a Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-3983

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 30 September 2013

Konrad Turek and Jolanta Perek-Bialas

The purpose of this empirical paper is to investigate the employers’ perception of productivity of older workers in Poland with comparison to the younger ones. The paper…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this empirical paper is to investigate the employers’ perception of productivity of older workers in Poland with comparison to the younger ones. The paper examines whether various factors including employee's skills and company policies play a role. The findings were compared with situation in the Netherlands, discussing the differences.

Design/methodology/approach

Data come from 2009 representative survey (CATI) of 1,037 Polish companies. Supervisor’ rating method was used for assessment of workers skills and productivity. Primary analysis are linear regression models with employer's assessment of productivity of older and younger workers as dependent variables.

Findings

In case of older workers, higher assessment of soft skills is the most influential factor for explaining the assessment of productivity, while hard skills play smaller, yet not minor, role. In case of younger workers the relation is reversed. Age management aiming at improvement of older workers’ job performance correlates with higher rating of their productivity.

Research limitations/implications

Cross-sectional researches in the case of age-group comparison may be biased by the cohort effect.

Practical implications

The paper brings forth important implications for policy makers and employers who will have to deal with the challenge of an aging and shrinking workforce. They refer to lifelong learning, system of public health, age management. The most important conclusion concerns the negative influence of age-related stereotypes for the labor market situation of older workers.

Originality/value

The paper presents data from the first research aimed at employers’ views of older workers in Poland. The paper extends the knowledge about relation of employers’ opinions, their actions and situation of older workers.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

M.S. Rao

The purpose of this paper is to bridge the gap between campus and industry among the management and engineering students to enhance their employability. It equips students

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to bridge the gap between campus and industry among the management and engineering students to enhance their employability. It equips students and faculty with creative tools and techniques to acquire soft skills and provides a new perspective to the discipline of soft skills.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper designs an interview questionnaire containing both open and close-ended questions to elicit responses from faculty, students, recruiters, and directors of educational institutions.

Findings

The study found that there must be effective coordination among faculty, students, industry and directors of educational institutions for enhancing employability skills among students. It places emphasis on the role of Training and Placement Officer (TPO) in the educational institutions for better employability and calls for promotion of finishing schools to enhance employability.

Research limitations/implications

The article relies on limited survey and interview data from one particular district in India and from students of engineering and management education only.

Practical implications

The study can be applied in any part of the world as there is a problem of unemployability everywhere currently.

Originality/value

The paper adds value to the little literature available in the area of soft skills. It sets the agenda for discussion in soft and hard skills and employability, presents problems and prospects and calls for blending both hard and soft skills to enhance employability.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 46 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 12 February 2019

Ozlem Bak, Christine Jordan and James Midgley

With supply chains expanding in scope and scale globally, the academic literature underlined the increasing role and importance of soft skills. Traditionally, the supply…

Abstract

Purpose

With supply chains expanding in scope and scale globally, the academic literature underlined the increasing role and importance of soft skills. Traditionally, the supply chain literature geared towards hard skills including functional and technical skill sets with limited discussion on soft skills. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to assess and explore the soft skills demand in supply chain management arena.

Design/methodology/approach

This study has utilised a mixed methods study in two phases, with the first stage including a questionnaire distributed to 120 supply chain employees in the UK, followed by six interviews with supply chain experts in the UK.

Findings

The results suggest that soft skills, especially behavioural skills such as communication, planning, initiative and negotiation, were seen to be more important when compared to decision making, negotiation and management skills. The findings indicate that the changing supply chain scope encourages the requisition and development of different supply chain soft skills with varied levels of emphasis in relation to 15 soft skills identified in the literature.

Research limitations/implications

This study employs a mixed-method approach to establish the perceived importance of soft skills in the UK supply chains. This limits the generalisability of the results to other contextual settings.

Practical implications

This paper presents soft skills impact upon the supply chain. Specific soft skills are critical to supply chain employees compared to others (e.g. behavioural and people management skills), which may lead to articulation of supply chain soft skills training initiatives.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the soft skills discussion in the supply chain context and discusses the role of soft skills. Topical gaps in the literature are identified as areas for future research. The findings have generated additional supply chain skills to the academic literature as well as provided an understanding of the weighting of soft skills in terms of their importance and application to industry needs.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 54000