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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Tom Short and Roger McL. Harris

This paper aims to explore why harmonisation, given its potential, is so difficult to achieve. It analyses the issues and challenges in achieving harmonisation of training…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore why harmonisation, given its potential, is so difficult to achieve. It analyses the issues and challenges in achieving harmonisation of training and development across an industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach was a meta-analysis of six research projects undertaken in the Australian rail industry. These projects varied in duration from 12-24 months. Between 2009 and 2013, rail employees in varying roles and levels of seniority, including middle managers, front-line supervisors, rail incident investigators, track workers and drivers, were interviewed (n = 176) and surveyed (n = 341).

Findings

The meta-analysis identified a range of characteristics associated with harmonisation. It uncovered three categories of harmonisation, seven types of risk modelled in a layered risk pyramid and analysed key structural, environmental and organisational barriers to harmonisation. The paper concludes that harmonisation struggles to gain strategic significance and is hampered by operational pragmatism.

Research limitations/implications

There are few published papers examining harmonisation across companies or based on meta-analyses, especially qualitatively. Despite limitations of insufficient detail to allow close analysis, potentially variable quality data across projects from which to develop a meta-analysis and the danger of comparing apples with oranges, more attempts using this approach would be helpful in gaining nuanced insights into an industry.

Practical implications

Achieving industry harmonisation requires significant change in the mindset of executives. To enhance the chances of harmonisation, there is need for a strong national entity with overview of the entire industry, high-quality training and development resources and activities and cost-benefit analyses and active campaigns. A major outcome of this research is the risk pyramid, which can be used by managers as a strategic evaluation tool. By using such tools based on sound research, leaders can be equipped to make informed decisions and reduce downstream risks.

Originality/value

This research has value in extending the literature in two main ways: through examining the notion of harmonisation across an industry as distinct from within organisations that has been the focus of most studies and through using qualitative meta-analysis in a field dominated by quantitative approaches. It analyses the grey areas between rhetoric about its potential and difficulties in its achievement.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 41 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Roger Harris and Michele Simons

This paper aims to analyse, through the lens of learning network theory, ways in which external VET practitioners work within private enterprises to promote learning…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyse, through the lens of learning network theory, ways in which external VET practitioners work within private enterprises to promote learning within these organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on analyses of six case studies in two Australian States, each comprising a vocational education institute and an enterprise. In total, 34 interviews were held with four groups of participant – TAFE managers and practitioners, enterprise personnel and worker‐learners – from different industries.

Findings

The paper finds that the overlaying of an external learning system on existing learning systems brings inevitable tensions that need to be carefully managed. VET practitioners working in industry operate in two worlds with very different cultures. They need to learn how to work within different power structures, how to build around existing work and learning networks, and how to mesh in with the flow of enterprise work. In the process of working with company staff, and crossing boundaries, they may well be creating a “third space” in which new meanings can be, and have to be, constructed that go beyond the limits of either site.

Practical implications

The paper shows that understanding these ways of working has practical implications for VET managers and practitioners, company staff and policy‐makers in terms of how human resources are managed and how different parties work together.

Originality/value

The paper shows two objectives: a relatively new focus in the research literature and an extension of learning network theory in terms of external learning systems.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 18 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Roger Harris, Michele Simons and Pam Carden

In the 1990s, one of Australia's police services moved from a centralised, academy‐based system of training towards a more integrated model of professional development. As…

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756

Abstract

In the 1990s, one of Australia's police services moved from a centralised, academy‐based system of training towards a more integrated model of professional development. As a consequence, probationary constables spent reduced time in the police academy (6 months) before moving into the workplace for 18 months of work‐based learning. This paper explores how those changes affected the ways in which probationary constables are viewed and accepted into the workforce. A useful model for this exploration is that of legitimate peripheral participation, as advocated by Lave and Wenger in 1991. Although Lave and Wenger acknowledge that peripherality, rather than being a negative term, allows for an understanding of inclusion into a community of practice, there is still a long journey to be travelled before full acceptance is accorded to the newcomer. By exploring the “voices” of the probationers and their senior officers, the conflicts and difficulties that arose during their work‐based probation and the negotiations required to help develop competent police officers, it is possible to trace the journey of probationary constables from periphery to a more central acceptance. This paper explores how the probationary constables were viewed and accepted into the workforce to become full and trusted members of a community of practice.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2005

Roger Harris and Michele Simons

Proposes to provide a description of the factors that underlie retention and to develop a model of the process of retention.

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3248

Abstract

Purpose

Proposes to provide a description of the factors that underlie retention and to develop a model of the process of retention.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study was conducted in a selected number of occupational areas. Interviews were conducted with apprentices and trainees employed under a contract of training; apprentices/trainees who had recently completed their contract of training; employers/workplace supervisors and teachers/trainers.

Findings

Provides information about a range of factors and how they combined to shape the process of retention. Recognises that some of the identified factors are more amenable to interventions to enhance retention than others.

Research limitations/implications

The study did not attempt to cover all occupations in which apprentices are employed, or to provide any ranking of importance of factors in relation to the retention process. The study encourages a holistic understanding of the process of retention and emphasises the dynamic nature of this process over the period of a contract of training.

Practical implications

A useful source of information for those concerned with designing interventions that target factors that are most amenable to promoting enhanced retention in apprenticeships.

Originality/value

This paper addresses the often neglected process of retention and offers some guidance in the design of interventions to promote retention in apprenticeships.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 47 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 December 1999

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55

Abstract

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2004

Nitish Singh, Olivier Furrer and Massimiliano Ostinelli

With the growth of worldwide e‐commerce, companies are increasingly targeting foreign online consumers. However, there is a dearth of evidence as to whether global…

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663

Abstract

With the growth of worldwide e‐commerce, companies are increasingly targeting foreign online consumers. However, there is a dearth of evidence as to whether global consumers prefer to browse and buy from standardized global web sites or web sites adapted to their local cultures. This study provides evidence from five different countries as to whether global consumers prefer local web content or standardized web content. The study also measures how the degree of cultural adaptation on the web affects consumer perception of site effectiveness.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

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Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 October 1998

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44

Abstract

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

The fragmented nature of the rail industry in Australia makes harmonization of training and development a significant challenge. However, by identifying key risks and obstacles, the sector will be better equipped to devise effective strategies that can help unification to be gradually achieved.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world’s leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Paul Hager

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331

Abstract

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 18 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 19 April 2013

Reviewed by Ilan Kelman

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191

Abstract

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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