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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…

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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. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Book part
Publication date: 10 June 2009

Wilda F. Meixner, Dennis Bline, Dana R. Lowe and Hossein Nouri

Communication researchers have observed that students will avoid majors that require the use of certain skills where the individual exhibits a high level of apprehension…

Abstract

Communication researchers have observed that students will avoid majors that require the use of certain skills where the individual exhibits a high level of apprehension toward those skills. Historically, accounting has been perceived as requiring more math skills and fewer communication skills than other business majors so accounting has typically attracted students with low math apprehension and high communication (written and oral) apprehension. The current study investigates whether business students' perceptions across business majors regarding the level of mathematics, writing, and oral communication skills required for accounting reflect the recent changes in pedagogy and curriculum content for the accounting major.

The results indicate that the perception of skills required to be an accounting major by students in other business majors (more math and less communication) is different from the perception of accounting majors. On the other hand, accounting majors' perceptions of the skills needed to be in an alternative business major is generally similar to students in the respective major. These observations may lead to the interpretation that accounting majors have gotten the word that professional expectations of accountants involve substantial communication skill while that message has apparently not been shared with students who elect to major in other business fields.

Details

Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-739-0

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Article
Publication date: 13 January 2022

Antigone G. Kyrousi, Eugenia Tzoumaka and Stella Leivadi

The paper aims to explore employability in business as perceived by Generation Z (late millennials) business students and faculty. It focuses on perceptions regarding…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to explore employability in business as perceived by Generation Z (late millennials) business students and faculty. It focuses on perceptions regarding necessary employability skills from the diverse standpoints of two different groups of stakeholders within one Higher Education Institution.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a Mixed Qualitative Design approach including a core and a supplementary component; Generation Z student perceptions are initially identified through a thematic analysis of students’ research reports on employability. These perceptions are then further contextualized through findings from a series of personal interviews conducted with Generation X academics in the same institution.

Findings

The findings support the two basic dimensions of perceived employability, work readiness and employability skills, for which students and educators hold similar notions. Both stakeholders distinguish between “hard” and “soft” skills, but filter their relative importance through a generational lens. An emerging finding was the link between personality traits and perceived employability skills.

Originality/value

The paper examines the much-debated issue of perceived employability through the eyes of Generation Z students; research on employability perceptions of Generation Z is, to date, limited. The topic is timely, as Generation Z is the newest generation entering the business job market. In addition, the paper adds to the emerging contemporary stream of literature exploring employability in the field of business education.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2022

Olorunjuwon Michael Samuel and Tshegofatso Moagi

The rapidly emerging digital work system, accentuated by technological innovation, has dramatically changed the nature of skill-sets required for employees to perform…

Abstract

Purpose

The rapidly emerging digital work system, accentuated by technological innovation, has dramatically changed the nature of skill-sets required for employees to perform their tasks effectively at the workplaces. This paper aims to examine the skills development strategies that organizations in South Africa are adopting in the transitioning of their respective workforces to fit the skills dynamics of the emerging work system.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses the interpretive qualitative research strategy to draw evidence from semi-structured interviews conducted on 38 respondents, using the thematic analytical process to derive themes embedded in the data set.

Findings

Based on the strength of data analysis, this paper identified two broad themes and six sub-themes that are critical for the transformation and transition of existing pool of skills for the emerging work system in South Africa.

Research limitations/implications

The research lacks ability to be generalized, which is a methodological limitation that is inherently associated with cross-sectional design and qualitative strategy in terms of causality and generalizability of findings.

Originality/value

The main value-add of this paper is the development of evidence-based research outcomes that provide both theoretical and practical framework for skills development and transition initiatives that are imperative for policy formulation. The paper responded to, and advanced the respective works of Hirschi (2017), Sharma et al. (2021) and Barley et al. (2017), by establishing the following strategic themes that are critical for skills development and transition mechanisms in the emerging work system: stakeholder relationship, media and public perception, learning organization, higher education system, continuous skills development and technology and job losses.

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2021

Abdullah Murrar, Madan Batra, Veronica Paz, Bara Asfour and Marouane Balmakhtar

The purpose of this research is to explore the employer and employee perspectives about the employability skills of skilful jobs. The research is conducted in a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to explore the employer and employee perspectives about the employability skills of skilful jobs. The research is conducted in a developing country (Palestine) which has a high percentage of university graduates, high unemployment rate and intense job competition. This paper defines skilful jobs as those that require employees who have attended a college or university and have completed a two-year diploma or a four-year degree.

Design/methodology/approach

This research integrates the components of discussion with local experts in the skilled labour market, primary data from employers (N = 415) and primary data from employees (N = 880). Binary logistic regression is used to measure the relationship between the dependent variable (likelihood of hire or not hire) and independent variables (job applicants' hard and soft skills).

Findings

The results from both employer and employee data revealed that the previous work experience, computer skills, professional certifications and high grade point average have significant impact on hiring and recruitment in the skilful jobs. In addition to these, the employers seek applicants who have communication skills. However, the employees consider personal relationship with employers to be a highly significant factor in accepting job offers.

Practical implications

To increase their likelihood of obtaining a skilful job, and then sustaining it, the job seekers should hone their soft skills and acquire professional certifications. The universities should adapt their curriculum to match these skills and move their focus from disciplinary knowledge to competencies. The public policy makers should design awareness and capacity building programmes that will facilitate the recent graduates' integration into the labour market. The empirical model in this study shows that previous work experience is the most important recruitment factor for employers – accordingly, creating internships and apprenticeship opportunities would be its clear policy implication.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the literature by providing a parsimonious employability model of skilful jobs, which fits as much as possible the perspectives of the employers and employees about the employability skills in a developing country.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2022

Shafiqul Alam and Pavitra Dhamija

The transition from Industry 3.0 to the fourth industrial revolution was a big jump that created a vacuum in many developing countries. Drawing upon institutional theory…

Abstract

Purpose

The transition from Industry 3.0 to the fourth industrial revolution was a big jump that created a vacuum in many developing countries. Drawing upon institutional theory and resource-based view theory, the current study proposes a theoretical model linking the institutional pressures and resources (workforce skills) in context to the apparel industry of Bangladesh.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a qualitative approach involving 20 semi-structured interviews, followed by thematic analysis using NVivo 12 software. The researchers impose both deductive and inductive thematic analysis to generate themes. The data analysis involves various stages applying the phenomenological approaches.

Findings

Institutional pressures (coercive) positively influences the workforce skills (technical and managerial) in the fourth industrial revolution in Bangladesh apparel manufacturing industry; institutional pressures (normative) is positively related to the workforce skills (technical and managerial) in 4IR in Bangladesh apparel manufacturing industry; institutional pressures (mimetic) has shown a positive association with the workforce skills (technical and managerial) in 4IR in Bangladesh apparel manufacturing industry; workforce skills (technical and managerial) are positively influencing the development of human resource capabilities in fourth industrial revolution in Bangladesh apparel manufacturing industry.

Originality/value

This paper is the first of its kind to offer a thematic analysis on human resource development 4.0 in the apparel industry of Bangladesh. The study provides an understanding of the role of institutional pressure on workforce skill development and the adoption of 4IR technology.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2021

Arnesh Telukdarie, Megashnee Munsamy, Popopo Jonas Mohlala, Lesego Lydia Monnapula and Radhakrishnan Viswanathan

The purpose of this research is to investigate sustainable strategies for skills development that is specific to the youth of South Africa. International and South African…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to investigate sustainable strategies for skills development that is specific to the youth of South Africa. International and South African data are statistically analysed and quantified to provide inputs for the systems dynamics (SD)-based predictive skills model. The skills model simulates the impact of barriers and drivers on youth skills development towards identification of focus areas for improvement.

Design/methodology/approach

The research adopts a mixed-methods approach. The study begins with an explorative literature study on skills development, with the findings applied in developing (1) South African specific research instruments for small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and skills programme grant recipients and (2) a conceptual framework of the SD predictive skills model. The responses to the South African specific instruments are analysed via confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), which quantifies the input coefficients to the system dynamics model. To quantify the global inputs for the SD model, an in-depth literature review of the global skills development initiatives is conducted. The SD model output on skills, for the South African inputs, is comparatively evaluated against global inputs.

Findings

The paper details the results of the literature analysis, instrument analyses, CFA and SD model. The instrument results rank experience, skills and interactions with experts and work-based learning as most important. South African and global learners identify networking as the primary medium for identifying training and employment opportunities. South African and global learners also identify qualifications and work-based experience as key to finding employment. The quantified results of the SA and global analysis are used as inputs in the SD model to deliver a forecasting tool. The SD model finds that the global data provide for better development of the skills base than the South African inputs. The key focus areas identified for improvement in South Africa include networking, work-based experience and a reduction in administrative requirements.

Originality/value

The research's originality resides in the ability to predict the impact of drivers and barriers on skills development. This research sought to transform qualitative global and South African inputs into a consolidated, predictive systems-based model. The SD model can be adopted as an indicator of drivers and barriers focused towards the optimisation of skills development.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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Article
Publication date: 22 December 2021

Lin Mei Tan, Fawzi Laswad and Frances Chua

Employability skills are critical for success in the workplace, even more so in this era of globalisation of economies and advancement in technologies. However, there is…

Abstract

Purpose

Employability skills are critical for success in the workplace, even more so in this era of globalisation of economies and advancement in technologies. However, there is ample evidence of the gap between the skills acquired by graduates at universities and the skills expected by employers in the workplace. Applying the modes of grasping and transforming the experience embodied in Kolb’s experiential learning theory (ELT) (1976, 1984), the purpose of this paper is to examine the development of employability skills of accountancy students through their involvement in two extracurricular activities: community accounting and an accountancy club.

Design/methodology/approach

Underpinned by Kolb’s (1976, 1984) four modes of ELT and work-integrated learning to develop professional competencies required for future work, an online survey of accounting students was conducted to assess their reflections on involvement in these two aforementioned extracurricular activities over a two-year period.

Findings

The findings indicate that the students had developed useful cognitive and behavioural skills from their participation in these extracurricular activities. These findings are consistent with the literature on internships and service-learning, both of which have been associated with transferable skills development.

Originality/value

Prior studies focused on in-classroom learning activities or internships to help students develop various essential skills required in the workplace. However, extracurricular activities have received little attention in the accounting education literature. This study provides insights into skills accounting students can gain from extracurricular participation in community accounting and an accountancy club.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

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Article
Publication date: 21 December 2021

Saroja Kumari Wanigasekara, Muhammad Ali and Erica French

Networking behaviours are important for a range of work outcomes. Little empirical evidence of how internal vs external networking behaviours influence job commitment and…

Abstract

Purpose

Networking behaviours are important for a range of work outcomes. Little empirical evidence of how internal vs external networking behaviours influence job commitment and job performance exists and whether political skills moderate these relationships. Using theories of social capital and personal initiative, this study examines the effect of internal and external networking behaviours on job commitment and job performance in the context of political skills.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a sequential mixed-method research design with a four-month time lag, Study 1 data on networking behaviours, political skills and work outcomes were collected via a survey of middle managers and their supervisors from ten private sector organisations operating in Sri Lanka. Study 2 data were collected via interviews of a set of middle managers and their supervisors.

Findings

Study 1 findings indicate a positive relationship between internal networking behaviours and both job commitment and job performance. The authors also found a moderating effect of political skills on internal networking behaviours and job commitment. Study 2 findings explained, strengthened and extended results of Study 1.

Practical implications

Middle managers can use these research findings to understand how internal networking behaviours improve their job commitment and job performance. These managers can use their political skills and internal networking behaviours to improve their job commitment. They can also advance their career through improved job commitment and job performance. Senior managers and human resource managers should facilitate and encourage internal networking behaviours. Training and development managers should develop middle managers' networking behaviours and political skills.

Originality/value

This study provides pioneering evidence of how internal networking behaviours impact middle managers' job performance and job commitment, and how internal networking behaviours improve job commitment for middle managers with high political skills.

Details

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2051-6614

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2021

Celestin Mayombe

The concern in this article is that there is low interest in adult education and training (AET) programmes of the unemployed adults in developing countries. The purpose of…

Abstract

Purpose

The concern in this article is that there is low interest in adult education and training (AET) programmes of the unemployed adults in developing countries. The purpose of the article is to determine the effects of social marketing efforts in motivating adult learners to acquire marketable skills for poverty reduction.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used the qualitative (semi-structured interviews) method for data collection from 12 adult learners and five managers of AET centres of South Africa. The qualitative method in the form of semi-structured interviews helped the researcher to present the data from the perspective of the centre managers and adult learners on how the AET centres used social marketing efforts in motivating to acquire and utilise skills in entrepreneurial ventures.

Findings

The findings reveal that the effects of social marketing efforts consisted of persuading adult learners to enrol for skills training programmes, to attract their engagement to acquire marketable skills and to form business groups or co-operatives as a means of transition from skills acquisition to entrepreneurial ventures. As elements of social marketing effort in the skills training delivery, the AET centres used teaching and learning approaches and motivated the adult learners to acquire skills.

Practical implications

From the social marketing perspective, the practical implication of the findings for the policy consists of demonstrating the importance of social marketing efforts in skills training programmes to reduce poverty amongst poor and unemployed adults. The findings demonstrate the need for coordinated campaign activities at AET centre regional levels to motivate the engagement of the unemployed adults; hence, they will become aware of the benefits of the skills training programmes to improve their lives.

Social implications

The lack of motivation is still the main barrier for participation in adult skills programmes, although there is significant progress made in many countries. In addition, social marketing efforts point to a need to promote, encourage and recognise participation from private sector for joint stakeholder cooperation.

Originality/value

This article is unique because it provides empirical findings on how to mitigate the barriers blocking adult participation in skills training programmes by using the social marketing efforts in motivating them to acquire marketable skills. The article contributes to the body of knowledge by determining the effects of the social marketing efforts in motivating adult learners to acquire marketable skills for poverty reduction. The efforts entail developing and implementing campaigns to motivate adult learners in their communities and stakeholder cooperation.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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