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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Kirsteen Grant, Gillian Maxwell and Susan Ogden

– The purpose of this paper is to explore empirically manager and employee views on employees’ skills utilisation in organisations in Scotland.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore empirically manager and employee views on employees’ skills utilisation in organisations in Scotland.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires to managers and employees, plus three case studies comprising manager interviews and employee focus groups.

Findings

Highly significant differences are found between manager and employee views on: the match of employee skills to their current jobs; the extent of utilisation of employees’ skills; and opportunities for promotion. The main difference in views is on the match of employee skills to their current jobs, with employees opining more than managers that employees’ skills exceed the requirements of their job. Also, for managers and employees alike, the meaning of skills utilisation is obscure despite the language of skills being widely used in organisations.

Research limitations/implications

The scale of the empirical research is possibly limited. There is potential for manager and employee bias. A case study of a private sector organisation is not included.

Practical implications

It is apparent that there is potential to increase employees’ skills utilisation in organisations in Scotland. Managers are challenged with better utilising the skills within their workforces by using these skills to drive improvements in work processes and practices.

Originality/value

Previous commentary and research on skills utilisation mainly centres on policy and employer standpoints. This paper focuses on manager and employee viewpoints on employees’ skills utilisation.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 30 October 2007

Yabome Gilpin‐Jackson and Gervase R. Bushe

The purpose of this paper is to understand what contributes to transfer of soft‐skill, leadership training.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand what contributes to transfer of soft‐skill, leadership training.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a literature review resulted in five broad factors that may influence transfer of leadership training. These were used to guide a qualitative, exploratory study. Interviews were conducted with 18 participants of an extensive, soft skill oriented leadership development program, along with peer observers. Where possible, quantitative analyses are used to test and confirm qualitative findings.

Findings

The results showed substantial transfer of training and suggest that actual utilization of newly learned skills is influenced differently than judgments about the value of the training. The greatest inhibitor to transfer appeared to be fear of breaking cultural norms and the most important remedy, the number of other managers who receive the training. In particular, having one's boss take the same training was strongly associated with post‐training utilization. Some kinds of social support, like encouragement and verbal praise, were associated with positive judgments of the training but not with utilization. Instead, observing others use the skills and being able to coach one another was the kind of “support” that effected utilization, which depended on colleagues and bosses also receiving the training.

Research limitations/implications

As an exploratory case study, the study lacks a large sample and the kind of methodology that could prove the validity of the findings.

Practical implications

A number of implications for training managers wanting to ensure their leadership development programs have real impact are discussed. In particular, the study points to a need to plan for rapid diffusion of the training and for cultural change processes in parallel with leadership development courses.

Originality/value

The paper meets a need for empirical investigation of factors associated with transfer of soft skills into the workplace, as called for by researchers like Cheng and Ho. It identifies differences in what impacts judgments of value versus what actually impacts transfer. It also identifies how changing leadership behavior is as much a cultural intervention as a change in skill sets.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 26 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2018

Lucía Mateos Romero and Maria del Mar Salinas-Jiménez

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effects of labor mismatches on wages and on job satisfaction for the Spanish case, with a distinction been made between…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effects of labor mismatches on wages and on job satisfaction for the Spanish case, with a distinction been made between educational and skills-related measures of mismatch.

Design/methodology/approach

The focus is placed on the usage that the individuals do of their skills in the workplace and different measures of skills use are considered to check the robustness of the results.

Findings

Using data from PIAAC, the results suggest that whereas educational mismatch shows greater effects on wages, the effects of labor mismatch on job satisfaction are better explained by the relative use of individual skills in the workplace.

Research limitations/implications

Both educational and skills mismatches are relevant for understanding the economic effects of labor mismatch. Nevertheless, it should be taken into account that educational mismatch is not an accurate proxy for skills mismatch, mainly when the non-monetary effects of labor mismatch are addressed.

Practical implications

There is room to increase workers’ skills utilization in the workplace, which, in turn, would contribute to enhance individual job satisfaction and, consequently, workers productivity.

Social implications

A process of upgrading in the Spanish labor market would allow to take full advantage of recent investments in education and skills formation done in the country in the last decades.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature on labor mismatch by explicitly considering that educational and skills mismatch might reflect different phenomena and by analyzing the effects of both types of mismatches on different labor market outcomes.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 47 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2002

Annick L. van den Beukel and Eric Molleman

Not only is multifunctionality regarded as an indispensable design feature of team‐based work, being multifunctional is allegedly beneficial for employees, and it is…

Abstract

Not only is multifunctionality regarded as an indispensable design feature of team‐based work, being multifunctional is allegedly beneficial for employees, and it is presumed to increase job satisfaction and commitment. In this article we argue that multifunctionality also has its downsides and propose a framework in which multifunctionality is associated with ineffective utilisation of human resources. We incorporate examples from the empirical literature to depict sources of ineffective utilisation in teams. Depending on the managerial policies in force and the social dynamics within teams, multifunctionality can lead to both underutilisation of skills and overutilisation of capacity (task overload). By drawing on a range of literature, this article gives reason for more scepticism concerning the alleged universal benefits of multifunctionality, and suggests a framework as a starting point for further research.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

David Baldridge, Alison M. Konrad, Mark E. Moore and Yang Yang

Persons with childhood-onset disabilities are among the most marginalized populations, often unemployed or underemployment in jobs providing neither adequate hours for…

Abstract

Purpose

Persons with childhood-onset disabilities are among the most marginalized populations, often unemployed or underemployment in jobs providing neither adequate hours for financial self-sufficiency nor fulfillment through skill-utilization. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which social capital in the form of strong ties with family and friends is associated with enhanced employment outcomes for persons with childhood-onset disabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

Questioning the current theoretical consensus that strong social ties are unimportant to employment quality, the authors draw on disability research and opportunity, motivation and ability social capital theory to propose a model of the impact of strong ties with family and friends on paid-work-hours and skill-utilization as well as the potential moderating role of gender and disability severity. The authors then test this model using data from 1,380 people with childhood-onset disabilities and OLS regression analysis.

Findings

As theorized, family-of-origin-size is positively associated with hours worked. Family-of-origin-size is also associated with having more close friends and children. These strong ties, in turn, are positively associated with hours worked. The impact of having more children on hours worked and skill-utilization, however, is positive for men but non-significant for women.

Originality/value

This study breaks new ground by focusing on the association between strong ties with family and friends and employment quality for people with childhood-onset disabilities – a marginalized and understudied group. Findings further indicate the particular vulnerability of women with disabilities.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1994

Zhong‐Ming Wang

Reports the results of a field study on managerial decision making andcompetence utilization in Chinese enterprises. The results showed thatthe participative decision…

Abstract

Reports the results of a field study on managerial decision making and competence utilization in Chinese enterprises. The results showed that the participative decision making had positive effects on both morale and decision quality and that the decision skill utilization had a very close relationship with job satisfaction. It also demonstrated that the measure of influence/power‐sharing was an appropriate indicator for decision‐making patterns in the Chinese circumstances. Discusses implications of the results and proposes a process model of managerial decision making.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 9 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2012

John Sutherland

The purpose of this paper is to estimate the extent of “over‐qualification” (i.e. holding a qualification which is above that required to gain entry to the job being done…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to estimate the extent of “over‐qualification” (i.e. holding a qualification which is above that required to gain entry to the job being done) and “skills under‐utilisation” (i.e. being in a job which does not make use of the knowledge and skills possessed) in the United Kingdom and to examine whether these conditions are correlated with age.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper makes use of the 2006 Skills Survey. Cross tabulations of both conditions with age are produced and binomial probit estimates of both conditions are reported.

Findings

It is estimated that 38 per cent are over qualified; 15 per cent are in jobs which do not make use of the knowledge and skills they possess; and age is correlated with the probability of being over qualified but not with the condition of under‐utilising the knowledge and skills possessed.

Social implications

Skills policy in the United Kingdom focuses almost exclusively upon increasing the supply of more highly qualified individuals. Given the extent of over‐qualification and skills under‐utilisation demonstrated in the paper, more effort should be made by policy makers to design and implement policies which increase the demand for highly skilled labour.

Originality/value

The paper answers three questions: How prevalent are qualification mismatches? How prevalent are skills mismatches? To what extent are the two conditions of being over‐qualified and being in a job which does not offer scope to make use of the knowledge and skills possessed correlated with age?

Details

Education + Training, vol. 54 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 17 April 2009

Raj Agnihotri and Marvin D. Troutt

The objective of this paper is to further explore the emerging concept of personal knowledge management (PKM) and to bring researchers’ attention to this notion…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to further explore the emerging concept of personal knowledge management (PKM) and to bring researchers’ attention to this notion. Specifically, this paper aims to address issues related to the effective utilisation of technology in PKM practices.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical framework incorporating PKM skills, technology tools, user context and skills‐tools fit is proposed. Arguments are built on the task‐technology fit theory, which explores the link between technology tools and task characteristics (PKM skills).

Findings

The impact of effective PKM will depend increasingly on skills‐tools fit.

Practical implications

The success of technology utilisation resides not simply in whether individuals use technology, but if this usage actually improves effectiveness. For their own benefit, individuals should consider and assess the technology tools in the context of how they will be aligned with specific PKM skills.

Originality/value

Proposing a conceptual framework of PKM, this paper suggests that the core focus is individual inquest, that is, the effort to discover, share, learn and explore through combinations of technology and information skills. The importance of the user's context in the PKM process is also discussed

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Marco Pecoraro

The purpose of this paper is to propose an improved concept of educational mismatch that combines a statistical measure of over- and undereducation with the worker’s…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose an improved concept of educational mismatch that combines a statistical measure of over- and undereducation with the worker’s self-assessment of skill utilization. The novelty of this measurement approach consists in identifying the vertical and horizontal nature of skills mismatch, that is, a mismatch in which skills are either over/underutilized or not utilized.

Design/methodology/approach

Cross-sectional data from the Swiss Household Panel survey for the years 1999 and 2004 are used to determine the true extent of educational mismatch among workers. Moroever, different versions of the Duncan and Hoffman wage equation are estimated depending on whether basic or alternative measures of educational mismatch are included.

Findings

The empirical analyses provide the following results: first, at least two-third of the statistically defined overeducated workers perceive their skills as adequate for the job they hold and are then apparently overeducated; second, overeducated workers whose skills are not related to the job do not receive any payoff to years of surplus education; and third, apparently overeducated workers have similar wage returns compared to others with the same schooling level but who are statistically matched. All in all, these findings confirm that most of those overeducated according to the statistical measure have unobserved skills that allow them to work in a job for which they are well-matched.

Originality/value

The paper indicates the need to consider both vertical and horizontal skill mismatches when measuring educational mismatch in the labour market. In that way, it is possible to account for worker heterogeneity in skills whose omission may generate biased estimates of the incidence and wage effects of over- and undereducation.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2017

Celestin Mayombe

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the way the adult non-formal education and training (NFET) centres motivated and empowered graduates to start their own…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the way the adult non-formal education and training (NFET) centres motivated and empowered graduates to start their own micro-enterprises as individuals or as a group. The specific objectives are as follows: to find out the transforming factors fostering the utilisation of acquired skills into self-employment in micro-enterprises; to investigate challenges encountered in starting and managing micro-enterprises and to investigate short-term impact of the NFET programmes and micro-enterprises on living conditions of graduates.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design was multiple case studies. Semi-structured interviews and field observations were used for data collection in the qualitative study. In the context of non-probability sampling, the study used the purposive sampling method to select five out of 20 self-employed graduates for one-on-one interviews. Case studies also comprised some observations of activities in their small businesses.

Findings

The main findings reveal that “learning by doing” training approach and forming groups of entrepreneurs while being on the programme were major factors fostering the translation of acquired skills into micro-enterprises.

Practical implications

The adult NFET is a tool to enable poor disadvantaged people to improve their well-being. However, this can be achieved if the livelihood skills training is combined with the creation of conducive environments to allow adult trainees become micro-entrepreneurs and self-reliant.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the knowledge of effective entrepreneurial training programmes by demonstrating the importance of involving stakeholders from the local communities and designing post-training support mechanisms for self-employment prior to the training delivery. The centre managers should also motivate trainees to start micro-enterprises in groups or co-operatives while still on the training programmes.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 59 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

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