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View from the top: executive perceptions of the value of learning

View from the top: executive perceptions of the value of learning Purpose – This paper aims to outline important lessons for HR professionals who seek to ensure that investment in learning delivers strategic value to the organization. Design/methodology/approach – Making use of data from semi‐structured interviews, the paper explores the extent to which perceptions of the strategic value of learning held by senior HR professionals are aligned with those of senior operational managers. Findings – The data indicate what executives expect learning to deliver at an organizational level, the challenges of aligning learning to strategic priorities and the ways in which HR professionals are measuring and reporting on the value of learning. A trend away from “return on investment” approaches to “return on expectation” assessments of the value of learning is identified. Research limitations/implications – In addition to the views of senior managers, further research into the value expectations of line managers and other stakeholder groups is now required. Practical implications – The article highlights the importance of identifying and communicating the alignment of learning strategy with organizational priorities, the need for proactive dialogue between HR professionals and senior decision makers to develop management trust in the learning value contribution and the development of a balanced range of value measures and assessments that are significant for the organization in its specific context. Originality/value – Traditional measures of training effectiveness have focused on the functional interests of learners and trainers. This research shifts attention to expectations at a strategic level and the consequences of this for measuring and reporting on the value of learning. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Strategic HR Review Emerald Publishing

View from the top: executive perceptions of the value of learning

Strategic HR Review , Volume 7 (4): 6 – Jun 20, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1475-4398
DOI
10.1108/14754390810880480
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to outline important lessons for HR professionals who seek to ensure that investment in learning delivers strategic value to the organization. Design/methodology/approach – Making use of data from semi‐structured interviews, the paper explores the extent to which perceptions of the strategic value of learning held by senior HR professionals are aligned with those of senior operational managers. Findings – The data indicate what executives expect learning to deliver at an organizational level, the challenges of aligning learning to strategic priorities and the ways in which HR professionals are measuring and reporting on the value of learning. A trend away from “return on investment” approaches to “return on expectation” assessments of the value of learning is identified. Research limitations/implications – In addition to the views of senior managers, further research into the value expectations of line managers and other stakeholder groups is now required. Practical implications – The article highlights the importance of identifying and communicating the alignment of learning strategy with organizational priorities, the need for proactive dialogue between HR professionals and senior decision makers to develop management trust in the learning value contribution and the development of a balanced range of value measures and assessments that are significant for the organization in its specific context. Originality/value – Traditional measures of training effectiveness have focused on the functional interests of learners and trainers. This research shifts attention to expectations at a strategic level and the consequences of this for measuring and reporting on the value of learning.

Journal

Strategic HR ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 20, 2008

Keywords: Value; Learning; Strategy; Alignment; Return on investment; return on expectation

References