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Role of Training and Development in Employee Empowerment

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Management
Wordcount: 1572 words Published: 3rd Jan 2018

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Research Objective

The main objective of my dissertation is to analyse how training and empowerment assist organization in the hospitality industry in general and the Hilton Group in particular gain the much needed strategic advantage over their competitors and help them gain and sustain market share in the long run.

The dissertation will also demonstrate the various actions that are may be initiated by organizations in the hospitality industry to achieve higher levels of empowerment within its workforce without compromising on its internal controls.

Research Questions

  • What is the role of training and development in employee empowerment at the Hilton Hotels?
  • Why is empowerment necessary in the running of Hotels, with particular reference to the Hilton Hotel Chain?
  • What strategies or policies are pursued by organizations to enable them improve the level of skills and knowledge of their employees to meet emerging challenges?

The dissertation will also attempt to answer the following questions: Does active implementation of training and learning policies lead to the empowerment of employees? What is the meaning of empowerment of employees within an organization’s setting? What are the likely benefits of empowered workforce to the organization?

Even though a lot of research may have been done in related or similar topics, this dissertation will objectively examine the findings of other researchers on similar topics, critique their findings and arguments and build a neutral position that may stand the test of thorough independent analysis and that is in line with the current theories of HRM and management in general.

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The Context(s):

The hospitality industry in the UK has often been faced with many challenges which on one hand, prompted employees to be more responsive to the challenges they face and on the other hand, challenged industry players to remain competitive in the wake of aggressive competition from competitors. This industry, in particular, benefits and integrates their employees and other human resources (providing the industry’s services) with the structural and integral part of the organizational strategy as a strategic partner. This allows companies such as the Hilton plc. to invest in people, train them in order to prosper and survive within the competitive environment.

Other challenges for this industry include the ever changing demands of consumers’ tastes and preferences, rising demand for extra services, thus hard to accommodate. Additionally these customers’ preferences has made it practically unviable to continue with the old ways of doing business as it present many obvious risks of losing clients to more dynamic competitors. Thus training and empowering employees will help reduce these risks in some way or another.

The Hilton Group Plc. is made up of some 500 hotels located in some 50 countries across all regions of the world (D’Annunzio-Green, Maxwell & Watson, 2004). The Hotel presently employs over 60,000 employees in its worldwide operation and has a management structure divided in to the key regions of its operations, with each region headed by a president, all answerable to the board of directors (D’Annunzio-Green, et al, 2004).

The terms training, education, development and learning may appear synonymous and be used interchangeably in other applications, but from HRD point of view, they are different but also mutually inclusive (Buckley & Caple, 2007).

Whitener (2003) in her paper titled Impact of Human Resource Activities on Employee Trust emphasizes the role of training in providing more knowledge and skills to employees to enable them perform their respective jobs better. Thus the primary role of training according to whitener is the enhancement of skills, while it may also serve the purpose of motivating the employees if offered in recognition for exemplary performance (Whitener, 1997)

The aim of the training program would be to enable the organization gain sustainable strategic advantage that would not be easily replicated among competitors (Porter, 1985 as cited in Clardy, 2008). To be earmarked for enhancement through training and development would be the skills that add value to the organization commonly referred to as core competencies (Clardy, 2008).

In this dissertation I will also show how training and empowerment are related. In the Barret and O’Connel article of 1999, found in the journal of The Institute of Study of Labour, the authors assert that despite the challenges so far faced, training has gained prominence in the recent past as a key tool for empowerment for improvement in productivity and operational efficiency (Barret & O’Connell, 1999). According to Barret & O’Connell, (1999), there are two forms of training; general and specific training. General training is that form of training which boost productivity in the firm where it was provided and all firms, while specific training only raises productivity in the firm where it was provided. Organizations thus would seem to favour specific training and would readily pay for it for it since it is likely to give them a competitive advantage in their business (Barret & O’Connell, 1999).

Since the main focus of the dissertation is empowerment of employees through training and development of a learning culture, it would be important to address the theoretical background information relating to the research topic. Case in point is training and learning, which must be properly understood in order to authoritatively argue about its role in empowerment of employees.

According to Buckley & Caple, (2007), training refers to imparting new skills or reinforcing previously known skills and knowledge on employees for a positive change in behaviour that would change the way they work and behave. This will also be illustrated in literature review as I intend to show why Buckley thinks that training is a relevant activity that need to be pursued by all organizations in order to achieve their long term mission and objectives.

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Research design (including methods) or critical approach:

Research Methodology:

In order to achieve the main objectives of the study, it would be inevitable to collect and analyse data and other information so as to enable arriving at a conclusion. One method that would be used would involve the collection of information and data from secondary sources such as the library, internet sources, journals, newspaper articles to collect as much information as possible relevant to the research topic. This would also involve using available data from credible sources such as hotel industry regulated websites, journals and magazines or from previous peer reviewed and published works by other researchers and comparing the information there on to establish a common pattern that would guide the discussion and the conclusion of the research questions. For this particular dissertation, the bulk of the information and data will be obtained from peer reviewed and published research articles in similar research subjects.

The main reasons for adopting this methodology are that it is generally simple to undertake and does not require a lot of time and resources to undertake. This is because the research does not involve field based data collection which is often more time consuming and expensive. This makes the approach ideal in situations where there is limited time and researches to undertake the research, which is indeed applicable to this dissertation.

Further the data and information collected would be generally accurate since it would be based on published peer reviewed researches and other papers on the same topic which have stood the test of rigorous scrutiny by HR professionals and other management researchers over the years and found to be authentic. The books and other materials that may be used would generally also bear accurate information and would provide useful insights in to the theoretical background of the research subject.

Research Strategies

In order to effectively carry out the research assignment, it would be important to identify the appropriate research strategies that would be acceptable and help in answering the research questions conclusively. This dissertation would use both deductive and inductive research strategies to achieve this aim.

Norman Blaikie in his book titled, Designing Social Research published in 2009 define inductive research strategies as those strategies that help in answering the ‘what’ research questions and are generally explorative and descriptive in nature (Blaikie, 2009). Deductive strategies would also be used in order to address the ‘why’ research questions that form part of the dissertation. Blaikie (2009) also describes deductive strategies as those research strategies that assist in answering the ‘why’ questions and are “most suitable for pursuing the purpose of explanations”

Ethical issues:

There should not be any ethical issue related to my research.

Special resources required:

No special resources will be required for my dissertation.


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