Perceptions on the Training and Development Function: an Empirical Study of the Middle East

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Perceptions on the Training and Development Function: An Empirical Study of the Middle East


The present study aims to determine perceptions on the training and development function in Middle East organizations. Using a purposive sample of 150 HR practitioners from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai and Lebanon, the study found that there is a perception that candidates for supervisory and management roles are adequately trained to take on their jobs. However, they were uncertain about the importance accorded to the training and development function and if there are adequate training and development opportunities for employees. They are also unsure about the sufficiency of the budget allocation for employee training. The top barriers to the perceived lack of training and development include the adequacy of the skills of the incumbents for their present roles; the perception that training does not have substantial impact on business goals; and the perceived sufficiency work experience of the applicants. In general, there was moderate agreement to the present levels of the self-management competencies of results delivery / orientation, flexibility, self-mastery, creativity, and critical thinking. In addition, customer management competencies which were perceived to be strongly prioritized are smooth interpersonal relations, team leadership, managing customer relationships, and optimizing people’s potential. Moreover, moderate priority was associated with the customer management competencies of performance management, communicating effectively, and customer centricity. On business management related competencies, quality focus was perceived to be a strong priority. Moreover, developing the business, business planning, management of projects and resources and entrepreneurial orientation are moderately prioritized. The strategy management related competencies of strategic planning and development and adapting to management are moderately prioritized, as perceived by the respondents. In summary, all of the competencies on average were moderately prioritized by Middle Eastern companies as perceived by the present sample. There were also differences in the perceived effectiveness of training and development best practices are implemented among Middle East organizations.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction 8

1.1 Background 8
1.1.1 Human Resource Practices in the Middle East 9 1.1.2 Perceived Barriers to Training and Development 10 1.1.3 Importance of Competency Development 12
1.1.4 Training and Development Best Practices 13
1.1.5 Influences of Country of Operation, Level, and Company Size on Training and Development Perceptions 14 1.2 Research Aims 16
1.3 Research Objectives 16
1.4 Significance of the Study 16

Chapter 2 Review of Related Literature 18

2.1 Introduction 18
2.2 The Middle East 18
2.3 The Predominance of Western HRD Literature 19
2.2.1 The Need for Increased Focus on Middle East’s HRM 21 2.3 Influences to HRM Practices in the Middle East 23
2.3.1 Efforts towards Emiratization 25
2.3.2 HRM in Lebanon 25
2.3.3 HRM in Saudi Arabia 27
2.3.4 HRM in UAE 28
2.3.5 HRM in Kuwait 30
2.4 The Strategic Importance of Training and Development 30 2.5 Competency-based Training: Strengths and Limitations 33 2.5.1 Milestones in Competency-based Training 34
2.5.2 Limitations of Competency-based Training 35
2.6 The Importance of Talent Management 38
2.7 Organizational Learning 39
2.8 Training and Development Best Practices 40
2.8 Influences to Training and Development Perceptions 49

Chapter 3 Methodology 52

3.1 Introduction 52
3.2 Research Aims and Objectives 52
3.3. Research Philosophy 52
3.4 Research Approach 54
3.5 Research Design 54
3.6 Research Strategy 54
3.7 Alternative...
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