My 48 hour exam project is a case study of A. P. Møller – Maersk Group (Maersk); the objective of my assignment is to elaborate on Maersk`s talent management challenge, focused on development. Furthermore I will describe the cosmos of Maersk learning and competence development and provide alternative angles of conducting in this cosmos, in accordance with my own perspective. My ontological standpoint for this exam is constructivism (Olsen & Pedersen, 2005). The reality perceived is therefore not objective but created, or constructed, by man’s interpretation. This does not signify that I will avoid handling theories that are ontological objectivistic in order to discuss and compliment the various learning and competence development challenges of Maersk; but rather discuss the objective views and theories, and its contrasts to my standpoint. Organizational Change at Maersk
Maersk have developed from a very standardized, family run company with certain and specific ways of running things; to a worldwide organization that have had to change in order to keep up with the time and trends. The major change in Maersk way of dealing with their learning and competence development occurred in 2008; Maersk had before 2008 a very objective approach to learning which were aimed towards trainees (Case, Page 7). In 2008 the People Strategy Sessions (PSS) is created and a shift towards a more individual development process has begun. PSS is developed to identify individuals, primarily in top management positions, that have a necessity for learning and competence development. These individuals is identified via Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) Learning and Competence development
Holt Larsen defines competence as a result of a learning process (Holt Larsen, 2010). Competence development is therefore the learning process where the Maersk employees’ know-how and skills are improved; where the employee becomes good at what is required, and not just really good, this is what Holt Larsen believes falls under qualifications (Holt Larsen, 2010). Competence development therefore results in the employee’s knowledge, within a specific area of expertise, growing deeper and more elaborate. This knowledge is then transferred into actions, the employees ability to use his or hers knowledge in concrete and unknown situations is therefore an indication on whether or not the employee is competent, hence; good at what is required. Holt Larsen elaborates on this by stating that an employee can be qualified to do his job, but if the attained knowledge cannot be transferred into action due to, for example; the company culture, what the employees are allowed or what the employee’s experience allow him to have the courage to do. Then the employee can be defined as incompetent, since the assignment is not completed (Holt Larsen, 2010). Holt Larsen mentions three learning barriers (company culture, rules and confidence) that affect some employee’s ability to complete their assignment in tasks where their competences fall short. When an employee began his or her career in Maersk, they would possess formal competencies (Ellstrøm & Kock, 2008) in the form of, for example, a high school or a college degree (Case, page 8). Maersk’s old way of providing learning and competence development to their employees can through my perspective be seen as a very universal, or objective, way of providing competence development. The standardized development programs were, in Maersk’s defence, designed for employees who did not possess competencies that exceeded the formal kind. The Maersk learning and competence development strategies that came after 2008 were also designed to include experienced individuals (Case, Page 7) who already possessed actual competencies. An example, based on the theory, of an employees’ actual competence development (Ellstrøm & Kock, 2008) could be a result of; job rotation in the form of assignments in various different...
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