This paper investigates the literature on Training Need Analysis (TNA). The theoretical underpinnings of TNA and the various approaches used in firms are discussed in this paper. The different levels of analyses of training needs and the need for TNA in a firm are also discussed in this paper. The paper also throws light on the limitations of the conventional measures and approaches of TNA. Hence, the paper directs scholars towards the characteristic requirements of a TNA approach more suited for today’s world of work.
1. What is Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
Needs assessment, or needs analysis, is the process of determining the organization’s training needs and seeks to answer the question of whether the organization’s needs, objectives, and problems can be met or addressed by training . In addition to this TNA should include the determination of tasks to be performed, behaviors essential to the performance of those tasks, type of learning necessary to acquire those behaviors, and the type of instructional content best suited to accomplish that type of learning . An illustration of the various steps involved in training need analysis was given by Lawrie and Boringer :1) Use all possible internal and external sources of training need information, 2) Generate a large pool of items describing the trainee on the job behavior, 3) Administer the checklist to trainee behavior, 4) Cluster the training needs, and 5) Obtain information from training feedback. Influence of theory in understanding training needs
According to Campbell , Campbell, Weick, Dunnette, and Lawler have cited evidence for the motivational influence of an individual’s self efficacy on the perceived training needs. General systems theory
Odiorne , describes the eight systems found in training. These also include the systems view on training needs as the cybernetic system view and the organism system view. The cybernetic system view says that the needs will be identified from within the organization itself and the organism system view says that the information centers at the extremities of this organism, provide the training need information to its brain stimulators. 2. Different approaches to TNA
2.1. Conventional TNA, The O-T-P model
The conventional TNA approach adopted in organizations usually includes analysis at three levels, the organizational level, task level and person level. This was suggested by McGehee and Thayer . The organizational level training needs describe the needs of the organization as a whole, taking into consideration future business opportunities. The task level analysis considers the basic training needs of particular tasks at hand in each job. The person level analysis, considers the training requirements of each person to surpass their skill deficiencies to perform the task at hand satisfactorily.
2.2. Task Analytic Approach to TNA
Technical trainings deal with jobs or tasks being done by human beings. Such training should produce qualified task performers. So, a technical TNA encompasses three activities: need detection, task identification and collection of task performance. Training needs are detected when new equipment is brought into use or the performance quality falls below industry standards. The task identification is done with the help of a task identification matrix (TIM). Similarly a basic task information record (BTIR) is used to collect the task performance data. 2.3. Performance appraisal approach to TNA
Rumler and Brache , were of the opinion that if training was to make any significant contribution to an organization; it should be in the form of effective performance enhancement for each individual. Hence their idea of gauging training needs, sprouted from understanding the variable that went into defining the performance systems of each individual employee. Mager and Pipe, suggest analyzing training needs by first...
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