by learning – an integrated approach to middle management training
Franz, University of Dortmund, Germany
SMEs have middle managers (and higher) who have become managers primarily
due to their technical competence. What they have learned is organising
technical and work processes. They have not learnt systematically how to
organise people who co-operate in doing this work. They have not learnt
at all how to organise working and learning processes as an integrated
approach of coping with continuously changing market, technological, organisational
and social conditions. They have little time, and many companies cannot
or do not want to afford systematic training for management.
paper presents such an integrated approach based on three years of experience
with nine SMEs. What started as a project has now become a self-sustained
network. Using training needs analysis (TNA) as a door opener, the Opti.net
project worked and organised learning spirals on three levels:
1: Regional network of companies with TNA training for training agents
from the companies initiating and allowing feedback on Level 2: Projects
in companies developing specific adapted training strategies, including
training for middle management leading to Level 3: Training in companies
initiating and allowing feedback on further projects of organisation development
leading to training organised by the training agents of Level1.
training is based on the author's systemic learning organisation approach
of leadership by social construction instead of persuasion or coercion.
All instruments used tend to install simple routine of analysing and planning
work as a context of co-operation and competence building.
presented at the 5th conference on human resource development research
and practice across Europe: International, comparative and cross-cultural
dimensions of HRD. University of Limerick, 27-28 May 2004 (Abstract; full
paper incl. in CD-ROM).