Employee development under lockdown: The effects of the Covid-19 lockdown on training and learning in organisations

Varga, Eszter Gyöngyvér (2021) Employee development under lockdown: The effects of the Covid-19 lockdown on training and learning in organisations. BA/BSc thesis, BCE, International Study Programs. Szabadon elérhető változat / Unrestricted version: http://publikaciok.lib.uni-corvinus.hu/publikus/szd/Varga_Eszter_Gyongyver.pdf

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AIM: The aim of this thesis is to give an overview of the effects that moving into a virtual work environment as a result of the lockdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic had on learning and training in organisations. STRUCTURE: The thesis consists of four sections. In the first section I discuss some of the fundamental theories that shape learning in organisations. I introduce two of the most well-known approaches to learning: behaviourism (through the work of Skinner, who describes learning as the function of behaviours and their subsequent consequences) and cognitive theories (through the works of Bandura and Anderson), and describe their differences in understanding learning processes. I review literature on learning organisations through comparing the approaches of three authors, Senge, Garvin and Shin et al.. In the second section of the thesis, I introduce trainings as one of the most prevalent forms of organised learning in organisations, and discuss elements of training design (needs assessment, trainee attributes, and training environments) through the works of Goldstein and Ford and Tannenbaum and Yukl. The third section of the thesis gives an overview of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, and of the possible impacts on learning and training design in organisations. The fourth section of the thesis includes the description of the research methodology, results and findings, as well as the conclusions. METHODOLOGY: The focus points of the research conducted for this thesis were captured in one main research question, complemented by three sub-questions: (Q) How has the sudden conversion to virtual work environments in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis affected learning and training processes at companies? (SQ1) What changes/challenges did employees detect in their learning and training as they moved into virtual work environments? (SQ2) How were the following components of the training design process affected? (a) needs assessment (b) trainee dispositions, individual differences (c) the training environment (SQ3) How did the effects change over time as companies adapted to the new reality? Data collection was carried out using a survey, distributed to 200 participants. The collected data was analysed using qualitative research tools in order to gain an in-depth insight into the experiences of the participants. RESULTS: Based on the collected data of participants, this study showed that the sudden conversion to virtual work environments in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis affected learning and training in organisations negatively and continues to do so. Training continuity has been severely disrupted in the case of both ongoing and planned trainings. Training needs were mainly well managed by organisations; however, a gap could be discovered in recognising and satisfying training needs for maintaining mental health and in maintaining work-life balance. It could be observed that certain attributes of organisations, such as larger size or pre-existing experience in offering home office facilitated better recognition of training needs. Feelings and emotions previously described by reviewed literature as being both counterproductive to learning and prevalent in the new work- and socio-economic environment triggered by COVID-19 have been reported by significant portions of the participants. Participants also reported these feelings and emotions negatively affecting their learning processes. It could be observed that the younger generations, especially those born after 1990 experienced them at an increasing intensity. In terms of the changing training environment the collected data evidenced that participants were overall satisfied with how organisations managed the changes that occurred, however, gaps could be identified in facilitating informal connections and work-life balance. It could be observed that some major cues of the training environment, such as managerial support and follow-up activities were felt to a lesser degree by the participants, leaving room for a decrease in the transfer of the newly learned KSAs. In terms of changes over time, it could be observed that individuals adapted to the new reality and reported decreasing prevalence of feelings and emotions that are disruptive to learning, however, organisations achieved a decreasing satisfaction with recognising training needs of their employees and satisfying them (especially those smaller in size and those that did offer home office before the pandemic).

Item Type:BA/BSc thesis
Subjects:Business organisation
ID Code:13980
Specialisation:International Business Economics
Deposited On:05 Oct 2021 08:20
Last Modified:29 Nov 2021 11:59

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