Training with aged adults - Error management culture to increase the success of human resource development with aged employees -

Seminar Paper, 2011

25 Pages, Grade: 2,7


Table of contents

Table of figures

1. Introduction

2. Basics of human resource development

3. Learning culture and error management
3.1 Learning culture in organisations
3.2 Error management in organisations

4. Human resource development with aged employees
4.1 Differences between younger and older participants
4.1.1 Introduction
4.1.2 Cognitive abilities
4.1.3 Self-Regulation
4.1.4 Motivation to learn
4.2 Empiricism: The study of Carter and Beier
4.2.1 Theory
4.2.2 Method
4.2.3 Results and Limitation

5. Implications for the human resource development practice

6. Conclusion and Discussion

7. References

8. Addition: Declaration of authorship

Table of figures

FIGURE 1: Process model of human resource development

FIGURE 2: Perceived starches and weaknesses of aged adults

FIGURE 3: Condition of the training

FIGURE 4: Outline of the study

1. Introduction

Particularly today, company‟s environment is characterized by complexity and dynamic. There hardly are assured expectations but decisions within in- security increase. That demands a lifelong learning from all social actors. The most popular form of formal learning in companies is advanced trainings. However, a look at the statistics of those trainings show that the participant rate declines with age. Faced with demographic change, the group of over 40 years old employees will increase in the future. For example, over 50 percent of employees in the United States will be over 40 by the year 2012 (Carter/Beier 2010, pp.642) - a hard challenge for effective human resource development.

The present term paper in the line with the seminar “HRM-Research” with the title “Training with aged adults - Error management culture to increase the success of human resource methods with aged employees” concentrates on error management within human resource development especially ad- vanced training. The aim of that term paper is to show how far error man- agement culture can increase the success of human resource development methods with aged employees. In that context success means the transfer in the work life. Based on those results, implications for human resource devel- opment practice are conveyed.

To answer this question, the following procedure was chosen. First of all it is necessary to present basic information about human resource development and error management respectively error management culture. After working out the differences between younger and older learners with the help of cognitive ability, self-regulation and motivation to learn, the empirical work of Carter and Beier with the title “The effectiveness of error management training with aged adults” is mentioned. As said above, implications based on the results of the term paper are followed then. In the end the results are summarized and a conclusion is formulated.

2. Basics of human resource development

The following chapter gives a short overview about human resource development (HRD) with a brief review about what HRD is and which goals are interrelated with it from the employees.

HRD can be defined as a set of planned and systematic activities designed by an organization to provide its members with the opportunities to learn necessary skills to meet current and future job demands (Werner/ DeSimone 2009, pp.4). The two major components of HRD are first training and devel- opment and second organization development. In addition, HRD is used in three critical application areas: human resource management, career devel- opment, and quality improvement. Organization development is the process of systematically implementing organizational change with a goal of perform- ance. Training and development is then the process of systematically devel- oping expertise in individuals also with the aim to improve performance. In that context there can be three levels of performance defined: organizational, process, and individual (Swanson 1995, pp.208). Swanson (at the same point) is pointing at the relationship of learning, expertise and performance (organizational, process, individual), which are interrelated and can be viewed as a process.

Organizations tend to develop their staff in that way so that they gain through their abilities and knowledge a competitive advantage. The goal is to achieve the strategic goals of the enterprise while using the key qualifications of the employees. This could be specialist skills, methodical skills, self com- petence, the ability to cope with stress and social skills. To achieve them as goals they are operationalized on cognitive behaviour and affective level (Solga et al. 2008, pp.19ff).

Human resource manager working with the personal required to have dif- ferent techniques. This are basis techniques which are used for simulation, as feedback techniques, cognitive techniques, experience orientated tech- niques, presentation techniques, moderation techniques and techniques for case studies (Demmerle et al. 2008, pp.253). Thereby it is necessary that they are adjusted to the needs and resources of the employees and, in the context of this term paper, to the working aged adults. Furthermore, human resource manager have to take into account the external and internal re- sources and challenges. While using different roles, techniques and compe- tencies they are able to succeed to the strategic goals of the organization.

The human resource development process can be described as a frame- work model (FIGURE 1). This starts with an assessment of the situation to identify the gap between the actual situation and the plan. Further on follows a design phase in which the actual human resource program is developed (Planning). This step can be summarized with the two questions who will teach and who will receive which training in which amount. After this the process continues with the implementation. The most crucial part is the trans- fer in the work life. Learning will be unless and incomplete if trainees do not adopt the knowledge, they have learnt, within their working context. At the end the evaluation of the initiated HRD-activity follows (Werner/DeSimone 2009, pp.4). In this part it is necessary not to set return of investment (ROI), as a dimension for success, too short because it is hardly possible to relate the success of the company to one HRD-activity. Thereby, the process model has to take into account the strengths and weaknesses of the working aged adults.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

FIGURE 1: Process model of human resource development (Krämer 2007, pp.51)

Human resource development has several functions except the extended vo- cational training. The function of adjustment has the goal to supply the or- ganization with personal resources through qualification. Further there is the function of identification and motivation of the personal. Another task is to have inner organizational competencies of flexibility and to represent the enterprise to the outside (image function). The function of development and reconfiguration includes an active involvement of the employees (Paw- lowsky/Bäumer 1996, pp.31f).

To successfully use and implement the techniques of Human resource de- velopment this theoretical considerations need to be adapted to the actual environment and status quo of the organization. The resources of the work- force have to be taken into account and also the requirements of a learning atmosphere, which fosters individual and organizational development and learning.

As we see, HRD and learning is interrelated. However, HRD and learning also depends on the attitude and personality of the trainees (Werner/ DeSimone 2009, pp.73). Thus, a special culture is needed which conveys learning of the employees and the organisation, too. In then next chapter we will focus on the character of such a learning culture.

3. Learning culture and error management

3.1 Learning culture in organisations

In the following chapter general conditions of learning culture will be explored and the interrelations between the involved managers or staff will be shown. Billett (2010, pp.58) consider a growth in science about learning through work providing conceptual and procedural accounts of adults‟ learning in and throughout working life. Thereby learning in the workplace can happen at different levels. Learners may be individuals, groups, whole organizations, inter-organizational networks or even geographical regions (Tynjälä 2008, pp.150).

Learning on the workplace is based on what the workplace affords to those employees within them and how those individuals elect to engage with what is afforded them. It can take place through learning from practice, through errors as we]ll as by processes of observation and imitation. Direct guidance of experienced coworkers is also supporting the learning process (Billett 2010, pp.63). Thereby the task of HRM is to provide the employees with these conditions of learning.

People learn at work when they have the chance to participate in working practices, collaborate with colleagues and clients or meet new challenges (Tynjälä 2008, pp.150). That means that the employee should provide a working environment which enables his or her subordinate to participate and to foster possibilities for communication within the staff. This could be at work while providing rooms for breaks or organizing after work free time activities for example.

Furthermore, learning needs the development of better practices and the creation of social and material innovations (Tynjälä 2008, pp.150). This requires the willingness of both managers and workers to improve the working practices and to be humble to question the own decisions and approved methods or practices. In this context HRM has to assess the capability of the workforce in relation to the requirements of the workplace. In case of an existing discrepancy of the ability to learn and the demanded task fulfillment, it needs a replacement of the staff or a transfer to another working position.

Individual and group learning at the workplace can be characterized as a highly social activity which requires interaction, dialogue and reflection on past experiences as well as planning of future activities (Tynjälä 2008, pp.135). In daily work live there is often a lack of time to reflect or plan activities. The concept of “Muddling through” (Macharzina/Wolf 2010, pp.214, 381) is an often used behavior of managers and demonstrates a contrary position to the stated opinion of Tynjälä (2008).

Spieß et al. (2007) mention the importance of the superior within the company for learning at the workplace. They become important moderators in establishing a corresponding learning culture in companies and see where learning occurs and where learning activities are established (Spieß et al. 2007, pp.99f). This highlights the significance, that managers see their subordinates as resources for investment and professional improvement of their competencies rather than having a dependent uninformed working staff who cannot question the decisions of management. Spieß et al. (2007) highlight a knowledge transfer from management to subordinate and an increased working autonomy of workers. The wrong estimation of learning culture or abilities of working staff will have negative impact on learning on the workplace (Spieß et al. 2007, pp.100f). Further it is a main issue to develop learning networks within the workplace, what can take several forms. There should be encouragement for learners to interact with other learners and with experts (Smith 2003, pp.80). The task for the management is to foster interrelations between the staff.

Billett (2010) is pointing at some limitations of learning culture. This concerns the kinds of work practices and personal values as well as bases of identity which influence learning and the relationships at the workplace (Billett 2010, pp.63). The task of HRM is to identify pre (before) selection of the staff personal values and bases of identity and assess if they suitable with the existing work practices. Furthermore there is a need to take into account the decreasing capabilities, which especially occur to aged working adults.


Excerpt out of 25 pages


Training with aged adults - Error management culture to increase the success of human resource development with aged employees -
Technical University of Chemnitz  (Fakultät für Wirtschaftswissenschaften)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
542 KB
Die Seminararbeit ist eigentlich sehr gut, jedoch wurde sie im Team geschrieben. Deswegen sind die Bezüge zwischen den 2 Teilen nicht so fließend herausgearbeitet, was zur relativ schlechten Benotung führte.
HRM-Research, Personal, Fehlermanagement, Lernkultur, Error management culture, aged adults, personal development, Personalentwicklung
Quote paper
Markus Winter (Author)Andre Uhlmann (Author), 2011, Training with aged adults - Error management culture to increase the success of human resource development with aged employees - , Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Look inside the ebook
Title: Training with aged adults - Error management culture to increase the success of human resource development with aged employees -

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free