Dissertation for the Literature Review
Please follow these 12 rules for the Literature Review:
The main reasons for the inclusion, in a Masters dissertation, of a literature review section are:
1.To present and to analyse, in a critical manner, that part of the published literature which is relevant to your research topic and which acts as the basis for a fuller understanding of the context in which you are conducting your research; thus helping the reader to a more rounded appreciation of what you have completed. Remember critical does not mean looking at the negatives but forming an evaluation.
2.To act as a backdrop against which what you have done in the remainder of the dissertation may be analysed and critically evaluated so as to give the reader the opportunity to assess the worth of your writing, analytical and research skills.
3.To show that not only have you discovered and reported what you have found to be relevant in the literature search, but that you have understood it and that you are able to analyse it in a critical manner.
4.To show that your knowledge of the area of interest is detailed enough that you are able to identify gaps in the coverage of the topic; thus justifying the reason(s) for your research.
5.To show that you know what the key variables, trends and ‘actors’ are in the environment of your study, i.e. you show that you know what the important issues are that need to be investigated.
6.To enable readers to be able to measure the validity of your choice(s) of research methodology, the appropriateness of the process by which you analyse your results, and whether or not your findings are congruent with the accepted research which has gone before.
7.The literature review is presented in the form of a précis, a classification, a comparison and a critical analysis of that material which is germane to a full understanding of your research study.
8.Such published material may be drawn from all, or a combination of, textbooks, journal articles, conference papers, reports, case studies, the Internet, magazine features or newspaper articles.
9.It should be remembered, however, that the most important source of academic literature are journal articles and you should ensure that you are familiar with the most recent publications in journals relevant to your subject area.
10.Remember that your literature review should lead and justify the research objectives and questions of your dissertation.
11.Your literature review should not just be a catalogue of authors, frameworks and ideas but should attempt to introduce a critical evaluation of those authors work.
12. The style must be HARVARD only
Dissertation the Literature Review
Organizations are working hard to be successful and out-compete the competitors in the same industry. Organizations are striving to be the best and lead in the globe market. In order to achieve this, organizations must have the right employees. It is through employees that a company can meet its goals. Employees are now known as the most valuable asset of an organization. There is an emerging trend of treating employees as the human assets because the success of any organizations depends on the appropriate utilization of the human assets. As a result, training and development is an effective method of improving the performance of employees. Training and development are used to improve the ability, wisdom, and skills of the human resource. Training enhances the performance of employees. It polishes the skills of workforce making it the most important factor in employee performance. The State of Qatar is an oil-rich country. The main source of income is the natural resources and heavily relies on the oil industry. Oil prices are experiencing a sharp increase in the global market (Cafiero 2016). This has had a huge impact on countries that rely on oil as the only source of income. Countries such as Saudi Arabia are looking for alternative sources of income and reducing the dependency of the country on oil. Future development of Qatar is important to ensure that Qatar fully utilizes its resources, Qatar must continue benefiting from its natural resources, and this is only possible through improvement of human capital. One of the main ways of improving human capital is through education and training. The falling oil prices have greatly impacted on the performance of companies in Qatar. Some organizations have reduced cost by reducing the workforce. Reduced workforce couple with a poor performance of organizations has resulted in low employee morale (Chaibi & Gomes 2013). Companies must come up with right strategies to continue being relevant in the market and raise revenues. Training and development are essential in the Qatar industry to improve the performance of employees. The main aim of this literature review is to review past studies on the role of training and development on the performance.
Training and Development in Qatar Companies
Oil, natural gas, and related companies are the backbone of the Qatar economy. The oil sector contributes 95% of the total government revenues (Cafiero 2016). Recently, oil and gas companies have faced numerous challenges. The companies are experiencing a sharp decrease in revenues due to the reduced oil prices. Additionally, employees are leaving the industry making it difficult for these companies to retain most valuable employees (Chaibi & Gomes 2013). Oil companies are now reorganizing to retain top performing employees. According to Jolo (2013), there is no link of communication between Oil and Gas Bases Industry and education institutions in Qatar. As a result, education institutions are failing to provide oil companies with workers equipped with the right skills. Education institutions are successful in equipping workers with general skills, but the oil industry requires workers who have certain technical skills. Jolo (2013) noted that the skills that are demanded by the oil companies are technical and they supplied moderately by the education institutions. There is a gap in skills because the institutions do not fully equip students with technical skills that are required in the oil industry. Companies are expected to offer training and development programs to ensure employees develop the specific skills that are required in the industry. Lack of training and development has been cited as a major obstacle to the development of workers competence and performance in the Qatar oil industry. Rodriguez and Scurry (2014) looked at various empirical studies conducted in Qatar on training and development and noted that there is a huge skills gap in the oil industry. Rodriguez and Scurry (2014) noted that to match the skills gap between education institutions and companies, training and development is not an option in oil based companies. Qatari workers require a special type of training in order to fit in the oil industry.
According to El (2015) research conducted in other oil based countries show that development and training are critical in enhancing the motivation of employees. Research conducted in Oman concluded that employees are not only concerned about monetary benefits but the non-monetary benefits are equally important (El 2015). An Oman-based oil company was used to conduct research on the factors that motivate employees in the oil industry. The study concluded that employees are looking for organizations that will empower them through training and development (El 2015). Rodriguez and Scurry (2014) point out that in an empirical study conducted in UAE, it was concluded that money is important to employees but it is not sufficient to retain employees. The study showed that training and development played a key role in employee retention in the oil industry. Training and development empowered employee and equips them with skills on health and safety. Additionally, it improves their competence and enhances the productivity at the workplace. This ultimately results in a high retention level.
Based on studies on the impact of training and development in oil industry one can point out certain challenges. There is a need to identify the specific training and development strategies that oil industry can apply. The oil industry is unique because of the type of jobs involved and the requirement for health and safety. The oil industry and Qatar must develop strategic measures that organizations can pursue in training and development. There is a gap in research as most of the study concentrate on the general and training development. This research will improve existing studies by filling the gap by identifying the specific training and development methods that will work in the Qatar oil industry.
Training and Development as Human Resource Strategy
Human resource management is the organization of human resource to ensure that a company has the right employees who can promote the vision, strategy, and aims of the company. Human resource management aims at securing, maintain and using an effective workforce to achieve the goals of the company and ensure that a company remains relevant in a competitive market ( Dhar 2015). Ford (2014) explains how the Briscoe study which is widely used in human resource management classified the core human resource functions into training and development, staffing, performance, compensation, employee relations, and benefits and appraisal. Jehanzeb and Bashir (2013) point out that training and development are the most effective human resource management. It ensures that employees remain productive and they can easily adapt to the changing job needs.
According to Dhar (2015), training and development are the transfer of knowledge, skills. And abilities that affect required to handle specific tasks. Training and development are used as Human resource strategy to address the current and future challenges of business. Training and development improve the knowledge, skills and attitude of employees hence it is necessary for reaching aims of a firm. Studies have been conducted to measure the efficiency of training and development as human resource strategy. According to Elnaga and Imran (2013), training and development is an important function of human resource management because it closes the gap between current performance and expected future performance. Training and development are used to identify the needs of the workers and based on these needs suitable training and development programs are developed. Training is effective human resource strategy because it provides employees with knowledge to manage various aspects of their life (Jehanzeb and Bashir 2013). Training ensures that employees remain relevant at the workplace by equipping them with new skills and advanced knowledge.
As one of the major areas in human resource development, training and development have attracted the attention researchers. Research conducted in this area has had a lot of impact on the training and development in organizations. As researchers continue with the quest in training and development research; they must continue to identify the importance of training in the oil industry. In most countries, the intensification of training and development has been caused by a rise in competition due to globalization. In Qatar, companies have not heavily invested in employee development as opposed to other countries such as the U.K. where training is considerably emphasized (Weerakkody et al. 2015). The sharp fall in oil prices and the reduction in workforce provide researchers with an opportunity to investigate how training and development can restore the oil industry. There are different types of employees in Qatar the skilled employees and semi-skilled employees hence it is important to identify the methods that will be effective in enhancing the knowledge and skills of employees to polish their careers and remain relevant in the market.
Types of Training
Training methods are divided into two broad categories the on-the –job training and off- the- job training. On-the –job training is conducted while employees are performing their daily work activities whereas off-the-job training is conducted away from the usual work environment. On-the-job training involves various training methods coaching, job rotation, and mentoring (Storey 2014). Job rotation and transfers improve the skills of employees through the movement of employees from a lower position to a high position. Job transfer involves the movement of employees from one country to another. Job rotation provides employees with an opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills on different company operation (Weerakkody et al. 2015). Job transfers especially when it involves employees from other countries provide employees an opportunity to acquire knowledge on the operations of the company in different countries. The knowledge that is acquired through job rotation and job transfers is beneficial to a company. Job rotation is used as motivation tool by organizations. Job rotation reduces the boredom of repeating the same task every day (Elnaga and Imran 2013). Additionally, when employees are moved to a higher position, they are motivated. Coaching and mentoring is used when the experienced employees coach the less experienced employees. Mentoring and coaching are applied to new recruits to provide them with the right job training. Mentoring is useful because it builds strong relationships in the company. Additionally, it is a good succession strategy for the company where the old employees who will leave the company equip the young employees with the knowledge they have acquired. Orientation is one of the widely used on-the-job training for new employees; it focuses on familiarizing new employees on the job and the organization (Storey 2014).
Off-the-job training involves various methods such as conferences, workshops, and role playing. Conferences and workshops involve presentations to a wide audience. Conferences are a cost effective method of training as it reaches a large number of employees at the same time. However, it has certain shortcomings. It may only benefit the employees who learn faster and follow the training session (Phillips and Phillips 2016). Role playing is used when employees are to act out work scenarios. Employees are provided with information on the company and expected to act out their role or provide ideas on how they would go about a certain company problem. Role playing is an effective training method in sales and marketing. Formal training courses are used to develop skills required by an organization (Kehoe & Wright 2013). The course programs may involve traditional classroom training and various work related activities.
Empirical studies on the types of training have revealed that Qatar companies must consider some factors when choosing the type of training methods the strategy of the organization, the goals of the company, resources available, target group to be trained, and the need to be identified (Kirat 2015). Oil companies in Qatar mainly look for technical skills hence it is important to determine the type of training methods that can develop these skills. Kirat (2015) recommends companies in Qatar to focus on on-the-job training methods to train fresh employees. Existing employees can use the off-job-training to improve their knowledge and develop more skills that will be used to develop the entire organization.
Impact of Training and Development on Performance
Employee performance can be looked at in terms of the outcomes. Alternatively, employee performance can be measured in terms of the behavior. Employee performance is measured against the performance standards of the organization. Certain measures are used to indicate the performance of employee they include quality, effectiveness, profitability, efficiency, productivity and effectiveness (Kehoe & Wright 2013). Recent research indicates that employee training and development plays a key role in enhancing the performance. Training and development improve the competencies of employees. It equips employees with knowledge, skills, and attitude that is not only necessary in the current job but also in their future jobs. Training contributes to the overall improvement of the performance of an organization. Training has been proved to generate positive impacts on the performance of a company. Gaining new skills and knowledge provides employees with the confidence that they need to complete their tasks. The employees can complete more tasks effectively. Training deals with skills gap in an organization (Storey 2014). Today, the needs of employees are changing at the same rate as the changes in the market. A company must fill the skills gap in an organization by developing various training and development programs throughout the year.
Performance is improved through aligning the skills with the goals of the company. Achieving company goals is a top priority activity for every organization. Training and development provide the company with a good opportunity of providing employees with the right skills to achieve company goals.
According to Lee et al. (2013), training and development show a positive relationship with job satisfaction, and motivation. Training and development provide employees with knowledge that keeps the employees relevant in the market. As a result, employees are satisfied with their jobs. Training and development also indicate that a company is willing to invest in the employees. The employees feel that the companies value them hence they are more motivated (Lee et al. 2013). Training and development intrinsically motivate the employees since they can complete tasks more efficiently (Kehoe & Wright 2013). The productivity of employees increases and output increases as well which in turn increases the revenue of the organization (Storey 2014).
The past studies on the impact of training on performance have revealed interesting findings. Studies have proved training improves performance through the development of knowledge, skills, ability, competencies, and behavior.one of the issue that have been identified in past study is that some studies look at the performance with regards to employee performance whereas other studies look at the organizational performance. Organization performance and employee performance are related in the sense that employee performances improve the general organization performance.
Training programs can fail to achieve the objectives when there is a mismatch between the skills gained and those skills that a company requires (Kehoe & Wright 2013). Training needs must be identified before conducting training to ensure that a training program focuses on the skills that employees require. For a training program to meet its goal, it is important to conduct a training needs assessment. Training needs assessment ensures that the resources used in training are directed towards the training programs that the company urgently needs. A training needs assessment can expose performance deficiencies through five ways. The first one is investigating the gap between existing skills and the skills the company requires the second one is an organization assessment. A company can analyze weakness, strengths, and competencies (Storey 2014). As a result, the organization identifies the training programs that can eliminate the weaknesses and enhance the strength of the company. The third one is occupational assessment where the skills of a certain occupation are examined. In occupation assessment, an organization can check job description and determine the competencies that the employee need to develop to meet the job requirements (Milhem et al. 2014). The fourth one is the individual assessment. This one focuses on personal goals of the employees. In training and development, a company must ensure that the personal goals of development of an employee are met. The fifth one is the identifying the training need that will meet the environmental and industry changes. Companies must ensure that employees have the right skills given the changes in the market such as technology changes.
With reference to previous studies on training needs, Qataris companies can understand the needs of planning training. Previous studies indicate that the benefits of training are achieved through planning. The first step of planning is identifying the training needs. According to Weerakkody et al. (2015), Qatari companies must start assessing the training needs before embarking on any training development programs. As a result, companies will focus on developing skills that are relevant to the company and will improve the productivity of employees.
Challenges Facing Employee Training and Development
Training and development, like many other company activities, faces various challenges. The first one is training a huge workforce. Phillips and Phillips (2016) noted that some companies employ a large number of employees and handling training becomes a huge challenge. The main challenges of handling a large workforce include accommodation, foods, arts, and entertainments. The second challenge is finding convenient training time that will have minimal impact on the company workflow. When employees are undergoing training and development program, there may be a shortage of workers resulting in a disruption in the workflow of the company. Sometimes a training program can increase the workload of employees at work (Phillips and Phillips 2016). The employees attend the training, but a large amount of work is piling back at the company, such situations make the training programs less effective.
The third challenge is convincing employees that training will be beneficial. Research indicates that it is challenging to convince managers to attend training programs. Junior employees are more willing to attend training program compared to managers. The third challenge is location. When the organization does not have a training hall, it is forced to book hotels or schools which increase the cost of training. The last challenge is the adverse changes in policies and procedures. Companies are now employing employees from different backgrounds. Some employees do not understand English. Companies are forced to train employees differently and develop training programs that meet their needs.
The action theory explains how learning is controlled and provides insight on how people can change behavior to meet the requirements of the firm. The theory links behavior to specific outcomes. Action theory is used to address the goals of sustained change. Changes are occurring in the market every day. Training is essential in addressing the changing needs. The action theory stipulates that training employees identifies changes and ensures that training programs match skills gap in an organization (Milhem et al. 2014). The action theory attempts to show how employers can use study the behavior of employees and use it to influence their productivity (Baum et al. 2014). According to the action theory, a firm should believe in the unlimited potential of employees regardless of their position and ability (Patton and McMahon 2014). The managers should have the confidence in the value of collaboration and communication among the departments, and also commit to and implement a regular employee performance. Moreover, it is important for the organization to believe in the power of personal connections and relationships among the staff.
Based on the empirical literature review and studies on the impact of training and development on performance, the action theory will be a good fit for the Qatar companies. First, the Qatar companies mainly oil and gas companies hence experience frequent price fluctuations in the global market. According to a World Bank research price fluctuations can cause instability in the market and the companies (Word Bank Org. 2017). The action theory will be used to enhance the learning process and employees will be equipped with skills and knowledge to forecast changes in the market and respond to changes in good time. Secondly, learning should be a continuous process in Qatar firms (Baum et al. 2014). According to action theory, organizations must develop continuous policies of training. As a result, Qatar companies will implement frequent training programs and will not wait for the occurrence of skill gaps to develop training programs. The action theory focuses on the retention of employees. Action theory approaches training and development in a different angle. The action theory links behavior to the outcome (Patton and McMahon 2014). Knowles et al. (2014) point out that the action theory recognizes the adult learning methods hence it can be used to establish effective training programs. Effective training programs will ensure that Qatari firms retain employees. Training will be associated with a sense if achievement and knowledge since employees will develop their inherent capabilities. There will be few cases if job dissatisfaction and turnover will be greatly reduced.
Qatari companies strive to be the best in the global market. The price fluctuation in the oil industry has a huge impact on the economy of Qatar. Amidst the changes in the global market, Qatari companies must reinvent to remain competitive in the global market. Qatar companies can greatly benefit from employee training and development. Past studies have shown that there is a positive relationship between performance and employee training and development. Additionally, training and development will lead to job satisfaction and reduce the rate of turnover. Qatar companies need to point out the training methods that are appropriate for the firm. The application of action theory will be effective in identifying the specific training practices that will be effective in Qatari companies.
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