Public Sector Slow to Follow Corporate Learning Trend

Source: Amanda Cuda, HR News, Vol. 75 no. 6, June 2009
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Hamburger University. The very words inspire a smirk of recognition. Even those who aren’t big fans of the fast food giant McDonald’s have heard of these institutions, which school restaurant employee in the finer points of the burger business. Of course, McDonald’s isn’t the only company that has its own institution of higher corporate learning. The communications company Motorola has its own university, as does automotive manufacturer Toyota and other corporations.

Over the past few decades, companies like these have latched onto the idea of corporate learning centers as a way to create a stronger workforce. According to the 1997 article “The evolution of learning strategies in organizations: From employee development to business redefinition,” which appeared in the journal The Academy of Management Executive, corporate learning has long been deemed an essential part of organizational success. The article states that, with so many changes in the corporate world, including the growing role of technology, employees and employers both need to be learning constantly to stay competitive and relevant in today’s workforce. Places like the aforementioned universities were created to fill that need.

But what about employers from the public sector? Governments and other agencies also have been affected by the ascendance of technology and other changes. What are they doing to keep workers current and qualified? Have any of them established their own universities or learning centers to help deepen their employees’ knowledge base? The short answer is yes…and no.
See also:
Training vs. Cost Savings: Is it Even a Choice?
Source: Amanda Cuda, HR News, Vol. 75 no. 6, June 2009
(subscription required) (scroll down)

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