ERIC Number: ED337591
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Training Factory Workers: Three Case Studies. Contractor Report.
Hirschhorn, Larry D.
Case studies examined the context and impact of training in three factories: a bakery, a circuit assembly plant, and a plant that produces microchips. Cookie-Foods, Inc. used Statistical Process Control (SPC) and a course on problem solving to increase the operators' productivity. Impact of the SPC program was limited, because workers who collected data did not know how the data were used. The course had only a limited impact on worker behavior because it was not connected to organizational change. Circuit, Inc.'s team members acquired skills on the job. Changes in the plant's function and mission within the parent company were limiting the team system as a vehicle for training. Intent on changing plant culture, Electro, Inc.'s management introduced all operators to a course on Deming's principles of quality control and organized seminars for supervisors. Seminars resulted in structural changes in the plant's process. Common themes from the case studies were as follows: (1) training is a vehicle for organizational development; (2) evaluation of training impacts should consider its ability to support organizational change and the change's depth and scope; (3) training cannot be separated from the economic and strategic context; (4) training must be linked to an organization's structure and process; (5) training programs partly reflect the ongoing politics of organizational change and development; (6) workers' competence is linked to the dynamics of a problem situation; (7) training must be based on principles of adult education; and (8) trainers cannot control the training encounter but must be open to surprises. (YLB)
Descriptors: Administrative Organization, Adult Education, Bakery Industry, Case Studies, Corporate Education, Electric Circuits, Electronics Industry, Industrial Structure, Labor Force Development, Manufacturing Industry, On the Job Training, Organizational Change, Organizational Development, Outcomes of Education, Retraining, Skill Development, Technical Education
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. Office of Technology Assessment.
Authoring Institution: N/A