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Learning Research and Impact: Achieving rigour and relevance in HRD research 26 October 2012 Portsmouth University 10.30am – 16.00pm “What can we learn.

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Presentation on theme: "Learning Research and Impact: Achieving rigour and relevance in HRD research 26 October 2012 Portsmouth University 10.30am – 16.00pm “What can we learn."— Presentation transcript:

1 Learning Research and Impact: Achieving rigour and relevance in HRD research 26 October 2012 Portsmouth University 10.30am – 16.00pm “What can we learn from an interim evaluation of a work-based leadership and management development programme?” Dr Mary Hartog Dr Doirean Wilson Chris Rigby Department of Leadership, Work & Organisations (LWO) Middlesex University Business School

2 Stakeholders The Client: local authority children & families service, facing public sector cuts, service change & redundancies Participants: 60 middle - senior managers Consulting Partner: designed & delivered workshops University: provided action learning sets & a post graduate WBL qualification 25/08/2014Slide 2

3 Reason for the programme External context : Challenging: public sector cuts - “easy jet Council” vision of privatised local authority services Internal need: Critical need for Leadership “now more than ever” (Client) Response: strategic not reactive: need to develop leadership in the service Aims: 1.Unlock potential, improve performance 2. embed learning - via an academic programme, with theory to underpin practice & work based reflective learning assignments 25/08/2014Slide 3

4 Leadership and Management Development Programme In association with Hay Group & Middlesex University Pre-programme diagnostics: Self assessment and appraisals to provide evidence of  Leadership Effectiveness  Organisational Climate  Team Roles Inventory  Learning Styles  Motives & Drivers  Values Three-day Core Module providing a mix of theoretical input, feedback on pre programme diagnostics and evidence for Personal Development Plan One-day Mandatory Workshop: Building Team Effectiveness One-day Mandatory Workshop: Leading for Change One-day Mandatory Workshop: Managing Performance One-day Mandatory Workshop: Partnership Working One-day Optional Workshop: Influencing Others One-day Optional Workshop: Coaching Others One-day Optional Workshop: Intelligent Commissioning Action Learning Set 1 Action Learning Set 2 Action Learning Set 3 Assessment Workshop Review of Learning & PDP MBS4301/A Programme Plan MBS4303 Action Research Project & Report MBS4305 Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership & Management Practice

5 Evaluation strategy Sources of data Work Based Practice assignments interviews – target 20 participants* 1 focus group 25/08/2014Slide 5

6 Evaluation Approach We define evaluation in terms of adding value As researchers, we are interested in what we can learn about the impact of the programme, the integration of learning to their practice, and the value of the different learning interventions to help them manage & navigate their work issues & change The sponsor is interested in how the programme adds value in terms of improved performance and what the organisation can learn about becoming a learning organisation 25/08/2014Slide 6

7 Theoretical influences We draw on: Easterby-Smith (1986) Evaluation (Prove, Improve and Learn) Hamblin (1974) levels of learning Evaluation Weinstein (1995) action learning Vince & Martin (1993) Inside AL Reynolds & Vince (2004) Organising Reflection 25/08/2014Slide 7

8 Interim findings from interviews Method of analysis: Drawing on Silverman’s (2012) critique of the interview, used intensive analysis to highlight three stories ‘distinctive differentiation’ ‘top & bottom slicing’ (context & programme) the quality of analysis Constructivist reading of narratives + drawing on four discourse lenses Maybe (2012) 25/08/2014Slide 8

9 Story 1 - Social Work Manager in Child Protection (safe-guarding) Not directly impacted by cuts or redundancies but ‘change is all around’. 20 yrs exp Senior managers have low profile, staff are not `well held`. ‘All-consumed’ safeguarding children: limited WLB `work intensification is untenable`. Big `aha` legacy 24/7 availability* on verge leaving the organisation ‘needs to learn to do her job differently’ ‘giving herself permission’ ALS did not gel – no peer support; Assignments: ‘another thing on the pile’ but useful – ‘written down’, ‘kept her on track’ 25/08/2014Slide 9

10 Story 2: Partner from Voluntary Sector managing pre-School Project & Children’s Centre 40 yrs in borough. Funding cut 50%, new mgr everyone re-apply for their jobs Project: team working, team away day, shared learning 360 ‘holding them back’ : Delegates more. The course ‘real’; ALS ‘supportive’; project plan = live document ‘helped me focus & support staff Big `aha`: realisation she is supporting her staff but she is not getting same support from her managers 25/08/2014Slide 10

11 Story 3: LA Manager in support Role More responsibilities Belief: ‘doing a rubbish job’ ‘worrying about being cut’, ‘can’t cope phase’ Avoids conflict & hopes she is liked ALS ‘weird’ put everything into perspective Project: self – motivation & influencing Doing more coaching (style) & delegating Aware using the same language as her bosses Big `aha` See the SMT in process of ‘storming’ 25/08/2014Slide awre 11

12 Lessons we are learning Story 1: evidence of individual learning & development journey OD Gap 24-7 availability toxic – role SMT Story 2: evidence of individual & team learning at local level, positive results Again - absence SM support Story 3: before & after individual journey transformative The value of having the tools of the trade- moral imperative for organisations to provide them 25/08/2014Slide 12

13 So, what has the interim evaluation highlighted? The vitality of Work based learning ‘real’ 360 feedback connected individual & team Assignment (plan & project) helped keep people on track Projects helped participants mange the process of change 25/08/2014Slide 13

14 The OD gap However, the interventions (workshops and ALS’) are only part of the process The interviews, the transcript analysis, the report to client and the dissemination are all vital elements in the OD process We need to keep individual and organisational learning in mind simultaneously 25/08/2014Slide 14

15 Thank you for listening Any Questions 25/08/2014Slide 15


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