By Nidhi Mathur
Training for Development, Rolf P Lynton & Udai Pareek, Sage Publications, Pp 345, Rs 495.00
The world of training has undergone such a change that the classic approaches cannot encompass it all, neither in reach nor in depth. There is much greater speed of change in the environment due to technical, financial, contacts through cell phones, more people working from home, mobility across genders, racial and time zones and outsourcing. Due to this speed up, training, re-training and training for wider diversity have become ever more massive, urgent and expensive.
Training as an activity has been going on ever since couples begot children and their growing children started to work, but as a distinct field with its own roles, structures and budgets, it is still young. Second, this new field continues to expand fast, as if it might be an answer to many anxious prayers. Third, controversy seems to envelop every attempt to find benefits commensurate with the escalating costs of training.
Today it is agreed that training leads to development but what has happened is that the training apparatus and its costs have multiplied, but not the benefits. The authors of this book suggest that to give training its rightful position in strategies for change and to justify high expectations from it, the attention of the Board of Directors and firm decisions are needed in at least three areas. The first and the broadest area is to establish and settle for a realistic view of what training can and cannot do.
The authors advocate training in groups by having the participants work on cases and simulations of real-life complexities requiring them to put all parts of a task together and also focus on the ways groups work or fail to work in life.
The book will prove a useful guide for those involved in training, human resource development, organisational and institutional development and organisational behaviour.
(Sage Publications India Pvt Ltd, B 1/I-1, Mohan Cooperative Industrial Area, Mathura Road, New Delhi -110 044; www.sagepubications.com).