Attempts to link organisational strategy and training strategy in the new Civil Service : an evaluation
The literature on strategic human resource management (HRM) includes much discussion about the importance of linking organisational strategy and HRM strategy and little agreement about how the integration of these strategies should be achieved. As an integral part of HRM, training strategy is an important element in this on-going debate. This thesis seeks to add to the existing body of knowledge in the research area by focusing on a large decentralised public sector organisation that has experienced fundamental change over two decades and has tried to link its organisational strategy and its training strategy. The evaluation of the attempt by the Civil Service to make these links in strategy forms the basis of the case study research. Middle managers working in Civil Service departments and agencies have been selected as the primary source of information that has been collected by using a combination of focus groups, a survey questionnaire and one-to-one follow-up interviews with a selection of survey respondents. In addition, documentary evidence has been used to help explain the organisational strategy and the training strategy of the Civil Service, and to corroborate evidence from other sources. The research findings confirm the difficulties experienced by decentralised organisations when trying to link their organisational strategy and their training strategy, and the need for the corporate centre to understand how strategies will translate into action on the ground. The thesis argues that unless the linking mechanisms selected in the training strategy are compatible with the organisational strategy and complementary and compatible with one another, linkages will be incomplete. The conflicting pressures on line managers to achieve business and people objectives have been identified from the research. Their crucial managerial responsibilities for linking organisational strategy and training strategy is emphasised together with recommendations for strengthening this role in the future.