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International Review of Business Research Papers Vol. 4 No.1 January 2008 Pp.310-324 Linking Training, Productivity and Competitive Strategy: Implications of Value Chain Model for Strategically Effective Training Programs
Sulaman Hafeez Siddiqui* and Waheed Asghar**
In this era of global competition and emerging organization structures like teams, flatter organizations, learning organizations,network organizations etc., access to and maintenance of skilled human resources will be more important than access to capital or technology in the race for competitive advantage among nations and organizations in a global marketplace. Despite the increased training investments in organizations, however, the results on productivity and competitiveness are inconsistent and differ from organizationto organization. There is growing recognition that the training program must not only be effective in terms of productivity gains but also be in line with the competitive strategic objectives of the organization. The paper discusses the determinants of productivity, while emphasizing the strategic linkage between training, productivity and competitive strategy of the organization, using valuechain model. The role of training effectiveness as a moderating variable between training intervention and competitive strategic results is emphasized. The paper also presents the implications of ‘value chain model’ for assessing strategic training needs/objectives in line with the generic competitive strategy and productivity objectives of the organization. The paper has theoretical as well asmanagerial implications for developing strategic training programs aimed at productivity and competitive advantage.

Field of Research: Strategic management, Human Resource Development

1. Introduction
Human resources of the organizations are taking the connotation of ‘human capital’ instead of mere ‘labor’. This is the recognition of the central role of
________________________________ *SulamanHafeez Siddiqui, Lectuer, Department of Management Sciences, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan. PhD Scholar, Institute of Management Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan. Email: , **Waheed Asghar, Assistant Director, Technical and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA), Govt. of Punjab, Pakistan. PhD Scholar, Institute ofManagement Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan. Email:

Siddiqui & Asghar


human resources in the emerging work organizations such as teams, network structures, learning organizations, triple I organizations and knowledge management. All of these human-centered structures and work processes require a culture of innovation, learning andtrust among the knowledge workers and brain-associates of the organizations and, thus, bring the role of training central to the productivity and competitiveness of organizations (Huang, 2001; Drucker 1997; Pfeffer, 1994; Peters and Waterman, 1982; Handy, 1989; Mühlemeyer and Clarke, 1996; Hwang, 2003). With the advent of global marketplace, the organizations are facing severe competition from theglobal market players in the areas of productivity, quality and competitiveness. The editors of HBR, in their special issue on 50th anniversary of HBR, concluded on the behalf of the five selected thinkers of business management that, “ the continuing challenge for executives--- is not technology, but the art of human – and humane – management”. The other research work in this area also confirms asignificant impact of training on workers’ and organizational productivity and other business results (Reenen, Dearden and Reed, 2005; Savery and Luks, 2004; Bragar and Johnson, 1997; Eicher and Kim, 1999). Despite the strong implications of training activities for productivity and other organizational outcomes, however, much of the empirical evidence (Kurosawa, Ohtake and Auriga, 2005; Zwick,...
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