Factors Influencing Provision of Enterprise Training: a Study of India's Information Technology (IT) Sector
Policy debates and academic research have emphasised the need for investment in human capital for improving national and organisational competitiveness and reducing unemployment. However, limited attempts have been undertaken to understand the factors that explain a firm's decision to invest in training. Most studies have been undertaken in the context of manufacturing firms in developed countries. Extant training demand models do not fully explicate the reasons for differences in training provision between firms operating in one industry sector. Further, the extant literature has often neglected a much cited need to consider, among other external factors, the influence of an organisation's clients on its decision to invest in training. Finally, little is known of the factors that influence a firm's decision to invest in training in the context of born-global, high-technology firms in a developing country context. This thesis is an attempt to bridge the above gaps. More specifically, it addresses how various factors - internal and external to the firm - interact with each other in shaping the final provision of training. Further, the thesis explores the reasons for variations in training between firms. Owing to the still evolving state of theory and a relatively unexplored contextual setting, case study research is considered an appropriate method for this study. This thesis examines factors influencing training in ten organisations in India's IT services sector. Findings from case analysis suggest that the nature and extent of training is a result of complex interaction between an organisation's internal and external environment. An organisation's competitive strategy, the service markets it caters to, clients' specifications, workplace change, employee turnover, the temporal dimension of a process/project, and process complexity are found to be important factors in training decision-making. Contrary to the established view of training as an integral part of a firm's human resource management infrastructure, this thesis finds support for strong linkages between a firm's training infrastructure and its operations management. Further, this thesis reveals the critical and unexplored link between an organisation's quality management systems and its human resource management, as well as its learning and market orientation capabilities, in shaping the nature and extent of training. Findings from the study are then used in the development of a conceptual framework for understanding training decisionmaking in dynamic and high-growth outsourcing environments. Finally, areas for future research are identified.