Corporate University Model

From my readings and research I have learned about the corporate university model. I will be evaluating why many organizations today are emphasizing training as an employee development tool and focus on why utilizing the internal university structure has become very popular. I think that the corporate university model is a very effective model. It is an educational entity that is a strategic tool designed to assist its parent organization in achieving its goals by conducting activities that foster individual and organizational learning and knowledge. It is set up to bring common culture, loyalty, and belonging to the company. Our text states that “a corporate university model is a training model in which the client group includes not only company employees and managers but also stakeholders outside the company (Roe, pg. 551, 2010).” “It response to the rapid changes in information and technology that characterizes our society.

A companion to the concept of life-long learning, the corporate university enables businesses, both for profit and not for profit, to maintain and expand the expertise of their workforces and, as a result, to secure their positions in the marketplace. The corporate university adds value to the business and, in some cases generates revenue (Gould, 2005).” “The top five organizational goals of corporate universities were to improve customer’s service and retention, improve productivity, reduce costs, retain talented employees, and increase revenue (Roe, pg. 84, 2010).” If revenue is generated, the chief learning officer develops and implements the appropriate business and marketing plans (Gould, 2005).” Training functions organized by the university model tend to offer a wider range of programs and courses (Roe, pg. 84, 2010). Culture and values tend to be emphasized more often in the training curriculum of corporate universities.

It centralizes training to make sure that “best training practices” that may be used in one unit of the company are disseminated across the company (Roe, pg. 84, 2010). It also enables the company to control costs by developing consistent training practices and policies (Roe, pg. 83, 2010). “Companies have found that investment in human capital in the form of training and development yields high returns. The ones that recognize the value of their employees and place a new emphasis on education and training are becoming more competitive, successful, and profitable as a result (Dutkowsky, 2014).” “Transferring knowledge leads to synergistic cost advantages, better implementation of organizational strategies, and competitive advantage. Organizations are implementing corporate universities to aid in knowledge transfer. This allows organizations to customize them to meet their training needs (Clinton, Merritt, & Murray, 2009).

Knowledge is the primary ingredient in gaining a competitive advantage and knowledge is a firm’s main inimitable resource. Knowledge has to be effectively transferred within organizations in order to maximize the competitive advantage arising from knowledge (Clinton, Merritt, & Murray, 2009). Corporate universities are also vital to employees as well. In this day and age, responsibility and authority are pushed downward and all employees are expected to make decisions and to contribute to competitive advantage. This requires workers who can think and do for themselves (Clinton, Merritt, & Murray, 2009). Advanced education and continuous learning is crucial. “The key goal for an organization is to provide its workers with the ability to retool their skills and knowledge continually. Corporate universities allow employers to provide employees the opportunity to increase their knowledge, and in return, employees will take education from the corporate university and give back to the organization through innovation, efficiency, and productivity (Clinton, Merritt, & Murray, 2009).”

Overall, corporate universities are built on a system that understands the chief concern for knowledge workers in nearly every industry and occupation is the shelf life of their knowledge, causing them to have a constantly retool their schools. Employees benefit from the corporate university movement in more ways than simply being able to perform their assigned jobs better. They also learn skills and possibly earn degrees that can be carried through their career, making they, themselves, more marketable to the workplace. Corporate universities are the “fast growing segment of the adult education market. Corporate universities strive to achieve their mission of developing programs that are clearly linked to business objectives and organizational strategy.

These programs are designed to convey corporate culture and focus on learning beyond on-the-job training. By doing so, many employees throughout the United States and abroad are offered educational opportunities that might not otherwise be available to them. In conclusion, the corporate university model is a very effective model. Organizations constantly need to adapt themselves to stay aligned with an ever-changing and increasingly complex environment. Corporate Universities puts “smart learning” at the forefront, with strategies to secure alignment between organization and environment, which need both speed of learning and learning in the right direction. Across the globe, corporate universities have emerged as vehicles of such strategy-driven learning.

Clinton, M., S., Merritt, K., L., & Murray, R., S. (2009). Using corporate universities to facilitate knowledge transfer and achieve competitive advantage: An exploratory model based on media richness and type of knowledge to be transferred. Retrieved from: Dutkowsky, S. (2014). Trends in Training and Development – THE NEW ECONOMY, TRAINING IN U.S. COMPANIES, WHO DOES THE TRAINING IN CORPORATIONS? Retrieved from: Gould, E., K. (2005). The Corporate University. A Model for Sustaining an Expert Workforce in the Human Services. Retrieved from: Noe, R. (2010) Employee Training and Development (5th edition). McGraw-Hill/Irwin

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