What are the cultural influences on training and development? Provide two examples.Two key cultural factors which influence occupational health training and development include the relationship between management and employees, and the wider national and political policies regarding health and healthcare. For example, an article published in 2015 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine explains that “compliance with regulatory requirements” is a major influence on the role of management in promoting occupational health training (Riley et al, 2015, p. 780); the results of this study indicate that a relationship of trust and reciprocity between management and employees is fundamental to the dissemination of training and development practices. At the same time, a study in the International Journal of Public Health describes key deficiencies in occupational health training between different minority groups in West African sub-regions (Sanyang et al, 2016, n.p.); for some individuals in these countries wider political concerns have a direct impact on their access to training and development. This is a good example of how wider national politics and policies (rooted in local cultures) impact training and development.

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Discuss the effects of cultural continuity and change on organizational succession planning. Provide two examples.
Because both organizational culture and wider social culture can have an impact on training and development, as described above, continuity and change have a related impact on succession planning. For example, in the study described above (Riley et al, 2015), the relationship between management and employees is shown to be vital to the successful implementation of organizational health; changes in management therefore need to focus on continuity of training and development programs in order to minimize disruption and further support the fostering of a new management/employee relationship. In the second example above (Sanyang et al, 2016), the effects of cultural and political upheaval and flux on organizational development highlight the need for organizational continuity as a stabilizing force for individuals. At the same time, tis example also indicates the ways in which extreme change can pose serious challenges to the development of succession plans, by emphasising pre-existing cultural and political rifts.

How do internal and external social media influence organizational culture?
Both internal and external social media are primarily means of communication; as such, both have a tremendous impact on organizational culture. Because social media in general is designed to promote open and group communication, it can help boost organizational participation, transparency, and cohesiveness – both within the organization, and within the wider community and in the global arena. Using social media promotes the exchange of ideas and information, thereby encouraging creativity and productivity as well. At the same time, however, both internal and external social media carried associated risks in terms of security and accountability: what is published or exposed via social media cannot always be easily removed or controlled. Used well, social media can enhance organizational culture, but used badly it can cause serious damage to the reputation of both individuals and organizations.

Is social media the most effective way for employees to share knowledge? Explain.
As above, social media can be an extremely effective means for employees to share knowledge. It is readily available and accessible, user-friendly, and designed to facilitate group sharing, wide dissemination, and transparency, meaning that it creates an ideal platform for the development of ideas and for fast information-sharing. However, also as described above, there are significant risks associated with this type of platform for knowledge-sharing. Although social media promotes easy dissemination to large numbers of people, this can be a liability when it comes to organizational security and in terms of back-tracking on ideas or information – information shared on social media cannot easily be retracted or restricted. At the same time, the speed with which social media allows information to be shared can also mean that less care and caution is likely to be used in preparing information for publication. As a result, whether or not social media is the most effective means of sharing information depends on the specific situation and the requirements of the project.

  • Riley, K, Slatin, C., Rice, C., Rosen, M., Weidner, L., Fleishman, J., Alerding, L., and Delp, L. (2015). “Managers’ Perceptions of the Value and Impact of HAZWOPER Worker Health and Safety Training.” American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 58, 780-787.
  • Sanyang, E., Butler-Dawson, J., Mikulski, M. A., Cook, T., Kuye, R. A., Venzke, K., & Fuortes, L. J. (2016). “Environmental and Occupational Health Needs Assessment in West Africa: Opportunities for Research and Training.” International Journal Of Public Health, doi:10.1007/s00038-016-0881-1.