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An analysis of the alignment and integration of Learning and Development interventions for engineers in the Medical Technology sector in Ireland

O'Dwyer, Eoin (2018) An analysis of the alignment and integration of Learning and Development interventions for engineers in the Medical Technology sector in Ireland. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

It has been suggested in academic literature for more than a decade that knowledge-driven industries, such as the Medical Technology (Medtech) sector, are increasingly reliant on Learning and Development (L&D) to improve individual learning, facilitate strategic organisational imperatives and act as a link between Human Resource Management (HRM) strategy and overall business strategy (McGuire et al. 2008, Torrington, Hall and Taylor 2004). Bould and Garrick (1999) argue convincingly that learning has moved from a supportive, peripheral role to being central to individual and organisational effectiveness, with little room in the modern workplace for employees who are unwilling to engage in competence development through learning or managers who fail to foster a learning environment in organisations. Gunnigle et al. (2017) note that Learning and Development has become a national priority in Ireland due to competitive market functioning, internationalisation, skills gaps, pressures from technological innovation and new ways of working. Connaughton and Staunton (2017) in their recent survey on the state of L&D in Ireland report that 59 per cent of respondents identify talent management as a top priority over the next number of years, 78 per cent of organisations are experiencing skills shortages and the average spend on L&D was 3.8 per cent of payroll with interventions focussing on culture change, systems development/training, coaching and mentoring and performance enhancement.

The Medical technology (Medtech) sector in Ireland is one of five global emerging hubs, employing over 29,000 people and is the second largest employer of Medtech professionals in Europe. Ireland has annual exports of €12.6 billion in the Medtech sector and 18 of the world’s top 25 medical technology companies have a base in Ireland, while 50% of the 450 Medtech companies based here are indigenous (Irish Medtech Association, 2017b). The Irish Medtech Association (2017a) estimates that there will be an additional 376 engineers or 23 per cent required in the sector by 2020. There is considerable scope for growth in the Medtech sector in Ireland, with a recent survey by the Irish Medtech Association finding that ‘over 78 per cent of survey respondents have transferred staff internally and 78 per cent of organisations have provided internal upskilling programmes. 50 per cent of survey respondents stated that they had to pay a wage premium to attract suitable employees’, while 88 per cent of respondents found that current skills shortages had an adverse impact on growth (Irish Medtech Association,2017a, p.41).

This research seeks to investigate theoretical best-practices from an academic setting and assess whether it is being applied in a specific industry (the Medtech sector in Ireland) and whether workplace learning is improving the competence of a specific cohort of employees (engineers), which should, in theory, lead to improved individual and organisational performance. Investigation into the literature surrounding the interrelated areas of Strategic Human Resource Management, Learning and Development, Talent Management, Competence Development and Organisational Performance provides a number of common themes and shortcomings that inform this research.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: R Medicine > Healthcare Industry
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management > Training and Development
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Arts in Human Resource Management
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2018 15:13
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2018 15:13
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/3321

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