Perceptions on the Training and Development Function: An Empirical Study of the Middle East Abstract The present study aims to determine perceptions on the training and development function in Middle East organizations. Using a purposive sample of 150 HR practitioners from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai and Lebanon, the study found that there is a perception that candidates for supervisory and management roles are adequately trained to take on their jobs. However, they were uncertain about the importance accorded to the training and development function and if there are adequate training and development opportunities for employees.
They are also unsure about the sufficiency of the budget allocation for employee training. The top barriers to the perceived lack of training and development include the adequacy of the skills of the incumbents for their present roles; the perception that training does not have substantial impact on business goals; and the perceived sufficiency work experience of the applicants. In general, there was moderate agreement to the present levels of the self-management competencies of results delivery / orientation, flexibility, self-mastery, creativity, and critical thinking.
In addition, customer management competencies which were perceived to be strongly prioritized are smooth interpersonal relations, team leadership, managing customer relationships, and optimizing people’s potential. Moreover, moderate priority was associated with the customer management competencies of performance management, communicating effectively, and customer centricity. On business management related competencies, quality focus was perceived to be a strong priority. Moreover, developing the business, business planning, management of projects and resources and entrepreneurial orientation are moderately prioritized.