Individuals’ Capabilities and Vocational Training within Firms: International Comparison on Communication tools, Voice and Participation Schemes

Kambayashi, Ryo (2016). 'Individuals’ Capabilities and Vocational Training within Firms: International Comparison on Communication tools, Voice and Participation Schemes' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.

abstract Plurality and diversity of values are at the heart of Amartya Sen’s and Martha Nussbaum’s capability approach (CA), along with the aim to bringing human beings and their diversity back into development schemes, not only as a means of development but as its very finality. The purpose of this panel is to challenge economic development through the capability lens taking corporate training as a case in point of a socio-economic nexus bridging different ends and values. Against the widespread view seeing the ends of corporate training mainly under the angle of employees’ efficiency and adaptability at the service of companies’ competitiveness, the CA raises the issue of the different values that may be associated with corporate training not only by companies, but workers as well (professionalization, career development, wage increase, personal development, work conditions improvement, work-life balance…) and their more or less conflicting relationships. This means identifying the values in competition in concrete corporate configurations and analyzing the channels that may allow people to express these values, make them count and transform them into real achievements. A core question is then: Under what conditions does corporate training contribute to develop individual capabilities? Answering this question requires looking into training opportunities, processes and outcomes. How is continuing training dealt with at the company level and what scope of choice and means of achievement is associated with it? What are the processes and tools at stake? This necessitates investigating the processes that govern information, access, choice, implementation as well as outcomes in training matters. Such processes involve communication tools, voice, participation schemes and institutional arrangements. What place do these tools and processes reserve to the expression of different training values, how do they deal with conflicting values? In order to handle these questions, three contributors are invited to develop multi-level approaches bridging individuals and organizations. Comparative perspectives between firms, sectors, countries are welcome.

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