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Impact of professional

  1. 1. WORLD ACADEMIC JOURNAL OF BUSINESS & APPLIED SCIENCES-MARCH-SEPTEMBER 2013 EDITION Journal of Economics & Finance (JEF) SEPTEMBER 2013 VOL.1, No.7 Impact of Professional Bodies in Training and Development in Nation Media Group Mercy Gakii Ben (Corresponding author), Grace Neema Kariba, Titus Muhoro Njuguna Nation Media Group, P.O box 2792, Nakuru 20100, Kenya Accepted 30 September 2013 Abstract It is through training and development programs that an organization can expand both the knowledge and skill base of their employees, and also improve chances for people to build a career path in their professions. For an employee, training gives them better abilities to perform their job, through building their confidence, and helping them learn how to engage new technologies to ease their jobs. This kind of training gives better output for a company, as their employees develop a loyal attitude, and as well come up with new ideas which can improve their work experiences. Key Words: Impact of Professional Bodies, Training and Development, Nation Media Group 1. Introduction Human development has, in recent years, become the focus of attention for planners, policy makers and administrators (Gupta, 2003). Human resource development can be defined as the process of increasing knowledge, skills and capacity of people through training. It is important not only for an organization but also for the nation. Training is an organized procedure by which people learn knowledge and skills for a particular purpose. The purpose of training is mainly to bridge the gap between job requirements and the present competencies of an employee. Professional bodies are one of the most effective ways to improve employees’ professional skills and make them more effective organizational members. Organizations require the practice of professional management principles and practices, since Management is one of the key pillars in any organization for its survival, growth and expansion, (Nelson, 2010.) A profession arises when any trade or occupation transforms itself through the development of formal qualifications based upon education and examinations, the emergence of regulatory bodies with powers to admit and discipline members, and some degree of monopoly rights. The roles of these professional associations include maintaining control or oversight of the legitimate practice of the occupation, safeguarding the public interest, and representing the interests of the professional practitioners. Profession- It is a vocation founded upon specialised educational training, the purpose of which is to supply disinterested counsel and service to others, for a direct and definite compensation wholly, apart from expectation of other business gain. 297
  2. 2. WORLD ACADEMIC JOURNAL OF BUSINESS & APPLIED SCIENCES-MARCH-SEPTEMBER 2013 EDITION Professional Bodies- These are organizations that set certain educational and professional standards as qualification for membership and practice. NMG- Nation Media Group KIM- Kenya Institute of Management ICPAK- Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya LSK- Law Society of Kenya MSK-Marketing Society of Kenya 2. Literature review This part covers various theories of learning, training and development. 2.1 Social Learning Theory Bandura’s theory explains human behaviour in terms of a continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral, and environmental determinants. Learning takes place both as a result of experienced responses i.e operant view of learning and vicariously through observing the effects on the social environment of other people's behaviour. Social learning theory plays an important role in training and development. Employees are more likely to imitate their superiors than their peers because of their status, experience and reward power. Second, modeling has a considerable role to play in implementing a self-managed approach through self-observation and self-monitoring (Davis & Luthans, 1980). Third, for improving the effectiveness of training, a vicarious or modeling principle has been proposed to be used in four stages, namely presentation of models displaying the desired behaviors, imitation or rehearsal by the observer of the modeling behaviors; social reinforcement or favorable recognition for adoption of the modeled behaviors by the observer; and transfer of training to encourage the use of learned behaviors back on the job (Goldstein & Sorcher, 1974; Manz & Sims, 1981). 2.2 Constructivism Constructivism is recognized as a unique learning theory in itself. Behaviorism and cognitivism both support the practice of analyzing a task and breaking it down into manageable chunks, establishing objectives, and measuring performance based on those objectives. Constructivism, on the other hand, promotes a more open-ended learning experience where the methods and results of learning are not easily measured and may not be the same for each learner. Constructivists believe that all humans have the ability to construct knowledge in their own minds through a process of discovery and problem solving. The extent to which this process can take place naturally without structure and teaching is the defining factors amongst those who advocate this learning theory. Jean Piaget (1970), a Swiss psychologist, observed human development as a progressive stage of cognitive development. His four stages, which commence at infancy and progress into adulthood, characterize the cognitive abilities necessary at each stage to construct meaning of ones environment. In this sense, Piaget’s theory is similar to other constructivists’ perspectives of learning. Under the theory of constructivism, trainers can focus on making connections between facts and fostering new understanding in trainees. Trainers can tailor their strategies to the trainee’s responses and encourage trainees to analyze, interpret, and predict information. 2.3 Justification Employees selected for a job might lack the qualifications required to perform the job effectively. New, inexperienced employees require detailed instruction for effective performance of the job. This is a function well performed by professional bodies because management may lack the required time and expertise to train these new employees, (Ishwar, 1970). In order to survive and grow, an organization must continually adopt itself to the changing environment. With 298
  3. 3. WORLD ACADEMIC JOURNAL OF BUSINESS & APPLIED SCIENCES-MARCH-SEPTEMBER 2013 EDITION increasing economic liberalization and globalization, business firms are experiencing expansion, growth and diversification. In order to face international competition, firms must upgrade their capabilities. Existing employees need refresher training to keep them abreast of new knowledge. The external view brought in by professional bodies proves very viable (Vogan,1989). Training becomes necessary when an employee moves from one job to another due to promotion and transfer. Employees chosen for higher level jobs need to be trained before they are tasked with higher responsibilities. For example, in the media the junior position is that of a correspondent, then one is promoted to sub-editorial job or to a full editorial position. There is thus an ever present need for involving professional bodies in training people so that new and changed techniques may be taken advantage of, and improvements on old methods implemented. (Emily,2010). Technology is changing very fast. Automation and mechanization are increasingly applied in offices, and in the service sector. Increasing use of fast-changing techniques requires training into new technology. This technology comes with emerging ethical issues and challenges to various professions. For instance, the use of social networking sites has been adapted by the media as a means to relay breaking news, as well as a forum of discussion for various articles and current events. This has posed a major challenge for journalists, who have no prior knowledge on ethics of handling this type of media. Thus, professional bodies need to come in to train journalists on issues of handling integrity and ethics within the social networking media. (Brosseau,2000). 2.4 Professional bodies in Kenya In Kenya alone, there are a number of professional bodies that have nurtured their professionals to achieve better qualifications. For instance, Kenya Institute of Management has a program that brings together Managers from various professions. In August of this year, they held a leadership and governance program that saw former presidents and other prominent leaders from all over Africa meet in Mombasa to discuss issues that affect leadership in the continent. People from all backgrounds were invited, and this way, coaching and mentorships offered to younger professionals (Kibe,2011). Another professional body is the association of accountants, ICPAK. This body ensures that all practicing accountants in the country have been certified for professional qualification. Through ICPAK, the global best practices in the profession are highly encouraged. According to their website, the body offers constant updates for their members through offering new trainings to keep them at par with the emerging trends in the world. Every quarter, the body provides seminars, workshops and other opportunities for members to meet and exchange ideas. These forums are ideal for networking, thus giving attendees a chance to learn of the latest trends in the market. The body has practices the right to bar any professional from practicing if such a person has been found to be acting contrary to the ethical requirements of the profession (Kibe,2011). Another professional training body is The Institute of Capacity Development, the executive training arm of KCA University. The institute targets professionals and aims at enhancing their skills and keeping them abreast with the ever changing dynamics in the business environment. The Institute provides executive training to senior managers and as well extends tailor-made training to various institutions in Kenya and around Africa. The institute has been a major training partner for the Government of Kenya and Government of South Sudan. ICAD specializes in short courses, seminars, workshops, conferences and partners with high profile organizations including the Center for Corporate Governance (CCG), Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK), (Wachira, 2011). The same is true of Kenya Law Society, LSK, which nurtures the interests of its members. The LSK has continual trainings for their employees under the Continuing Legal Education Program, known as CLE. The CLE 299
  4. 4. WORLD ACADEMIC JOURNAL OF BUSINESS & APPLIED SCIENCES-MARCH-SEPTEMBER 2013 EDITION program rolls out an annual calendar which covers different law topics in the format of seminars and lectures. The sessions are carried out in various towns in the country and advocates and non-advocates experts in various professional fields volunteer to present at the sessions. The CLE Calendar has over sixty sessions in fifteen towns in Kenya. The CLE program also rolls out supplementary free programs throughout the year, many of which are organized in partnership with development partners (Githu, 2008). According to the LSK website, Regulation 11 of the Advocates Act on Continuing Legal Education Regulation, 2004 states that every applicant for an annual practicing certificate shall be accompanied by proof that the applicant has secured five units of continuing legal education during each practicing year. Qualification for journalism practice, just like any other profession, should be based on a standard academic and professional training. For example, setting a minimum qualification of possessing either a Diploma or Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from a recognized training institution. For Kenyan journalists however, there is a problem that practicing journalists grapple daily with; there is no regulating body, or professional organization that journalists can work with to hone their professional skills. According to an article published in the Standard newspaper of 9 February 2010, the profession has been raided by all manner of professionals, and quacks who gate-crash in the name of having talent and good looks (Fred,2010). In Nation Media Group, journalists are employed mainly using their past training efforts, got through colleges, or universities. However, once a journalist has entered the profession, there are no efforts on the part of the employer to ensure that these journalists get continuous professional training. Another problem is that there are no professional bodies that journalists can identify with, or that can help keep professionalism within the journalism career. A third challenge is the lack of training needs analysis within the company. (James,2010). This is where even if there arises an opportunity for training, only those who are in good standing with their seniors are given the opportunity to attend, leaving out other professionals who actually need this training. According to Keith as cited in The Info Journal, (2008) the company also lacks information on the existing professional bodies which have not marketed their services to the company, there are various professionals working in various departments. There are financial experts such as accountants, human resource practitioners, Information Technology experts, journalists, and marketers. Most of these groups have professional bodies to which they belong, such as MSK, IHRM and ICPAK. Professional bodies play a critical role in supplying the market and the general public service with people who can meet the minimum requirement of Chapter six of the new constitution of Kenya. This chapter puts emphasis on leadership and integrity, and provides guiding principles of leadership and integrity which include Selection on the basis of personal integrity, competence and suitability, objectivity and impartiality in decision making and in ensuring that decisions are not influenced by nepotism, favoritism, other improper motives or corruption, selfless service solely based on the public interest. Another is accountability to public for decisions and actions and discipline and commitment to service to the people (Constitution of Kenya,2010). However, in the media fraternity, there are no professional bodies designed to regulate and train the practitioners in their day to day work. There are no methods of monitoring the ethics and procedures that the media practitioners follow in delivery of their duties, comments the writer who is also a lecturer in Communication writing in the Standard newspaper of 9 February 2010. Other professionals who work within NMG include marketers who are regularly appraised by the MSK, their professional body. Through MSK, they are invited to networking seminars, coffee outings and other forums that enable them to network with people from other fields. 300
  5. 5. WORLD ACADEMIC JOURNAL OF BUSINESS & APPLIED SCIENCES-MARCH-SEPTEMBER 2013 EDITION There is no recognition of members who have joined any professional body by the company, thus deflating morale of journalists. 2.5 Challenges of training and development through professional bodies in NMG There are no policies that have been laid down by NMG in order to facilitate training of journalists through professional bodies. In other organizations, there is a clearly laid down requirement that for a professional to join the body, the person must be a registered member of this professional body. Even though line managers find the need for training their junior employees, the bureaucratic procedure that the ideas have to go through before getting approved is too long, and thus discouraging to middle level management. There is no clear career path set by NMG for journalists to follow in growing within the profession; thus even if the company took them for training, it may end up being wasted due to the nature of contracts that many of the journalists are employed under. The media field is also popular for taking in very young professionals who may not be settled in their careers, and therefore keep moving jobs and professions. In the minutes of the company's meeting in year 2009, over 20 young professionals who had joined the company in the last two years as fresh graduates left for more lucrative jobs in the market. The company is challenged to select particular professional bodies, since there are many professionals within the company, such as accountants, human resource professionals, thus the company may not see money sense to invest in enrolling their employees in professional bodies. 3. Conclusion and recommendations The media practitioners should establish a professional body for regulating, improving and ensuring that professionals are ready and equipped to cope with changes in the media. The same body should ensure that there are continual trainings on the job for employees and all practitioners to keep them advancing and improve their professional standards. The various media houses need to conduct regular training needs analysis among their employees so as to find out the areas of need that should be taken care of through training. There should be a requirement for all media practitioners to belong to a professional body, and without which one should not join the world of work. The future of professional bodies in Kenya is leaning more toward standardization in professionalism. What is now emerging is that an overwhelming majority of practitioners are strongly in favour of reorganizing current professional bodies. This is so that they can have sufficient authority, power and legitimacy to legislate rules and regulations on behalf of practitioners and perform the functions necessary to promote and protect the wellbeing and reputation of the profession. REFERENCE Alberto, P. and Troutman, A.C. (2003) Applied behavioral Analysis for Teachers (6th ed) Upper Saddler River, NJ: Merrill, Prentice Hall Argyris, C. (1976) Increased leadership effectiveness. New York; Wiley Argyris, C. (1978) Organizational Learning: A Theory of action perspective. Reading MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company (Schon, D.A) Argyris, C. (1993) On organizational Learning, Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Bandura, A. (1969). Principles of Behavior Modification, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Bandura, A. (1976) "Effective Change through Participant Modeling", In J.D. Krumboltz and C.E Thoresen (Eds), Counseling Methods, New York: Holt, Rinehart andWinston Bandura, A. (1977) Social Learning Theory. New Jersey, Prentice Hall Inc. Belkin, G.S. and Gray, J.L. (1977) Educational Psychology: An Introduction. Dubuque Iowawm. C. Brown 301
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