The future of corporate learning and development in technology accelerating organisations

DProf thesis

Gonsalves-Fersch, S. 2023. The future of corporate learning and development in technology accelerating organisations. DProf thesis Middlesex University Business School
TypeDProf thesis
TitleThe future of corporate learning and development in technology accelerating organisations
AuthorsGonsalves-Fersch, S.

Every year, global organisations allocate massive resources to learning and development (L&D) to prepare their employees for the challenges that lie ahead. According to research conducted by Beroe in 2021, the global learning and development market size was worth $367 billion growing to reach $402 billion by 2025. I sought to analyse this investment by L&D in the context of new and growing tech organisations.

My research sought to analyse the introduction, role, structure, and contribution of the corporate L&D function and determine whether it adequately meets the needs of accelerating organisations. I define these as technology-driven businesses in a context of start-ups, scale-ups and hyper-growth.

Grounded on fieldwork conducted at the height of the global pandemic, my research has two core objectives. First, I sought to identify the conditions under which the introduction or formalization an L&D function could boost growth and productivity in an accelerating organisation and the adequacy of current L&D models and methods to support this process, and second, the L&D skill set required to achieve these aims.

The corporate L&D function is socially constructed, as learning leaders primarily draw from each other’s experience, expertise and knowledge. For this reason, my research follows a qualitative research approach based on a bricolage of semi-structured interviews and professional conversations with corporate heads of learning, chief people officers, thought leaders and industry analysts.

Through these interactions, I gathered data on learning functions in already accelerated organisations, including when they were introduced, their initial purpose, and their evolution in supporting the company’s growth. These conversations yielded rich insight on innovative approaches and methodologies that could serve as a guide for rapidly accelerating organisations as they navigate the complexities of developing their workforce whilst addressing the challenges inherent in a rapid growth trajectory.

At the same time, research participants gave me a front-row view of their organisation’s employee base, how it interacts with technology, and the benefits of incorporating a managed L&D function to enhance organisational outcomes. Finally, I compared and contrasted the competencies of L&D professionals currently operating in this space with the insights shared by my research subjects. In this way, I aim to establish how the L&D function can optimally contribute to preparing the workforce of the future and support organisational development in the accelerating technology space.

Sustainable Development Goals9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
4 Quality education
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
Department nameBusiness School
Business and Law
Institution nameMiddlesex University
PublisherMiddlesex University Research Repository
Publication dates
Online21 Mar 2024
Publication process dates
Accepted01 Nov 2023
Deposited21 Mar 2024
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
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