Can Applied On-Job Training Yield Increased Productivity?

Can Applied On-Job Training Yield Increased Productivity?

Kevin Paul Barrons (Grand Valley State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7390-6.ch008


On-job training (OJT) and the zone of proximal learning (ZPL) remain some of the top innovative approaches to increasing the efficacies required in progressive enterprises. Available data indicate that there is a positive correlation between OJT and cumulated productivity. The ZPL is at the cutting-edge of improving cognitive and affective and sensory practices while OJT upsurge the skillfulness required to boost performance in the value creation system. OJT and ZPL can be juxtaposed to progress explicit knowledge difficult for the competition to mimic. A case study is drawn to illustrate how OJT and the ZPL can be applied in the divided labor to grow specialization and design and implement the technology required to upsurge productivity in a successful organization.
Chapter Preview


Lev Vygotsky did not write his theories with business organizations in mind. He was increasingly influenced by the systemic thinking of the scholars associated with German-American Gestalt psychology movement in which Kurt Lewin and Chris Argyris, among others, were part of. Under the influence of Kurt Lewin's “Topological (and vector) psychology (Lewin, 1936)—Vygotsky introduced the vague notion of the Zone of proximal development (ZPD) and identified play of young children as their leading activity, that he understood as the main source of the preschoolers' development in terms of emotional, volitional and cognitive development (Wertsch, 1984). Since then, Bandura (2015), Senge (2006) and Barrons (2015) have taken topological studies further to infer that socialization is a part of human development process. Bandura found that learning reproductions are an important source for learning new behaviors and for achieving behavioral change in organizations. For example, in the induction of new employees, the recruit is shown how the job is done and who to consult when in doubt. Senge (2006) propound that only those organizations that can adapt quickly and effectively will be able to excel in their field or market. For example, the organism amoeba which thrives in marshlands replicates itself by breaking into two parts over and over. The numerous organisms adapt to the conditions of the environment and thrive. Within a brief period, the water is chockablock with the organisms. Thus, companies that fail to learn and adapt to the environment in which they do business fail. Barrons (2015) investigated the importance of the ZPD of talent management in the workplace. Barrons advocates to improve cognitive practice an increase in learning in the value creation process in the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) environment is essential. Seeing much success is noticed in this newest pedagogy “flipped instruction” design, it has changed various disciplines in business education which can best be applied to the training component of the workforce today. Barrons indicates the key areas of applying the ZPD includes: 1) socialization; 2) anticipation; 3) tacit experience; and, 4) explicit practices. The success of this model continues to create and is leading us towards higher learner motivation, comprehension, and personal achievement.

Figure 1.

Zone of proximal development

(Barrons, 2015)

Background Information

In Yasnitsky and Van der Veer (2015), the Zone of proximal development (ZPD) is Vygotsky's term for the range of tasks that a child is in the process of learning to complete. In the original Vygotsky's writings, this phrase is used in three different meanings. Vygotsky viewed the ZPD to better explain the relationship between children’s learning and cognitive development. Prior to the ZPD, the relation between learning and development could be boiled down to the following three major positions: 1) Development always precedes learning (e.g., constructivism) children first need to meet a particular maturation level before learning can occur 2) Learning and development cannot be separated but instead occur simultaneously (e.g., behaviorism learning is development; and 3) learning and development are separate but interactive processes (e.g., gestaltism) one process always prepares the other process, and vice versa. Vygotsky rejected these three major theories because he believed that learning should always precede development in the ZPD. According to Vygotsky, through the assistance of a more capable person, a child can learn skills or aspects of a skill that goes beyond the child’s actual developmental or maturational level. The lower limit of ZPD is the level of skill reached by the child working independently (also referred to as the child's actual developmental level). The upper limit is the level of potential skill that the child can reach with the assistance of a more capable instructor. In this sense, the ZPD provides a perspective view of cognitive development, as opposed to a retrospective view that characterizes development regarding a child’s independent capabilities.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: