Continuous changing in corporate context enhances vast competition among corporate sectors which obliges to realize the importance of activities apart from routine works, have become significant preference in progressing performance of workforce or employees in an organisation.
The revolutionary focus of human resources development professionals are towards the management of knowledge whether it is tacit knowledge or explicit knowledge and experiential learning and utilization of opportunities and omprehensiveness provided by workplace affordance. Therefore, the role of line managers is much more specified in term of learning and development (L & D) and as facilitators to create productive socialization in favor of the organisation so that the demand of the employers regarding stable set of appropriate skills among their employees, particularly adaptability flexibility and transferability and the greater capacity to learn in the changing environment become possible comprehensively.Since the line managers are already so busy in their regular responsibility, and make them involved in learning and development to flourish employees’ skills are not simple for human resource management (HRM). There has been immense speculation about the advisability of devolving human resource management (HRM) issues to line managers (Hall and Torrington, 1998; Ulrich, 1998; Gratton et el. , 1999).
High unemployment and poor press reviews have forced HR managers to seek new, strategic innovations in an attempt to maintain competitive advantage (IRS, 1995; Gennard and Kelly, 1997; Renwick, 2000). One such innovation is “personnel’s metamorphosis to HRM” (Cunningham and Hyman, 1999, p. 10), as an attempt for the function to re-emerge after “sinking into irrelevance” (Keenoy, 1990, p. 3). A clear view emerged that HR and the line needed to work in partnership and that the HR function was crucial as a means of support and advice to supplement their own actions.
Moreover, as Earnshaw et al. (2000) found with small firms, there was an explicit recognition that even large companies could face legal challenges without specific HR expertise, particularly in grievance and disciplinary cases. In the other hand, the line managers are in frontline in delivering and promoting required and future skills to employees with aiming improvement in employees’ performance that is the cause of the achievement of organizational goal.The involvement of Line manager in learning and development (L&D) at work is an aspect of the wider changing relations between line manager and human resource management. L&D system and roles have been adopted or changed to include greater line management involvement in learning and development (L&D) at work. Like, devolution of training responsibilities such as induction (IRS, 1996), the growth of performance management and developmental appraisal systems ( Redman and Snape, 1992), the use of cellular working and team leader-based forms of working (Katzenbach and Smith, 1993), the growth of formal entoring systems (Gibb, 1999), workplace-based assessment and verification of competence (Beaumont, 1996; Whitear, 1993), the development of “corporate universities” (Stumpf, 1998), re-conceptualisations of senior management strategic roles in terms of leadership in learning organisations (Senge, 1992), and knowledge management (Davenport and Prusak, 1998; Newell et al. 2002).
The advantages of greater line management involvement in helping others to learn can be related to four main areas; the quantity of L&D at work, the quality of L&D at work, the value for management in the organisation, and the re-alignment of L&D activities with human relations changes in an organisation as a whole. The idea to give the doses of L&D to the employees in regular bases can be possible when the workplace provides positive attitudes towards continuous and lifelong learning. L&D needs to be an integral feature of working life.To get a job, to retain a job or to develop a career people need to become more involved more often with L&D. there is a key role of line managers to become more proactive about development and line managers should expect and help to support the efforts of employees to learn and develop, and if the line managers more directly involve can produce a better quality of L&D at work for organisations and individuals. Similarly, enlisting the line managers as developers of people can contribute to broader organizational change and transformation of human relations at work.There is also some disadvantages of greater line management involvement in learning and development (L&D). There is a belief that there will be less development for many if line managers are made more responsible for staff development, also there is no reason to believe that line managers can be better skilled developers than specialists trained in L&D at work, no matter how much development they receive as “teacher” or “trainer” because most line managers will not be able to organize and evaluate as high quality L&D processes and practices as specialist.
Similarly, line managers will not be as accurate as others can be in objectively determining L&D needs, and line managers will not be as good at instructing, coaching or facilitating development as specialist. Finally, many would argue it is naive to assume that relationships between line managers and staff can be the key relationship to guide an employee’s development (Lynton and Pareek, 2000). A relatively powerful L&D specialist is an significant factor in ensuring that L&D is taken seriously then making mangers more responsible may be a backward step.Now we further increase our view from line managers involvement in learning and development towards line mangers as facilitators of knowledge sharing in teams. The unique involvement of the front line managers (FLM) or middle managers’ is that they occupy a position between the strategic apex and operating core of organisation (Wai-Kwong et al. , 2001, p.
1325). Their power derived not only from a hierarchical position of authority, but rather from having specific knowledge that enables them to influence both strategic and operational organizational priorities.If a work team represents “ a share context in which individuals can interact with each other, and engage in the constant dialogue on which reflection depends” (Nonaka, 1991, p.
104), it is said to be an important forum for the creation and transfer of tacit knowledge occurring within the social and work relationship between the line managers and their team members. The team provide the learning climate for the sharing of the individuals’ tacit knowledge and its subsequent application to the organizational context (Beech and Crane, 1999; Sims, 1995).There are two form of tacit knowledge that further complicate the processes of learning communication and the understanding between people. Tacit knowledge can be articulated and socialization is the main aspect of transferring tacit knowledge but it can be difficult to communicate, codify or convert into explicit knowledge, e.
g. how to ride a bike (Baumard, 1999). The main challenges are to develop an organizational culture that supports and promotes knowledge creation, but difficulties of accessing the tacit knowledge that workers possess, and the problem of obtaining knowledge workers trust, commitment and motivation become apparent.These include how to manage those knowledge workers who are not “typical”, and the vulnerability which organisations face when they cannot retain their knowledge workers (Storey, 20001). If knowledge workers have greater needs for autonomy and self-regulation, owing to their wider skills, expertise and work responsibilities (Storey, 1992), therefore they need to be managed differently. Managers cannot simply rely on the traditional, “ command and control” like scientific management concerning the rigid roles of management and workers i. . that management “think” and workers must “do’ (Taylor, 1911).
Therefore, the line managers need to become a facilitator of the team’s knowledge-sharing capacity, this change in the line manager’s role will also impact on his/her individual development needs that will be useful to deal with the Workers’ knowledge-sharing with different behavior that may be with the line manager’s existing skills or required skills.When an organisation is pursuing an HRM strategy designed to retain and develop high quality employees who are identified as crucial for current and future success, that organisation will try to utilize the knowledge and skills of their competitors (Boxall and Steeneveld, 1999; Mueller and Kamoche, 2000). Therefore those organisation learning processes which are responsible for the creation and sharing of knowledge should produce a core competence representing a form of valuable, intellectual human capital for the organisation (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995; St Leon, 2002).However, there are persistent barriers to workplace learning that will prevent the communication and sharing of tacit knowledge between management and workers in teams (Argris and Schon, 1978).
The relationship between the attitudes and behaviours of workers to knowledge sharing, and those workers willingness to share their knowledge, is not a one-way process (Hislop, 2002). The relationship between positive perceptions of the worker’ psychological contract and their willingness to engage in knowledge sharing will be two-way reciprocal process between attitudes and behaviour.A positive perception of fairness in knowledge sharing as essential to facilitate the process at the individual’s level, and highlights this strategy resource will only be exchanged between individuals under conditions where mutual trust exists (Bouty, 2000). Line managers as an effective facilitators, must have highly developed learning and interpersonal skills because the line manager’s own attitudes to learning is communicated to team members, and therefore impact powerfully on team member’s motivation and willingness to share their knowledge as a team (Cunningham and Iles, 2002). n the other hand, line managers can be responsible for communicating a negative learning climate to his or her team due to line manager’s own established learning norm, values and attitudes that convey the expectation to team members that they will be “blamed” when they make mistakes (Antonacopoulou, 1999).
At the same place, it cannot be ignored that the learning climate will also be strongly reinforced by the organisation’s own wider environment, characteristics and value system e. g. culture progression and reward systems.These factors in total have a powerful influence on shaping employee behaviour (Doyle, 2002). The line managers as facilitators are the significant learning links for collective knowledge sharing in the teams and it is essential that the line managers as a potential resource must not be wasted because the development of line managers as facilitators of knowledge sharing in work teams is important to create and ensure the work competence of knowledge sharing for the organisation ( Bryans and Smith, 2000; Larsen, 1997).In comparison to the more traditional command and control role makes different demands on line managers in terms of management style and skills and organisations will need to develop their line managers as facilitators, as it cannot be assumed that all line managers possess the requisite facilitator skills and behaviours, necessary to encourage knowledge sharing in teams (de-Jong et al. 1999).
Hence, there is a need of further clarification and understanding of both the facilitators role and the development necessary for line managers to be effective as facilitators who are able to encourage knowledge sharing in team so that organisation can get full advantage of line managers capability in affirmative.In fact, the role of line managers in learning and development and as a facilitators of knowledge sharing in teams and making appropriate climate for the workers to share their experiences that are the part of the process of knowledge creation and have greater impact not only on the performance of individual employee, but it has also great impact on the growth and development of the organisation. Similarly, the collaboration style of HRD professional and flexible attitudes of directors towards the need of line managers can make smooth and un-reluctance workplace environment for both employees and line managers to perform job constructively.The overall discussion conclude that the role of line manger in experiential learning is much appreciable and also escalate the competence of individual by providing opportunities for sharing experiences, and it cannot be ignored that line managers itself need to be more flexible and proactive which can only be possible when line managers break their own designed status quo.