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Productivity: The View of a Private Human Resources Contractor.

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Professional paper,

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The purpose of this paper is to try to give some understanding of the role of the private human resources contractor in the vocational education enterprise. Both as a function of our position as a nonprofit RD organization, and of our 30 years of emphasizing one particular vocation - the military services - our story is not typical of the entire human resources research community. The productivity of a training system that deals with 1,500,000 students per year is obviously a matter of concern to its managers, who are also concerned with the on-the-job productivity of the systems graduates. Nevertheless, military training managers rarely speak of productivity in these two senses, but speak instead of the cost-effectiveness of training. Unit commanders do not speak of productivity, but of combat readiness, which they tend to measure in terms of the ability of soldiers and equipment to do what they are supposed to do. The military tends to measure productivity in different ways under different conditions. When the nation is at war and soldiers must be gotten to the front lines quickly, time saved in training is the important metric, and the cost of training is relatively less important. But when the nation is at peace, and military dollars are scarce, a reversal in priorities occurs, and dollars saved becomes relatively more important than course length. But it is always important that soldiers be trained effectively that is, up to some minimally acceptable standard. Increasing the number of students who reach that standard, and reducing the number who have to be recycled or attrited, increases the productivity of the training system.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Humanities and History
  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods

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