Literature Review about Training Outsourcing

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Literature Review about Training Outsourcing

Training Outsourcing has become a very popular amongst the training cycles during the last decade. A recent study appearing in Fortune Magazine (May, 2004) showed that outsourcing among U.S. companies is up 50% from four years ago and growing 15%-20% annually. Top functions for outsourcing include payroll, HR management, customer service, call centres, technology, and now corporate training. In a 2003 survey conducted by research firm IDC training emerged as the number one candidate for outsourcing.

Outsourcing is defined as the assignment of a business process to an external provider. Thus outsourcing providers have been called Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). However outsourcing should be differentiated from outasking where the latter means assignment of certain tasks only to outside providers.

It is worth at this point analysing the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing. Outsourcing providers and academic writers seem to agree on the fact that the major advantages of outsourcing are short term, i.e. cost cutting and long term i.e. freeing up time for strategic decisions.

Nearly 48% of outsourcing decisions are made to reduce operational costs. The reason why outsourcing providers offer services at a reduced cost is that the outsourcing firm performs the same function on a much larger scale and therefore has more efficiencies and experience in a particular function. Furthermore outsourcing firms use lower cost labour, they can afford to purchase software technology and leverage it across a larger pool of workers, and they have lower costs because they are further down the “experience curve.” Therefore, the purchasing of services is at a low cost. However when considering utilising outsourcing for training the cost before and after using the services should be considered and compared before reaching a decision.

The uppermost advantage of outsourcing though is enabling the organisation to devote time to strategic work and its core business activities achieving by this way competitive advantage. This view is embraced my academics and outsourcing vendors (

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In addition to cost cutting and focus on strategic work outsourcing can also provide comprehensive services, achieve continuous improvement by keeping up with the latest developments and access to expertise.

Elements of the learning and development department that are usually outsourced are training delivery using traditional methods or e-learning and training administration. The advantage of e-learning technology is that it scales to larger audiences at a fixed cost, decreasing the cost of delivery and improving core product adoption rates.

When considering outsourcing training, it is important to look at the business case first. It is ...

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