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Methodology

As noted in the preceding section, numerous factors have been proposed in the literature that might influence the provision of training in an organisation. Long, Ryan, Bourke, and Hopkins (1999, as cited in Ridoutt et al., 2002) developed a taxonomy of factors affecting the provision of enterprise training, highlighting three main categories: worker characteristics, enterprise characteristics, and socio-political and economic environment characteristics. This chapter will consider some of the units in a general model of enterprise training (Hayton et al., 1996) and some additional factors that have not been considered in previous attempts to theorise enterprise training. To this end, Hayton et al.’s model is modified to suit the Indian cultural context, and additional units of theory that are important to innovation.

A combination of empirical-analytic and interpretive methodology will be followed, but for the purposes of this chapter, Dubin’s (1978) approach to theory building is presented. To this end, this chapter presents the relationships and interrelationships between various units of theory and their impact on the nature and extent of training provision in organisations in the Indian IT sector.

Applied disciplines, like HRD, require theory that has some practical value (Swanson, 1999). Theory is described as ‘a coherent description, explanation, and representation of observed or experienced phenomenon’ (Gioia & Pitre, 1990, p. 587). Theory building is the ongoing process of producing, confirming, applying, and adapting theory. Dubin (1978) advocates a theory-to-research strategy and quantitative hypothetico- deductive approach to applied theory building. Dubin (1978) advanced a two-staged and eight-stepped model for theory-to-research cycle. The hypothetico-deductive approach to the construction of knowledge informs the second part of his model, which develops a strategy for theory development and verification. Elaboration of first four steps will complete the theory development part of the theory-building method specified by Dubin (1978). These steps are: (i) identifying the units of the theory; (ii) establishing the laws of interaction; (iii) determining the boundaries of the theory; and (iv) specifying the system states. Elaboration of the second stage of Dubin’s theory-building method is beyond the scope of this chapter, but to offer a complete understanding of this approach, a brief description of the second stage is provided below. The second stage also comprises four steps, which forms the research operation side of the theory-to-research cycle. These are: (v) specifying the propositions of the theory; (vi) identification of empirical indicators of the theory; (vii) construction of hypotheses; and (viii) development and implementation of a research plan to test the theory. Completion of the two stages outlined above will result in an empirically tested theory of enterprise training for the IT sector of India. The following section describes the first stage of Dubin’s (1978) hypothetico-deductive approach to theory building, and as a result a conceptual model for enterprise training for India’s IT sector is presented.

 
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