The place of critically and creativity in staff training and development
Wokabi, Gikonyo Francis
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The purpose of this study was to examine the place of criticality and creativity in Staff Training and Development within the context of a rapidly changing work environment. The study was conceived within the framework of Douglass McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y. Theory X represents a conservative thought and work orientation in which persons think and work routinely, and mechanically. In this orientation, employees are alienated, dependent, unimaginative, and resistant to change. Theory Y depicts a thought and work orientation characterised by among others: desire to learn and work, creativity, ethical sensitivity, pursuit of excellence, and mutually enriching collaboration. In Theory Y orientation, employees are flexible, responsible and innovative. How can the transformation from Theory X to Theory Y be achieved in work contexts? This was the research problem. The study was mainly conceptual with a complementary field component to contextualise claims that may otherwise appear to be merely speculative. This study argues that criticality and creativity, infused in Staff Training and Development (ST&D) initiatives, are viable means for facilitating the transition from Theory X to Theory Y. Tile study was informed by a four-pronged theoretical framework comprising of Douglass McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y; Richard Paul's Critical Theory of Knowledge, Learning and Literacy; Jamieson McKenzie's conception of staff development and the concept of intrapreneurship as defined by Pettinger (1997). The findings of the study are that criticality and creativity: promote learning to learn; enhance the development of intellectual and moral virtues; stimulate professionalism, intrapreneurship and knowledge management; and facilitate autonomy in thought and action. The study also found that public institutions i n Kenya and Kenyatta University in particular are striving to transcend the Theory X orientation which has been and arguably remains the dominant culture in the public sector. The author has developed the critical-intrapreneurial learning model whose critical components include inquiry, analysis, evaluation and action. The model facilitates learning to learn by enhancing our ability to: understand reality, operate within our environment innovatively and responsibly, co-exist with others in a mutually enriching way, realise our potential and personhood, and be enterprising within an organisational context. While infusing criticality and creativity into Staff Training and Development has attendant benefits such as improved productivity and harmonious staff relationships, this study found that developing operacy, which is the ultimate test of criticality and creativity is challenging. The study recommends educational reform; multidisciplinary research on learning and innovation in organisational cultures; community approach to learning and work; and feedback on the efficacy of the critical-intrapreneurial model for Staff Training and Development proposed in this study.