International journal of human resource management vol:13 issue:8 pages:1279-1298
International comparisons indicate that, on average, Belgian companies spend less on training than their French, German and Dutch counterparts. Encouraging companies to commit to training has consequently been an important policy goal over the last few years. One notable aspect of the policy to encourage training efforts by companies is that the effort is always represented in terms of the resources invested (input), not in terms of the learning achieved (output) or the quality of training programmes (throughput). Government policy is aimed at increasing the level of investment in company training. One of the questions we wish to investigate is whether this input-oriented approach to the training issue is actually effective. Whether companies will succeed in raising human capital to ever-increasing levels may depend not only (and maybe not even chiefly) on the extent of financial investment in training. The investment level does not necessarily determine the quality of the training processes developed by companies. Therefore, this paper focuses on the following research questions: (1) to what extent do companies monitor the systematic development of sufficiently effective training processes? In other words, is qualitative under-investment an issue, alongside financial under-investment? (2) Is the level of financial investment in company training correlated to the quality of training processes? The empirical data confirm that a kind of 'qualitative' under-investment can be reported and that the relationship between the level of investment in training and the quality of the training programmes is weak.