Report on cross-cultural training needs of seafarers, shore-based personnel and industry stakeholder

Training Needs Analysis (TNA) is recognised as an important function of Human Resource Management. It can contribute to an organisation’s and an individual’s assessment of strengths and weaknesses, as well as future needs. In order for this HRM tool to be effective, the process of TNA shall focus on three basic levels, i.e. the sectoral or organisational, task and individual level. The first stage is crucial especially because it requires having a clear picture of the industry’s and, respectively, of the organisation’s vision and mission. The future needs of the industry and the future goals of the organisation are the leading force for the identification of certain skills and competencies that need to be developed through a training process, and thus, provide the TNA with valuable information of what goals need to be achieved and within which time limits. In this way, the TNA is an essential part of the HRM strategy, and both are aligned with and supported by the overall business strategy. The task analysis requires reviewing what each task involves and which tasks are interrelated. Grouping the tasks will help in the TNA, because each group will require certain skills, knowledge and abilities to be developed in order to be satisfied. This process helps the overall organisational analysis because it defines those skills, knowledge and competencies that can contribute to superior performance, and thus, to increase of effectiveness. Finally, TNA in the individual level is strongly connected to the performance evaluation of a person/ employee. It is a process that supplements the other two steps of the analysis and completes the TNA in a person-specific level. One should note that for the needs of this report and the KNOWME Work Package 2, the TNA will mainly focus at the first two levels, taking into account that the industry level is examined. However, the individual level - in terms that it concerns the required knowledge for receiving training in cross-cultural diversity - is also discussed. The present analysis will focus on the value of cross-cultural training for seafarers, shore-based personnel and other stakeholders in the shipping industry, considering the globalised and multinational character of the maritime business operation.

Section 2 analyses previous research in the field of cross-cultural training in the shipping industry. The methodology used is described in Section 3, while the TNA in the sectoral, task and individual level is discussed in Section 4, including results of a field survey. Section 5 includes a proposed set of training sections in reference to knowledge, skills and behavior related to cross-cultural training. Conclusions follow in Section 6.

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