This paper presents a study of the rhetoric of employee training in two US management trade journals, Personnel and Management Review, from 1920 to 2000. A discussion of forces that have influenced US employee development theory and practice throughout the twentieth century is followed by findings of a thematic analysis of the trade journal articles. Four themes emerged from the analysis: the importance of science, perceived inequalities in ability to learn, concern over cost, and corporate training as citizenship training. The analysis reveals consistency of these themes, with organisational control becoming less overtly expressed and increasingly couched in language that emphasises the worth and needs of the individual.
- employee development
- employee education
- management journals
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science