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‘Gower Handbook of Training and Development’ (3rd edition) ed by Anthony Landale


Gower Handbook of Training and Development(3rd edition)
Edited by Anthony Landale
Publisher Gower Publishing Ltd, Gower House, Croft Rd, Aldershot, Hampshire GU1 1 3HR UK
Hardback September 1999, £75
ISBN 0 566 081229

This is of course, as a ‘handbook’, more use as a reference book than as a light read on a winters evening or an inspirational kick for tired trainers.

The intention of the editor and publisher is to give an overview of current developments in the field and the collection includes the thoughts of some of the most distinguished writers in the field. As such the contents help to explain the basics of a number of concepts and techniques and point the way to how one can access further information.

The five sections include chapters to cover theories in training and development in learning organisations, best practice and advanced techniques in the planning and delivery of T&D, a section on IT learning and a section on evaluation, which the editor rightly calls ‘A constant theme’.

To those of us engaged in the process of explaining and promoting the uses and values of training to ‘lay’ employers and employees, much of this book seems too dense and ranges too widely to be of immediate use. However when it comes to refreshing ‘true and tried techniques ‘ it does contain some very useful ideas. Furthermore as a point of reference in keeping up with the ideas and terminology it is very handy- as a handbook should be. It is dense with information and authoritative.

The best thing about the book is the reminder, reiterated in several chapters, that trainers need to develop themselves to keep in the game. The worst aspect is the patchiness of the writing, some chapters I found really boring and others imbued by enthusiasm and energy.

To those setting up a library of training development resources, I would suggest purchasing this handbook would make a good starting point. To those looking for an explanation of theory or ideas of techniques, I would suggest a swift consultation of the book in a library would be useful but at £75 a copy …you are better off to stick with TrainingZone!

Judith Usiskin


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