Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance

How Long Until We Get There? A Survival Analysis of the Investors in People Initiative 1991-2001

This paper evaluates the UK’s Investors in People (IiP) policy initiative through an analysis of adoption and retention rates during its first 11 years of life. Established in 1991, the IiP Standard publicly credits organisations that “invest in their people” through training, development and worker involvement in decision making. Over time it has become one of the headline government policies and licenses to use it are being sold internationally. Our take on the accomplishments of IiP as a policy is to characterise involvement and life expectancy within the initiative. To this end we fit a duration model of participation in Investors in People. Once committed to the Standard, firms can exit to either becoming fully recognised Investors in People or else they can disengage from the programme without reaching full accreditation. We are therefore in a position of studying adoption and retention within a competing risk framework where we can assess the impact of organisational characteristics and the length of pre-recognition spells on success and failure rates. In accordance with the few previous findings, we find that larger and public sector organisations present higher success rates. New findings we obtain include a strong interaction between employment changes and IiP accreditation and the fact that the Standard has become significantly easier to obtain over time. Hazard rates for later cohorts are three times as high as for those committed in 1991. Finally, we also present the first attempt to gain insights into the process of disengaging from the standard or ceasing participation.

KEYWORDS: Investors in People, duration models, vocational education and training
policy.

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