Learning & Development in totesport retail sector Essay


The research aims to explain how learning and development can impact the job performance of Totesport Ltd ( UK). The research evaluates the learning and development strategies employed in the company, the effectiveness of these strategies and the contribution in the over-all learning and development of the employees. Specifically, this research aims to: (a) examine the existing literature on Learning & Development (L&D) and L&Ds contribution to corporate success; (b) evaluate Totesport branches L&D activities and strategy; (c) investigate the different perceptions of L&D from Regional Manager, Area Manager, the retail sale managers, deputy managers and individual customer care staff; (d) and propose developments and recommend measures to improve the L&D strategies of Totesport for the improvement of the over-all job performance of its employees.


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Established by the Act of Parliament in 1928 to offer on-course pool betting on horseracing as an alternative to starting price betting with bookmakers and to distribute its profits for “purposes conducive to the improvement of breeds of horses or the sport of horseracing”, Totesport is now the fourth largest bookmaker in the UK.

The Tote is one of the principal betting organisations in Britain. It offers a comprehensive multi-channel means of betting on wide range of sports ranging from golf to super bowl. It has also gained global reputation as the only group operating betting on horseracing in Britain with established presence in all the 59 racecourses in the country as well as the Internet and telephone betting facilities through its more than 4,000 employees and over 540 shops. Over 74 million bets are placed through the Tote every year, with profits going back into racing. (http://corporate.totesport.com)


The literature review will include the different definitions and dimensions of learning and development (L&D) in an organizational context. It will also include the current understanding and strategic application and management of L&D and its role in the over-all development of the company’s workforce. To make the study more comprehensive, L&D model in relation to the retail sector will be employed.

The training and development program for branch managers will be evaluated in this study. This is done by measuring the performance of the retail managers and coming up with an analysis on how the L&D program for implemented for these retail managers contributed in their ability to strategically manage their respective areas.


L&D definitions given by various scholars will be used as guide for the researcher to include definitions related to interventions and activities that are intended to improve an individual’s knowledge, skills and performance in an organisation.


This research will apply L;D models that are specific to organisational context. These include the Balance scorecard model (Kaplan and Norton, 1996) and the L;D model developed by the European foundation for Quality management (Thomas, 1995).


Initially, there is noted problem related to staffing and high turn-over rate in Totesport In this regard, this research will make the assessment of L;D strategies in terms of the L;D motivational theories.


This research will embark on both qualitative and quantitative research design and will employ both primary and secondary sources of data gathering. Interviews, questionnaires and personal observation will be done to gather the necessary data as well as review and content analysis of the existing literature on L;D from journals, published statistics and company documents.


The data collected will be analysed vis a vis the existing literature. Contextual analysis of the data will also be done based on the major objectives of the study. The analysis derived from all the data gathered will be pooled to enable the researcher to draw the conclusion.


This study will look at the L;D strategies employed at a betting company, specifically at Totesport, and how are these strategies affects the performance of its employees. The findings of this research are true only to Totesport and may also be applicable to other betting companies but only to some extent. There are also limitations in the bulk of information that the respondents may be able to give out due to issues of confidentiality and anonymity. As this research will employ interviews, questionnaires and personal observation, all of which are dependent on the personal views of the respondents and the researcher, personal biases may also affect the gathered data.


The conclusion will formulated based on the earlier identified objectives of the research. A corresponding conclusion will be derived to answer each of the research objectives. An over-all summary of how L;D affects the performance of Totesport employees will also be provided. recommendations will then be formulated based on the findings of the study.


7TH – 12TH April 2008  ——  Design Interview guide

sending e-mails to Learning ; Development Team, in HRM Department of Totesport

20th – 31st April 2008  ——- Travel to Wigan

21stApril – 31st May 2008  ——– selection of respondents

–          carry out interviews

–          distribute questionnaires

–          personal observation

 2ND – 20th  June 2008  ——-   collation  of result and analysis

–          working on the secondary data

–          submit to supervisor for feed back

21st July 2008  ——   submit to supervisor for feedback.

20th August 2008 ——- submit Dissertation


Argote, L.; 1999; Organizational learning; Kluwer; New York; ISBN 0792384202

CIPD 2002b; Training in the Knowledge Economy; ISBN: 0852929595

CIPD; 2000; Investigating Knowledge Management; ISBN: 0852928998

CIPD; 2002a; How Do People Learn?; ISBN: 0852929560

Gibb, S.; 2002; Learning and development; Palgrave Macmillan; Basingstoke; ISBN 0333984471

Harrison, R.; 2005; Learning and development; CIPD; London; ISBN 1843980509

Armstrong, M. and Baron, A. (1998). Learning ; Development.: The New Realities,

London : Institute of Personnel and Development


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