Document Type

Conference Proceeding


University of Canterbury


Faculty of Business and Law


School of Management




This article was originally published as: Coetzer, A., Redmond, J., & Sharafizad, J. (2011). Decision making regarding employee access to training and development in medium-sized enterprises. Paper presented at the 25th Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Conference. Wellington, New Zealand. Original article available here


Employees in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form part of a ‘disadvantaged’ group within the workforce that receives less access to formal training and development than employees in large firms. The manager’s decisional role is critical when considering employee access to training and development. Unfortunately, there is scant research into factors affecting managers’ decisions regarding employee access to a requested development opportunity in SMEs. To address this research gap, semi-structured interviews incorporating critical incidents were conducted with a purposive sample of 12 managers of medium-sized enterprises based in Perth. We report key findings of the interviews and assess the effectiveness of the Critical Incident Technique (CIT) as a tool for studying managerial decision making processes regarding employee access to training and development opportunities.