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The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of Training, Development, and Performance Improvement by Sigmar Malvezzi, Nuno Rebelo dos Santos, Jonathan Passmore, Kurt Kraiger

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2The History of Training

Sigmar Malvezzi

Introduction

Training is an age-old activity broadly applied to support humankind’s process of adaptation to the world. Adaptation is a condition of humans that requires the development of the skills of individuals. Individuals are not born with the internal instruments they will require for their adaptation but have to develop them out of their many potentialities (Baxter, 1982). Human potentialities are developed into skills through the various means available to them such as routines, experiences, education, and training. Among those tools of development, training became the most commonly applied to the professional need of adaptation. Correlated to the open-ended human condition and dependent on knowledge and technology, training has developed into a heterogeneous activity, carried out through a wide variety of means and deployed to an almost infinite number of human functions.

The study of an object endowed with an identity so vaguely outlined as to its contents, functions, and boundaries as is training, aligns the researcher with those of the sciences whose objects of study are hardly reproducible for observation. Its grasp requires scrutiny of its institutionalization as a historical development to expose its open-ended condition, and the evolution of its identity, functions, and boundaries.

Historical study is always a helpful path to the unveiling of the articulation of complex social, technological, and economic contexts functioning ...

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