Developing Human Capital to Accelerate Time to Autonomy for Petro-technical Professionals in the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry

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Appiah-Brafoh, Edward, Samuel
Faculty of management
AbstractThe importance of continued development of petro-technical professionals in the upstream oil and gas industry cannot be over emphasized. The deep knowledge-base of upstream geoscience and engineering operations, coupled with its attendant long learning curve, the continued awareness and appreciation of health, safety and environment considerations in upstream operations, and the global talent crisis among petro-technical professionals requires that petro-technical professionals are provided with a structured, consistent and relevant training programs to develop their capacity to accelerate the time to autonomy. The main aim of the research study was to develop a competency framework to help develop human capital to accelerate time to autonomy for petro-technical professionals in the upstream oil and gas industry. The research study employed a pragmatism paradigmatic approach to the inquiry and adopted the mixed-methods exploratory sequential design. Qualitative data consisting of individual in-depth interviews were collected from 13 individuals: two CEOs or corporate leaders, three human resources or learning and development professionals, five petro-technical managers and three petro-technical professionals. Following analysis of these data, a survey was constructed and then distributed to 152 petro-technical professionals. The findings of the study contribute to theory development and practice by demonstrating that developing petro-technical professionals to accelerate time to autonomy requires a competency framework with an eclectic approach to training and development, utilizing a blended learning system to provide the employee with holistic training. The findings of the study also indicate that the competency framework must guide learning from the known to the unknown, simple to complex and concrete to abstract, adding new knowledge in an incremental manner. Finally, the study emphasizes that the competency framework must include critical developmental elements such as coaching and mentoring, career planning and progression systems, a goal-oriented performance management system with a two-way feedback mechanism, and a comprehensive post training evaluation system.
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