Corporate University and the companys competitiveness: the case of Lidl Italia

The need for major innovation and competitive creativity showed today by firms in order to motivate their intellectual capital and face the challenge of internal and external complexity as regards market, business, technology and human resource management, imply the need for continuous training and education. Moreover, they imply the need for the staffs professional update starting from top management, who is called to participate in classroom training courses, but also in sailing and cooking training courses.

These training paths may focus on learning new leadership techniques, team building methods and managing unforeseen events and changes.

Or they may focus on the reorganisation of human resources, ways to face decisions about the firms investment and internationalization, to better understand and draw up a budget, or to learn new means of communication and marketing.

These courses are organized by associations, business schools, consulting societies, foundations, institutions, schools and universities that offer specialized and managerial training activities which are increasingly opened to the problems of todays society.

We can find the spread of corporate universities recently added to these realities. These consist in business training institutions (of which there are about twenty in Italy and more abroad), which are opened to employees and other team members but also to clients, suppliers and external managers.

Contrary to these services progressive externalisation, some firms, above all corporate firms, decided to follow an opposite direction, that is to bring various training services back inside the firm. This way, the integration of all steps related to the circle of knowledge under one society is realized, from guidance to research and personnel selection to post-employment training and in general all initiatives aimed to spread and develop both business culture and sense of firm belonging.

On the grounds of an analysis of literature and an empirical analysis on Lidl Italia, this work intends to inquire about the reasons why businesses find it useful and convenient to develop internal managerial training paths, deepening the reflection on their efficacy, for the purpose of global competitiveness, faced even more with intangible assets.

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