Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2006


No matter what they make, do, or sell, every single organization in the world relies ultimately on one thing: people. Whether working for a company, a campaign, or a cooperative, the quality of the people involved has a direct impact on the success achieved therein. In an attempt to make the most of the workers that they have nearly every organization across the globe undertakes some level of training. Whether demonstrating how to use a hammer or holding a week-long retreat on corporate culture and structure, it is difficult to find an organization that does not have some form of training or another. Through training the organization hopes to improve the quality or quantity (or both) of the produced output. Training is an improvement in human capital of the organization by means of an investment in the individual. This investment is not without costs. Instructional materials, foregone production of instructors, and travel costs are some of the ways in which organizations pay for training. As with any cost of production, the cost of training must be kept to a minimum for the organization to continue forward in its work. Since organizations create training curricula based on what they think their people might eventually need, it is difficult to measure the exact marginal returns from trailing. Perhaps the simplest way to maximize the return from training is not to focus on or limit the amount of training each individual receives, but rather to limit the number of people the firm has to train by reducing turnover in the workforce. In industries where turnover is traditionally high, such as retail sales, reduction in that turnover could improve the overall well-being of that industry. With applications ranging from strengthening a post-draft military to increasing volunteer hours at the local food bank, turnover reduction has important implications. Here, training investments will be explored in the context of a university’s residence life (or ‘dorm’) system, though extensions to many other applications may easily be made.



Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Labor turnover; Employment stabilization; Resident assistants (Dormitories)--Training of; College students--Employment


student projects; term papers




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Economics Commons