Sabbatical Post – Two Days In


Landed here in Cyprus two days ago to begin my six month sabbatical. Ryanair got us to Paphos on time as usual and also dispelled the urban myth about their customer service – they were warm as well as effective. When the plane door opened the plane’s air was replaced by warm moist and fragrant 28 degree Cypriot atmosphere – kinaesthetic proof to the traveller that you truly have arrived in a different country.

Cyprus, despite its recent difficulties, has seen significant investment over the past 10 years and Paphos airport has been a beneficiary. It’s slick, functional and you can see why, apart from its strategic location, that it has become one of Ryanair’s latest hubs. Passports and bags were quickly administered and we were on our way. The next evidence of prosperity is the road system. Up to European standards the surfaces are well maintained and it’s really well signposted in English and Greek. They drive on the left here. Frequent visitors to Cyprus will be pleased to note that the endless roundabouts that used to grace Limassol have now been replaced by a sleek overpass that allows a regal view of the city on both sides as you slip by. We made good time and within an hour we reached our destination, Pyrga, a small friendly village in the foothills of the Troodos mountains.

Cyprus is a really good example for Ireland from a research perspective and that’s why I’ve come here. They are a divided island on the edge of Europe with a colonial past. They have big tourism and agriculture industries. They speak English and consume a lot of British culture etc, etc. So I’m hooked into seen how this plays out in the HR sphere, particularly in transfer of learning. Will the factors that affect transfer of learning from training courses back into the workplace be the same in Cyprus as in Ireland. With David Darcy I published Transfer of Training, The Views of Practitioners in Ireland for International Journal of Training and Development in 2011. Hopefully I can do something similar for this island.

While I am here I have many resource and supports. Keeping an eye on me will be Professor Maria Michailides, who is Head of School of Business at the University of Nicosia. Also involved is the Cyprus Quality Association and the Cyprus Academy of Public Administration. But one of my greatest supports when I sit down to write will be the view from my desk in Pyrga above. I’ll be thinking of you all each week when I sit down to write the blog 8-) .


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About Paul Donovan

Paul Donovan is Principal Investigator at the School of Business, Maynooth University. He was previously Registrar and Head of Management Development at Irish Management Institute (IMI) specialising in Management Development. Before joining IMI he worked as a general operations manager with the Bord na Mona, the Irish Peat Development Authority. He was also Training and Development Manager of the Bord na Mona group. Paul has delivered executive development programmes in over 15 countries. He has written several peer reviewed articles, over 10 books in training and general management. He has contributed a column to HRD magazine for over 14 years. His research interest is the transfer of training. Paul holds a doctorate from Leicester University.