Date of Award

1-1-2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr John Woods

Abstract

While training is an important organisational development strategy, training transfer is increasingly being recognised as a key issue in ensuring the effectiveness of training and obtaining a return on investment. This study examines the transfer of training following on from a specific experiential learning program that was aimed at increasing the skills of a group of staff within a unique public sector organisation in Western Australia. The aim of this course was that staff would then be able to achieve a key performance indicator for the organisation at the identified target of 99.99% performance. The study is based on the perceived influence of two trainee characteristics (motivation to work, and organisational commitment), and two conditions for transfer ( supervisor support, and opportunity to use) on training transfer as an outcome. The study first examined the issue of training evaluation and proceeded to conduct a more thorough examination of the literature on training transfer. Three popular and dominant models were examined for their strengths and weaknesses, which formed the basis for the conceptual framework proposed in this study. The four research questions focus on each of the four independent variables. The data collection for this study was based on previously used scales in each of the 4 variables and data gathered through a questionnaire from the staff of the Information Services Directorate of Lotterywest who formed the sample for the study. Early reliability analysis required some items from the survey instrument to be deleted from future analyses. Factor analysis suggested the existence of sub scales within each of the variables. Subsequent regression analyses suggested that motivation to work (2%) did not impact on training transfer in this study, but the other three predictor variables; organisational commitment, supervisor support, and opportunity to use each had significant influence on training transfer and ranged from over 20% to almost 50% of the variance in the model. Collectively, the results suggest that approximately 50% of the variance in the model is attributed to the influence these variables have on training transfer. There are some limitations to this study which are discussed in detail and must be considered due to the unique nature of the sample who took part in the study and the public sector agency in which this study was conducted. In addition, implications for human resource practitioners and organisational development practitioners are discussed in detail. There are several opportunities for further research to be conducted within this particular industry (to which this public sector agency belongs) as it appears that no such research has previously been conducted of this nature within this industry, either in Australia or in the rest of the world.

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