Determinants of perceived training transfer : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the degree of Masters of Science in Psychology at Massey University

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Massey University
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Organisational literature suggests that training is an area of exponential growth (Goldstein, 1986, 1991, 1993; Quinones & Ehrenstein, 1997). Despite this, and a high level of expenditure on training, the application of learnt skills on the job is low (Curry Caplan, Knupple, 1994). The deficit between investment in training and the 'generalisation' of trained skills to the job has been referred to as the 'training transfer problem' (Michalak, 1981). Research has identified a range of aspects in the work environment, trainee, and training design that can influence transfer of training (Baldwin & Ford, 1988). This study attempts to assess these influences on the effectiveness of an in-house training intervention. Guided by Holton's (1996) 'Evaluative Research & Measurement Model', a quasi-experimental design was used to confirm influences of 'intervening conditions' on perceived training transfer. Intervening conditions included Learner Readiness, Performance Self-Efficacy, Motivation to Transfer, Transfer Effort, Performance - Outcomes Expectations, Feedback/Performance Coaching, Supervisory Support, Supervisory Sanction, Peer Support, Resistance, Personal Outcomes - Positive/Negative, Opportunity to Use Learning, Personal Capacity for Transfer, Perceived Content Validity, and Transfer Design. Analysis of employee perceptions indicated that training resulted in a perceived change in work place practices for those who had participated in training. Regression results evidenced the influence of the intervening conditions on perceived training transfer. Of the 16 intervening conditions in Holton's (1996) model, only Transfer Effort - Performance Expectations, Feedback/Performance Coaching, Supervisory Support, Resistance, Perceived Content Validity, and Transfer Design impacted on perceived training transfer significantly. Findings are discussed in the context of design, sampling, statistics, and limitations; recommendations for training practitioners and organisations, as well as suggestions for future researchers are outlined.
Transfer of training, Occupational training, Employees, New Zealand