It is very important for any organisation to adopt learning and development approach in rapidly changing world. By looking at future needs and start involving in effective L&D, organisations can stay ahead of the change. Every organisation has to recognize their situation and develop a L&D plan which support their organisation importance. To carryout or develop an L&D effectively every organisation or leaders have to first of all go through 'Evaluation' process as evaluation helps to decide actual needs, it helps to explore whether organisation is getting value for money and help to decide between alternative L&D programmes and who should participate on future programmes. Need of evaluation can arise at any level such as individual or management or organisational level. As stated by Goldstien (1993:181), evaluation is "the systematic collection of descriptive and judgmental information necessary to make effective decision related to the selection, adoption, value and modification of various instructional activities". If we look at this statement in leadership learning and development context we need to make sure are we learning right things to right people in right way with right material and at the right time? and this can be done by the help of 'evaluation'. To better evaluate the definition given by Goldstein, it is important to understand leadership learning and development models, their relationship to organisational needs, issues influencing leadership learning and development and finally impact of evaluation of leadership learning and development has on corporate strategy in its attempts to secure competitive advantage.
Role of Evaluation:
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It is essential to understand the role of evaluation in formulation and implementation of an organisation's human resource development.
Learning and HRD model:
Types of Evaluation:
Formative Evaluation: Process of collecting data and information during L&D programme which can be used to improve effectiveness.
Summative Evaluation: Process of collecting data and information end of the L&D programme which can be used to determine effects, outcomes and to measure the worthiness of the L&D programme.
Purpose of evaluation:
As per the definition given by Goldstein when conducting an evaluation both descriptive and judgemental information may be collected. Descriptive information provides an idea of what is happening or what happened whereas judgemental information gives some opinion or belief about what has happened. Evaluation also involves the systematic collection of information according to a predetermined plan to ensure the information is appropriate and useful. It helps managers, employees and HRD professionals to make informed decision about particular programs and methods. Overall, The main purpose of evaluation is to judge the value that L&D adds to an organization and its individual members by finding who should carryout the evaluation of L&D, when it should take place, how the results may be used and interpreted.
The purpose of evaluation has been described by many authors. Main purposes of evaluation as given by Gibb, are mentioned below.
Pragmatic evaluation: The purpose of this kind of evaluation is to identify what is bad and reducing cost and waste
Ethical evaluation: The aim of this evaluation is to maximising good service and fairness for those people who are involved in learning and development process.
Intellectual evaluation: This aims to construct valid tools and exposes prejudices.
Social and business evaluation: This directs efforts at the point where it is most needed.
Personal evaluation: Which through a process of self-reflection may provide a basis for those involved in L&D to convince themselves that 'what they do works' (382 sadler)
Models and frameworks of evaluation:
The evaluation model draw the criteria of evaluation because evaluation can be examine from number of views and hence it is important to specify which view is going to be considered. There are different frameworks of evaluation has been suggested by number of authors however most widely used evaluation approach has been the framework set by the Donald Kirkpatrick.
According to Kirkpatrick learning efforts can be evaluated based on four criteria which are Reaction, learning, transfer and results.
Reaction: At this level of evaluation focus is on learner's views about learning and development programme and its effectiveness. Positive reaction of learners may make it easy to encourage employees to attend future programs however if they didn't like the programme or they think they didn't learn anything from the programme they may discourage others and they are unlikely to use the skills and knowledge obtain. The main limitation of evaluation at reaction level is the information obtain at this level can not specify whether programme met its desired objectives beyond ensuring participant satisfaction.
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Learning: At this level evaluation is carried out to find out did the learners learn the specified objectives of the program. To measure someone has learned something in training may involve a test or quiz which is absolutely different method from evaluating learner's reaction.
Behaviour/Performance: At this level evaluation is concerned with any effect that L&D may have in the workplace upon learners' behaviour and performance. Does they use what they have learned from the L&D programmed back on job? If L&D does not transfer to the job the L&D efforts cannot have an impact on learners or organisational effectiveness. To measure whether L&D has transferred to the job performance, it requires observation on the job performance of learners or by looking at organisational records for e.g. reduce customer complaints, reduction in scrap rate etc.
Results: At this level evaluation carried out to discover improvement in organisational effectiveness due to L&D. Whether organisation more efficient, profitable or better able to serve its clients or customers due the L&D. Achievement of this criterion is considered as a bottom line for most managers and leaders as it gives actual outcome of the L&D.
All above stated criteria are recommended as full and meaningful evaluation of L&D in organisation. However since Kirkpatrick has introduced his framework of evaluation, many authors for e.g. Jack Phillips and even Kirkpatrick himself has referred to a possible 5th level of evaluation framework i.e. ROI which evaluate the organisation's Return on Investment on L&D.
Other evaluation models are given in Appendix 1.
Leardership Learning and Development Model:
There are various authors who have addressed different models and theory of LL&D as per their understanding with a vision to achieve the common goals of the organisation. In general meaning, leadership is a process of getting things done through people. However the professional Leadership is "a process in which leaders and followers interact in a way that enables the leader to influence the actions of followers in a non-coercive way, towards the achievement of certain aims of objectives' (Rollinson and Broadfield, 2003, p.357).
There are three different basic leadership models which are more likely to be useful in different organisational context.
(1) Situational leadership model
This leadership model focuses on identifying urgent need of the organisations depending on situations and select actions (performance, activities, behaviour) which are able to obtain expected results. According to this leadership model managers or leaders most probably choose to keep communication on one-way basis which means they just give the information required for the desired outcomes without looking for feedback from the employees. However when situations change they may look for both way communication with others and even in some cases they handover responsibilities to other team members who have performed well on previous tasks without direct supervision.
2) Transformational leadership model:
Â This type of leadership model mainly gives importance to needs and potential of employees. It frequently works as a supporter and teacher of employees. The main aim of this model is to encourage motivation of creativity and rational development of the employees because obtaining the aims of the organisations most probably possible when its employees are challenged, have opportunities to advance and they get what they require to be successful as individuals as well as part of a team.
3) Functional leadership model:
This model mainly gives importance to form and function rather than people. To obtain the desired task this model set and create different policies and procedure and also evaluate them time to time to improve the overall process. According this model role of manager is to carry out the task by using skills of the employees and look for achieving high level of efficiency. As this model emphasis on policies and procedures rather than people, it considers employees in terms of how well they fit into current process and neglect what they may be able to offer to the organisation in future.