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Transfer Of Training And Self Efficacy Management Essay

4538 words (18 pages) Essay in Management

5/12/16 Management Reference this

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The research has been carried out based on the reading done from the literature. In chapter two, the relevant information regarding to the factors which affect the effectiveness of transfer of training has been studied. All these information are gathered and review critically. After studying all the relevant issues, a theoretical framework will be developed for further investigation. Chapter two starts up with the reviews of related literature to the study.

Review of the Literature

Based on the past researches, many of the researchers have done the research based on the factors which affect the effectiveness of transfer of training. The factors included may categorized in a few areas which is individual characteristics, training design and work environment. The following section would be the review on the dependent variables which is the effectiveness of transfer of training followed by the independent variables such as self-efficacy, personality, training design, supervisory support and organizational culture.


Training can be defined as the activities designed to provide learners with the knowledge and skills needed for their current jobs (Dessler, 2008). Recently, investment in training activities has been increased all over the world. Organizations spend numerous time and money on training in order to facilitate employees’ learning of job-related competencies. According to Training Magazine’s ongoing industry report, more than $50 billion has been spent by US company annually on formal training (Dolezalek, 2004). Commonly, companies use a number of training methods for imparting knowledge and skills to the workforce such as on-the-job training, role-playing, in-basket training, case study, job rotation and so on (Dessler, 2008). It is ctitical for organizations to ensure that training leads to desired work outcomes such as increases in job performance. In other words, an effective training program can improve performance and increase productivity that accompany employee development, while employees enjoy the rewards associated with skill development and performance improvement (Elangovan & Karkowsky, 1999).

Transfer of Training

Baldwin and Ford (1988) (as cited in Cheng and Ho, 2001) define transfer of training as the degree to which trainees effectively apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained in the training context to the job. In the process of transfer of training, the first step is to require a trainee to learn new job-related competencies (Velada & Caetano, 2007). By learning, it refers to a relatively permanent change in knowledge, skills and behaviors of trainees. After learning and retaining the training content, trainees should be capable to transfer the knowledge and skills to the particular work task (Noe et al., 2006).The organization and employees would have profits from the training if the skills acquired during the training phase have been practiced effectively and efficiently. In this case, Cheng and Ho (1999), Elangovan and Karkowsky (1999), Nikandrou (2009), Baldwin and Ford (1988), Velada and Caetano (2007) and Bandura (1991) have done some researches respectively to evaluate the factors towards the effectiveness of transfer of training.

The researchers conduct the research towards the employees which have attended the training or seminar and evaluate on how well these trainees can actually perform the required tasks with the acquired skills and knowledge. Training requires substantial allocation of financial, time and human resources but yet not all the skills learned would have actually been applied in the workplace (Donnovan, Hannigan & Crowe, 2001). As if the training is effective, it would have a great potential to fully utilize the training costs and be beneficial towards the organization and also the employees itself.

Referring to the effectiveness of transfer of training, the researchers have investigated in depth on the factors which would contribute towards the effectiveness of transfer of training.

2.1.3 Self- efficacy

Self-efficacy which categorized as individual characteristic is one of the factors that affect the effectiveness of transfer of training. According to Cheng and Ho (1999), self-efficacy defined as people’s judgements of their capabilities to organize and execute courses of action required to attain designated types of performances. From that journal, it has summarize that self-efficacy is positively related to pre-training motivation, training performance in various training programmes and post-training behavior, transfer performance and skill maintenance. Before involving in any training, people with high self-efficacy will be more motivated for training compare to those with low self-efficacy. When trainees are in high level of confidence towards the training, they will be more effectively to transfer the newly acquired knowledge and skills into their job. It enable trainees to change their performance and behavior by apply what they have learned from the training. In other word, trainees who believe in their own capabilities will more likely able to achieve desired performance.

Elangovan and Karkowsky (1999) stated that self-efficacy as one of the motivation-related factors is one’s belief in their ability to perform a task. It is supported by Velada et al. (2007) after studies on Holton, individuals with self-efficacy believe that they are able to change their performance when desired. Elangovan and Karkowsky (1999) believe that task effort, persistence, expressed interest and the level of goal difficulty are positively affected by the level of self-efficacy. In their opinion, high perceived self-efficacy is required to transfer training into job. When employees lack of self-efficacy, transfer of training cannot occur since they think that they cannot successfully apply the newly learned skills. Therefore, it is important that employees have self-efficacy in order to work out the transfer of training. Both studies of Elangovan and Karkowsky (1999) and Velada et al. (2007) show that higher perceived self-efficacy is more likely lead to positive transfer of training to the job. They believed that when trainees with confident in their ability will likely to transfer their knowledge and skill to the job.

As an example from Nikandrou (2009), one participant with high self-efficacy has shown the effectiveness of transfer of training in a company which had been in a state of chaos. The company’s product is a depurative alcohol solution for skin which had been involved in quality management issues. There are a few problems like the owner is not well educated, employee turnover is high and serious safety problems. That participant who possesses high level of self-efficacy had attended a seminar. After that participant applies knowledge learned from the seminar and thus successfully made changes on those problems.

Bandura (1991) believed that self-beliefs of efficacy affect the self-monitoring and cognitive processing of different aspects of one’s performance and outcomes. It stated that people with high efficacious consider their failures are due to insufficient effort, whereas those with low efficacious view failures as the results of low ability. In that sense, people with high self-efficacy are more probably able to be successful in transfer of training compare to those with low self-efficacy. Bandura (1991) stated that self-efficacy is one of the motivating factors in performance whereby high self-efficacious people believe they can attain the goals that they set for themselves. Fully transfer of training can be achieve when people are motivated by their self-efficacy whose are assure with their own capabilities and will persist until succeed. Therefore, the hypotheses can be generated as following:

H1: There is significant relationship between performance self-efficacy and effectiveness of transfer of training.

2.1.4 Personality

Personality of an individual has been found as a factor which affects the transfer of training. The big five personality have describe five categories which are based on the five basic dimensions of personality. The five categories include extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness (Cherry, 2010). These grouping of characteristics tend to occur together in many people. For individual which have possess personality such as good impulse control and goal directed behavior will possess the skills they learned in the work place. Hence, when a trainee feels confident in his or her ability to perform, the more likely the individual will transfer such knowledge or skill to the job.

According to Baldwin and Ford (1988) (as cited in Cheng and Ho, 2001), trainee characteristics such as personality were originally identified by the training practitioners as factors affecting transfer of training. Personality posed by the trainee will have the ability to affect the training transfer as it usually depends on the characteristics of the trainees. Among various personality variables, one of the personalities which have an impact on the transfer effectiveness would be locus of control. A locus of control is a belief about whether an outcome of the actions is contingent on what we do or on events outside our personal control (Neill, 2006). The locus of control would have a major impact towards the trainee’s belief. If a trainee perceived that he has internal control, he would have work hard to achieve the target and get the jobs paid. Thus, it is more likely for them to apply what they have learned into the work place as they will be rewarded. Such reward may be promotions, bonus, salary increase and even recognition.

Transfer of training is the key criteria to evaluate on the effectiveness of training. Velada and Caetano (2007) have identified that personality factor is one of the factor which will contribute to the effectiveness of transfer of training. Locus of control is also one of the elements in personality as mentioned by the researcher. For an individual to believe that he has the power to deal with the fate without limit, he would have the power of determining his self destiny (Lefcourt, 1982). Thus, locus of control would have created an impact towards the individual itself as a source of power or motivation to believe that he would have cope with the stress in workplace and also to overcome the challenges. Individual with high internal locus of control have better control of their behavior, and are more likely to influence others as compared to those with a low internal locus of control (Lefcourt, 1982).

However, Elangovan and Karkowsky (1999) tend to argued that there is considerably disagreement regarding the role played by personality variables. According to Miles (1965) (as cited in Elangovan and Karkowsky, 1999), personality factors have no direct effect on the transfer of training. Yet, the researchers were still unable to conclude that there is no direct effect because a number of researches on personality variables will need to be conducted before they can fully conclude so. From the theory, it can be hypothesized for the following:

H2: There is significant relationship between personality and effectiveness of transfer of training.

2.1.5 Training Design

Training design consists of few factors that can influence the transfer of training such as instructional techniques like role-plays, group exercises and so on, and learning principles like behavior modeling, practice and so on, goal setting and others (Alvarez et al. 2004). Tannenbaum et al. (1993) suggested that the effectiveness of relevant instructional techniques depend on the content of training, and the learning principles primarily contribute to leaning and transfer performance in various instructional environments. Therefore, most of the organizations encourage including these few factors in designing the training program in order to increase the transfer of training (Velada et al. 2007).

Apart of that, Holton (1996) stated that principle theory is vital to achieve the transfer of training successfully. This study found that if the trainees can understand the principles and concepts, and apply the skills and behaviors that learned, and if the trainees have make practices and apply situation in training program to the workplace, the transfer of training will be more success. Hence, trainees can contribute their new learned knowledge and skills to the job, so that it leads to increase the transfer of training in the workplace.

According to Holton et al. (2000), training design is the degree to which the training has been designed and delivered to the trainees, so that the trainees able to transfer the learning or training content to the job. It is important to the organization to design their training programs in order to achieve a success training transfer. However, Holton et al. (2000) argued that some training design is the degree to which training instructions match job requirements. Thus, when the trainees have used the new knowledge and skills to the job, and when the training instructions match job requirements, the training transfer can achieved.

Besides that, Vermeulen (2002) has studied that training design is part of the training program which can improve the learning and performance of the trainees. A professional trainer’s job is to create a social context which can promotes learning, guide the learning processes, manage the group dynamics, handle resistance, keep an eye on the physical circumstances and manage the dynamics of the programs, and others. The trainers must ensure that they have done their jobs well such as trainees accept the trainer, the content of the training program, and the training design. However, some trainee may reject the trainer because they resist learning.

Axtell et al. (1997) has also stated that the training program must be relevant to the job, so that the training transfer to the workplace can accomplish successfully. Bates et al. (1997) argued that the trainee must understand the relationship between training and work practices besides the content of training was concerned. The planning of the training program is vital for training transfer at the workplace which included the relevant important factors such as goals and extent of training, training methods and means, and training place and equipments. Gauld and Miller (2004) has suggested that the combination of the trainees’ traits like reliable and effective, and content of the training like theoretical and practical aspects, acquisition of knowledge and skills can results in improving the training transfer. In addition, Switzer et al. (2005) supported that training program can build a good reputation of an organization and improve the reputation in general by carried out the training program effectively.

Next, Huczynski and Lewis (1980) have provided that training transfer focused on the improvement of training planning and the content of the training. In accordance to Spitzer (1984), the content of the training program can be relevant to the immediate trainee’s work needs and future career needs. Lim and Johnson (2002) supported that training content and training objectives are related to develop job-related skills, and learning more theoretical and conceptual issues. It can be proved by when training focused on specific job-related skills, the instructional strategies in training design must concentrate on applying the training content to the job for training transfer. However, when training focused on learning more conceptual issues, the training design must emphasize the application of learning in various situations.

Apart of that, Holton et al. (2000) has studied that content validity of the training is vital factor for training transfer. The trainees may feel that training content reflects their job requirements. Goldstein and Ford (2002) have provided that content validity is training represent the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for a specific job. However, Lim and Johnson (2002) believed that a lack of content validity can results in low transfer. Holton et al. (2000) and Bates et al. (2005) supported that perceived content validity of computer-based training affected the trainees’ work performance. As a result, it can be hypothesized as following:

H3: There is significant relationship between training design and effectiveness of transfer of training.

2.1.6 Supervisory Support

Supervisory support has been considered as one of the environment factors that influence transfer of training in the workplace. Supervisory support is believed has direct positive relationship with successfulness of training transfer. They tend to believe that the employees are more likely to transfer the skills and knowledge acquired from training provided that they are in a supportive organization climate (Facteau & Dobbins, 1995). Clark, Dobbins and Ladd (1993) (as cited in Switzer et al. 2005) said that before trainees join a training program, they will examine the likelihood of supervisor to provide support and effort in new skill application. Employee may perceive the training has limited job utility if they assumed no support will be given. As a result, their motivation level will be at the lowest level.

Supervisory support is considering as reinforcement for learning on the job. It consists of goals setting, behaviors modeling and encouragement of utilizing the newly learned skills (Russ-Eft, 2002). Baldwin and Ford (1988) (as cited in Russ-Eft, 2002) viewed supervisory support as an actively participation in the effort of leading training and assisting training application.

Supervisor plays a significant role in helping employees to transfer the newly learned skill and knowledge gain from the training into their daily work. Their encouragements, assistance in identify where and how the skill can be applied, guidance and feedback will have an impact to motivate the employees to utilize the skill. With a sufficient practice and appropriate supervisory assistance, employees mostly will go through a smooth transfer process which in turn has positively impact the effectiveness of training transfer (Elangovan & Karakowsky, 1999). Besides that, supervisor can provide support to employees inform of encouragement to take part in training program.

Cohen (1990) (as cited in Chiaburu &Teklead, 2005) found that trainees with a more supportive supervisor will have a more positive perception towards the value of training program which they attend. They tend to deem the training programs which offered are good for them either it may be useful for doing job or will benefit them in future period. This kind of believe strongly contribute to employee’s motivation level and attitudes towards both training and transfer of training. Besides, Velada et al. (2007) have indicated that when employees perceive that the organizational culture is supportive, they are more likely to transfer their new knowledge from training session to their job application. Moreover, Tracy et al. (2001) (as cited in Russ-Eft, 2002) stated that supervisory support is a part of organization’s social system. They claim that employee’s perception and valued of training are depend partly on the relationship between the manager and the trainees. In addition, it was discovered that employees will have high intentions to transfer the competencies if they are aware that their manager would be conduct follow-up to the training (Baldwin and Magjuka, 1991).

With referring to Farr and Middlebrooks (1990) (as cited in Chiaburu & Teklead, 2002), supervisory support in influencing the training and training transfer motivation of employees can be explained by the Expectancy theories. They suggest that supervisory support will have a significant impact on the trainess’ expectancies and instrumentality. It means that, supportive supervisor can lead the employees to have a strong belief on their ability to achieve good performance and good performance can be link to something they wants. As a result, employee’s motivation level has increase. They will be more willing to involve and commit in learning activities in order to accomplish certain objectives. So, it may lead to increase the transfer of training and job performance. Another study done by Tracy et al. (2001) (as cited in Russ-Eft, 2002) has stated that supervisors who support their employees with discussion and guidance will influence the employee’s confidence for both in learning and their ability to effectively exercise the newly learned skill, knowledge and ability to the job. Communication ability of supervisor in delivering the information, providing explanation and feedback served as a critical element to motivate employees to learned the newest skills, knowledge. Furthermore, it also enhanced employee’s attitude and behavior towards transfer of competencies gained from training program to the job environment. Therefore, it can be hypothesized as following:

H4: There is significant relationship between the level of supervisory support provided to the trainee and effectiveness of transfer of training.

2.1.7 Organizational Culture

In recent studies, it is found that organizational culture is a factor could influence the effectiveness of transfer of training. Organizational culture was defined as a set of operating principles that determine how people behave within the context of the company. The collective rules operated by the companies will define its culture. These rules are formed by shared behaviors, values and beliefs (Khan et al. 2005).

Velada et al. (2007) found that the organizational culture have a significant impact on the transfer of training. There was a number of the studies have shown that the importance of continuous learning culture has significant impact on the post-training behaviors. In a longitudinal study of 106 managers, Warr & Bunce, 1995 (as cited in Velada & Caetano, 2007) had already demonstrated that learning was a significant predictor of the trainee’s working performance.

Elangovan and Karakowsky (1999) have found that an organizational culture that fosters employee development and growth, favors constant improvement and progress, and encourages employee initiative will have a positive impact on transfer of training. For example, organizational culture that focuses on high appreciation for performance and innovation can increase trainees’ motivation to transfer newly acquired knowledge and skills to the job setting (Elangovan and Karakowsky, 1999).

In additional, Cheng and Ho (1999) also found that organizational who shape the learning culture directly related to the effectiveness of transfer of training in the workplace. A learning culture is viewed as the organization has capacity for integrating people and structure to move the organization in the direction of continuous learning and change. For example, employees working in a continuous-learning environment share perception and expectations could increase their motivation to transfer their skill and knowledge from training to their current tasks. Egan, Yang & Bartlett (2004) have examined the association between the learning culture of an organization and employees’ motivation to transfer of training. Managers who believed an effective training program that provide the chances of skill and knowledge development which directly related to their jobs were more likely to transfer their knowledge and skills (Egan, Yang & Bartlett, 2004).

On the other hands, Baldwin, Magjuka & Loher (1991) found that trainees reported stronger transfer intentions when engaged in learning activities in which follow-up from their manager was anticipated or when employees were involved in training that was mandatory. Thus, it can be hypothesized as following:

H5: There is significant relationship between the degree to which the organizational culture fosters continuous learning environment and effectiveness of transfer of training.

Review of Relevant Theoretical Models

2.2.1 Theoretical Models Proposed by Velada

Figure 2.1: Proposed Theoretical Model 1

Independent variables Dependent variable

Transfer DesignTraining Design

Transfer of Training


Training RetensionIndividual Characteristics


Supervisory SupportWork Environment

Source: Velada, R., Caetano, A., Michael, J. W., Lyons, B. D. & Kavanagh, M. J. (2007). The effect of training design, individual characteristics and work environment on transfer of training. International Journal of Training and Development, 11(4), 282-293.

Variables which decide on the transfer of training to the work context has been investigated. Velada et al. had identified several predictors on transfer of training that group under training design, individual characteristic and work environment.

The researchers had conducted self-report survey on 336 employees of a large grocery organization three month after training. Due to turnover and incomplete survey, only data of 182 employees was used.

The results of the study show that transfer design, performance self-efficacy, training retention and performance feedback were significantly related to transfer of training. However, supervisory support was not significantly related to transfer of training.

These results suggest that organization should design training probably in order to enable trainees to transfer their learning into daily work. Besides, the organization should also reinforce trainee’s beliefs in their ability to transfer, always make sure the training content is retained over time and provides timely and useful feedback to employees about their performance after training (Velada,, 2007).

Theoretical Models Proposed by Nikandrou

Figure 2.2: Proposed Theoretical Model 2

Source: Nikrandou, I., Brinia, V. & Bereri, E. (2009). Trainee perceptions of training transfer: an empirical analysis. Journal of European Industrial Training, 33(3), 255-270.

This study is aim to examine trainee characteristics which have an effect on learning and transfer motivation as well as to determine the trainee’ entry behaviors. During the training process, direct and indirect training transfer was also being assessed. Lastly, factors that affect transfer of training and the trainee themselves were examined.

Researchers of this study had interview 44 trainees that come from various companies who were attended training program which based on an innovative experiential training method. The trainees were given opportunity to participate in defining training needs and content.

The result has indicated that trainee’s goal and expectation at the beginning of training will has a significant impact on training transfer later on. Besides, this study also found that a person with motivation to learn not necessary to have high motivation to transfer. This is contrary with the expectation that there is a positive relationship between learning and transfer. Personalities, perception of trainee regarding learning and transfer was found to have positive relationship to the effectiveness of training transfer. The study stated that personality and trainee perception are two important factors in overcome the obstacle of training transfer that may arise. Besides, trainee who participated in defining the training needs and content will have high motivation to learn. However, this studies do not examined the impact of training design and method on transfer of training. In addition, the evident show that organizational culture regarding training is of great importance. Supervisors with less interest in helping employees to apply skills and knowledge acquire to work will discourage the transfer of training. Feelings of anger and disappointment will also drive down employees’ motivation to learn and transfer of training (Nikandrou, 2009).

Proposed Theoretical / Conceptual Framework

Figure 2.3: Proposed Theoretical Framework

Independent variables Dependent variable


PersonalityIndividual Characteristics

Effectiveness of Transfer of Training

Transfer designTraining Factor

Supervisory support

Organizational cultureWork Environment

Source: Developed for the research

Based on these literature reviews, the relevant theoretical model has been constructed and presented in Figure 2.3 to show the independent variables and dependent variable. Independent variables have been categories into three categories that is individual characteristic, training design and work environment. Dependent variable in the model is effectiveness of transfer of training. Changes in independent variables would affect the effectiveness of transfer of training.

Hypotheses Development

H1: There is significant relationship between performance self-efficacy and effectiveness of transfer of training.

H2: There is significant relationship between personality and effectiveness of transfer of training.

H3: There is significant relationship between training design and effectiveness of transfer of training.

H4: There is significant relationship between the level of supervisory support provided to the trainee and effectiveness of transfer of training.

H5: There is significant relationship between the degree to which the organizational culture fosters continuous learning environment and effectiveness of transfer of training.

2.5 Conclusion

In this chapter, the literature review which has been presented by the early researchers has been studied and the conceptual framework has been developed based on the factors which lead to the effectiveness of transfer of training. Lastly, hypotheses has been formulated to test on the relationships among the important variables have been established. The next chapter will be discussed on the research methodology which study on the way research is going to be conducted.

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