Title

Differences between managers and line staff and time since training, with respect to perceptions of task and social supports for the transfer of training

Date of Completion

January 1997

Keywords

Education, Adult and Continuing|Political Science, Public Administration|Education, Business

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

In 1996, 58.6 million Americans received formal training costing $59.8 billion. Professional level employees received the most training while administrative level employees received the least. Research estimates 50\% to 90\% of the current investment in training yields little or no value. Research has also shown barriers exist that interfere with the transfer of training from the classroom to the work environment; yet, minimal comparisons have been made between managers and line staff in the transfer of training literature.^ This study investigated how organizations and staff development functions can improve the likelihood that knowledge gained in training will transfer from the classroom to the job site for both managers and line staff.^ Surveys were mailed to 605 public sector employees that attended Public Service Excellence Program training. One hundred and fifty-six surveys were analyzed: 58 from managers and 98 from line staff.^ Using factor analysis, three scales were developed to retrospectively measure trainee's perceptions of task/situational supports; three scales measured perceptions of social supports, and one scale measured perceptions of training outcomes. Survey items were re-configured to create three additional scales that measured retrospective perceptions of supports given before, during, and after training.^ A 2 x 4 ANOVA was used to analyze the data comparing organizational position (managers versus line staff) and four points in time since training (6, 10, 12, and 14 months). Post hoc analysis using the Scheffe Method and Independent samples t-tests at the item level were conducted to examine differences.^ The results confirmed significant differences, with small effect sizes, between managers' and line staff's perceptions of time to apply training; perceived value of training; upper management support, immediate supervisor support, and training outcomes. There were also significant differences, with small effect sizes, between managers' and line staff's retrospective perceptions of supports given before, during, and after training. There were no significant differences between managers' and line staff's perceptions of control over the job and co-worker support. Significant differences between times since training appeared to be the result of work place characteristics rather than time. ^