Title

Contextual barriers to transfer of training

Date of Completion

January 1997

Keywords

Education, Adult and Continuing|Education, Industrial

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Transfer of training theories have consistently pointed to the importance of supervisory support behaviors and individual characteristics such as self-efficacy in promoting the transfer of newly acquired skills to the job. This study explored the relationship between participation in formal telemarketing training, supervisory training in promoting learning on the job, supervisory support behavior, and self-efficacy, and the transfer of telemarketing training.^ The subjects, 68 customer service representatives for a large multi-national organization, were randomly assigned to one of three groups. Group 1 received formal telemarketing training and had supervisors who were trained in ways to promote transfer of learning in the workplace; Group 2 received formal telemarketing training and had supervisors who were not trained; Group 3 did not receive telemarketing training but had supervisors who were trained in ways to promote transfer of learning.^ The dependent variable, transfer of training, was measured by comparing telemarketing effectiveness ratios calculated one week prior to the training to the effectiveness ratios calculated eight weeks following the training. Eight weeks following the training, data were also collected to measure the independent variables, supervisory support and self-efficacy. The Account Management Inventory was completed to determine the extent of supervisory behavior to reduce three significant barriers to transfer: lack of reinforcement, immediate work environment interference, and non-supportive organizational climate. The Telemarketing Self-Efficacy Questionnaire was completed to determine the telemarketing self-efficacy of participants. Anecdotal data were collected at staff and individual meetings prior to and following the training sessions. Analysis of variance indicated that neither training supervisors in ways to promote transfer of learning nor participation in telemarketing training was significantly related to transfer of training, the improvement of the telemarketing effectiveness ratio. A follow-up ANCOVA indicated that initial starting conditions, rather than the interventions, explained group differences on post-test effectiveness ratios. Regression analysis indicated that the independent variables, supervisory support and self-efficacy, did not predict the dependent variable, transfer of training.^ Analysis of the anecdotal data revealed contextual barriers to transfer of training. A revised model of transfer of training that includes contextual barriers to transfer is proposed and activities to eliminate barriers are discussed. ^