Trainees' perceptions of transfer of training in New Zealand corporate environments

Guan, Jin
Ho, Marcus
Rasmussen, Erling
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Master of Business
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Auckland University of Technology

With increasing emphasis of the value of human capital, companies worldwide have invested large amounts of expenditures in training. New Zealand is of no exception, especially for big corporates in most popular industries. However, training results have turned out to be not effective or have not reached the expectation by many companies. Thus, transfer of training (i.e. whether trainee has applied what he or she has learnt in the training back to the workplace) has become the key of training effectiveness. In contrast to studies which took an organizational perspective, this study has taken the trainee’s perspective to examine what factors including how they affect trainees’ transfer of training.

The study aims to explore trainees’ perception of transfer of training in the New Zealand corporate environment. The research question is: what factors do trainees perceive affect their transfer of training in the workplace and how do those factors affect their transfer in practice. The question is answered by using semi-structured interviews of 10 participants who have attended training programs offered by the corporates of various corporations in some of the most popular industries in New Zealand. The data collected from the interviews were displayed, compared and contrasted, and then categorized into groups by using data management method.

The analysis found that there are similarities and differences between past literature and findings from this study based on the three categories of trainee characteristics, training design and delivery, and work environment. The study found that factors of trainee characteristics such as training motivation, perceived job, and career utility are related to transfer of training. There are several motivation sources that drive trainees to be motivated. Personal learning style and trainees’ perceptions of training are relevant factors as well. In the category of training design and delivery, trainees hold different views towards hard skill training and soft skill training as they have different level of content relevance. Factors such as option for attendance, trainer quality, pre-training determinants and post-training determinants were found to be related to transfer of training in different levels. In the final section, factors of work environment have strong influence to transfer of training to most participants in the research. Peer support, supervisor/manager support, opportunity to use the skills and continuous learning culture of the organization are all relevant to transfer of training which are in line with the last research. There are also some divergent views from individual participants that work environment do not have influence on them. All these findings provide theoretical implications for future research and meanwhile provide practical implications for HRD practitioners and managers.

Transfer of training , Training and development , Trainee perception , Training effectiveness , Qualitative research method , New Zealand
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