Investigating the determinants of training transfer in enterprise systems
The advent of information systems (IS) has improved the face of the global business environment. Faced with increasing competition, expanding markets and rising customer expectations, companies have sought to improve their business processes and operations by investing in a variety of ISs. Although many companies have adopted complex large-scale application software packages called enterprise systems (ES), about 70% of ES implementation projects have not achieved their projected returns. Research has attributed this problem to training-related issues among others, particularly end-users’ transfer problem in the workplace.
ES success depends largely upon end-users’ use of the system, through the transfer of the skills learned from the ES training. However little is known about the factors that motivate ES training transfer. This study investigates the determinants of training transfer through the development of a research framework for understanding transfer mechanisms among ES users. The influence of end-users’ characteristics, training design characteristics and social support on training transfer, and training motivation as a central component in the transfer process is investigated.
An online survey method was employed to collect data from ES end-users who had previously participated in ES training. One hundred and seventy responses of useable data were received for analysis. The research model was empirically tested with partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM). SmartPLS 2.0M3 was used to validate the research model and the test of the research hypotheses.
Findings reveal that end-users’ characteristics, social factors, and training design influence end-users’ training motivation and transfer in the ES environment. Furthermore, end-users’ computer self-efficacy, mastery orientation, training motivation and perceived ease-of-use are shown to positively influence end-users’ training transfer. In addition, social factors such as supervisory support and peer support were found to positively predict end-users’ training motivation and training transfer, respectively.
The significant explanatory power of the theoretical model developed in this study has important implications for both theory and practice. The findings from this study can help organisations in understanding how attitude, social support, and training design issues, especially technology design, can affect ES training transfer. Having a clear understanding of how these determinants influence end-users’ training transfer will help organisations to address transfer problems. This research advances the understanding of positive transfer and how transfer strategies can be designed in ES.