Date of Award

12-1990

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Major Professor

Gregory Dobbins

Committee Members

Joyce Russell, John Lounsbury, Michael Rush

Abstract

The effect of social processes in the work group on training has not been systematically studied. A model is proposed that considers the influence of pre-training social processes and supervisor credibility on expected training utility, training motivation and learning.

Survey data were collected before and after training in organizations from a large southern metropolitan area. Social process variables include group goal linkage, expected supervisor and work group training transfer climates, and involvement in training decision. In addition, job involvement and supervisor credibility were assessed. Dependent variables included expected job and career utility of training, motivation to take training, and learning. Trainee subjects (n = 245) represented different kinds of organizations, types of training, and levels within the organizations.

LISREL analysis of the model suggested that social processes in a work group exerted an influence on learning new skills. For instance, involvement in the training decision increased the trainee's perception of job utility of training. Job utility was also predicted by the training transfer climate provided by the supervisor. In addition, supervisor credibility increased the perceived job utility of training. Finally, perceived job utility of training predicted training motivation, which in turn, predicted training success.

The findings of this research suggest that organizations should increase trainees' involvement in the decision to be trained, train supervisors to provide support for training transfer, and encourage perceptions of supervisor credibility.

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