Training and development evaluation : state of the art
This thesis will examine, via a field study, the current state of the art in evaluating the effectiveness of training and development programs in business organizati ons. The field study will look at different levels of evaluation sophistication and examine how organizations are evaluating "training" programs, "development" programs, programs developed "in-house," and vendor- purchased programs. We will see that the volume of training programs conducted correlates with how much evaluation is performed. The field study will show that limited financial resources are a barrier to using better methods of evaluation for small and "unsophisticated" organi zati ons. In comparing large and small organizations, it will be shown that large organizations do more training, present more development programs, measure the effectiveness of training and development efforts more often, and use more sophisticated methods to evaluate. Several methods of evaluation that have not appeared in the literature will be presented. To summarize the state of the art of training and development evaluation, we see a trend toward a "results-oriented climate" whereby organizations are being asked to show tangible results of their training and development efforts. Because of this climate, organizations will be forced to use more sophisticated evaluation tools. The thesis concludes with one major recommendation. All organizations need to make a strong initial commitment to use more effective evaluation methods. A "results-oriented climate" based upon an intensified global economy will necessitate the use of more sophisticated methods of evaluation.