Evaluation of Formal Training Programmes in Greek Organisations

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The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/2046-9012.htm

EJTD
36,9

Evaluation of formal training
programmes in Greek
organisations

888

Anastasios D. Diamantidis and Prodromos D. Chatzoglou
Production & Management Engineering Department,
Democritus University of Thrace, Xanthi, Greece

Received 24 November 2011
Revised 3 May 2012
Accepted 13 August 2012

Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to highlight the training factors that mostly affect trainees’ perception of learning and training usefulness.
Design/methodology/approach – A new research model is proposed exploring the relationships between a trainer’s performance, training programme components, outcomes of the learning process and training usefulness. The validity of this model is tested empirically adopting the structural equation modelling approach, using data from 126 employees who have participated in different training programmes.

Findings – All the factors that constitute a training programme (trainer performance, training environment and training goals, content, material, process) have been found to affect both learning outcomes and training usefulness.

Research limitations/implications – The long-term results of a training programme are not examined.
Practical implications – Although all the aspects and components of the training programmes should be carefully considered by the training programme designer, training process and trainer performance have the strongest direct and indirect effect (respectively), on both learning outcomes and training usefulness.

Originality/value – In this study, all the factors that constitute a training programme are incorporated in a single model using data from small and medium-sized enterprises. Overall, the final model can explain 39 and 60 percent of the variance in learning and training usefulness, respectively. Keywords Training programmes evaluation, Training goals, Training process, Training environment, Learning, Structural equation modelling, Training

Paper type Research paper

European Journal of Training and
Development
Vol. 36 No. 9, 2012
pp. 888-910
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
2046-9012
DOI 10.1108/03090591211280955

Introduction
Constant market changes and increased technological advancement have led firms to seek more productive and adaptive employees in order to maintain and improve their competitiveness.
In recent decades, firms and employees have increased their attention on vocational, lifelong and continuous training. According to Fuller and Unwin (2005), this phenomenon is related to the extension of working life, which, in turn, has various socioeconomical effects and sets new challenges for employees (specifically as far as their knowledge, skills, abilities and development are concerned). Thus, firms provide learning opportunities to their employees by conducting training programmes to update and improve their job knowledge, skills and abilities. As Cascio (1995) also implies, for firms to maintain and improve the quality of their workforce, their employees must have up-to-date knowledge and top skills and abilities.

Noe et al. (2006, p. 257) define training as “a firm’s planned effort to facilitate the learning of job-related knowledge, skills and behaviour by employees”. DeCenzo and Robbins (2005, p. 42) state that “training is designed to assist employees in acquiring better skills for their current job” and through training firms “attempt to reach the goal of having competent, adapted employees who posses the up-to-date skills, knowledge and abilities needed to perform their current jobs more successfully”. In other words, the purpose of firms’ training programmes is to improve employees’ job performance by changing their skills, knowledge, abilities and behaviour in their work environment (DeCenzo and Robbins, 2005). Regarding firms’ competitive advantage, Noe et al. (2006) state that employee...
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