Evaluating the Impact of Electronic Training on Organizational Performance in an SME Food Manufacturing Environment
Richard C. Fry, Northcentral University, United States
Northcentral University . Awarded
Many small to medium sized manufacturing organizations do not have adequate resources to conduct formalized workplace training or properly evaluate its results. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of electronic training on workplace behavior and small business organizational performance in the manufacturing environment using a Level 3 and 4 Kirkpatrick Evaluation. A quasi-experimental research study was conducted at a Western United States food production organization with the researcher designing, developing, and evaluating a Good Food Manufacturing Practices (GFMP) training program based on current federally mandated guidelines. Human resource managers facilitated the training for 181 employees with approximately one-half taking the training as e-learners and one-half taking the training as classroom learners. Statistical analysis of the data collected consisted of an analysis of variance (ANOVA) and an Independent Sample t-test. Kirkpatrick Level 3 and 4 training results were evaluated one month post-training using a supervisor focus group. Multiple regression analysis of the data indicated e-learners were transferring GFMP training at Kirkpatrick Level 3 79.63% of the time, and at Kirkpatrick Level 4, wasted food units due to GFMP violations decreased 6.63 per 1000 with significance, p< .001. Classroom learners were transferring GFMP training at Kirkpatrick Level 3 80.46% of the time, and at Kirkpatrick Level 4, wasted food units due to GFMP violations decreased 6.8 per 1000 with significance, p< .001. The findings supported the theory of Kirkpatrick's evaluation model that in order to expect organizational results, a positive change in behavior (job performance), and learning must occur. The examinations of Kirkpatrick Levels 2 and 3 helped to partially explain and predict Level 4 results, but the statistical analysis further indicated there was no significant difference in transfer of training at Level 3 between e-learners and classroom learners. It is recommended that dedicated time for workplace learning be integrated into an SME training policy, regardless of the delivery method. Further research is also encouraged to test Kirkpatrick's model to its full Level 4 extent in the SME environment by conducting a longer evaluation from six to twelve months post-training.
Fry, R.C. Evaluating the Impact of Electronic Training on Organizational Performance in an SME Food Manufacturing Environment. Ph.D. thesis, Northcentral University.
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