attached is the assignment instructions and the chapter 8 reading material. Please follow the assignment instructions and respond substantively to each question. Must utilize 2 outside scholarly source as well as the chapter 8 reading to support claims (3 sources total).
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Senge’s Five Disciplines and Organizational Climate
The learning organization is affected by both the individual and the organizational climate. In a
two- to three-page paper (excluding the title and reference pages), describe Senge’s five
disciplines and the characteristics of an organizational climate that promotes organizational
learning. Include the following in your paper:
Introduction with succinct thesis statement.
Describe Senge’s five disciplines.
Discuss characteristics of an organizational climate that supports organizational learning.
Analyze how organizational climate and Senge’s disciplines are related to organizational
5. Conclusion that restates the thesis and summarizes main points.
Your paper must include in-text citations and references from at least two outside scholarly
sources as well as the textbook (3 sources total), and be formatted according to APA guidelines.
Transfer of Training
Lisa F. Young/iStock/Thinkstock
After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
• Explain the framework for training transfer.
• Describe the accountability for transfer of training.
• Summarize the barriers to transfer.
• Understand how the learning organization supports transfer.
While Mark Twain once said, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody
does anything about it,” the same could be said about training transfer:
“Everybody talks about training transfer, but nobody does anything about it.”
1. Supervisors’ support is essential for helping employees transfer what they learned in
training to their job tasks.
2. Trainees who have more responsibility for their own learning are more likely to transfer that learning from one situation to another.
3. The trainer is generally considered the party most responsible for whether trainees
apply the new learning to their work.
4. Research has found that most barriers to trainees’ application of new skills are caused
by the trainees themselves.
5. In a learning organization, team and group learning take precedence over personal
Answers can be found at the end of the chapter.
As early as 1957 James Mosél, a professor of psychology at George Washington University
and the founding director of the university’s industrial psychology program, observed that
training often seemed to make little or no difference in job behavior (Broad, 2005; Mosél,
1957). Since that time, training transfer (Kirkpatrick’s level 3)—the degree to which trainees demonstrate new behaviors by effectively applying to the job the KSAs gained in a training context—has been what Dennis Coates (2008), the CEO of Performance Support Systems,
calls the Holy Grail of workplace training programs. In fact, more than half a century later, two
separate longitudinal research studies that aggregated individual studies of training transfer
estimated that still as little as 10 to 20% of the knowledge or skills taught in training programs is effectively transferred to the workplace (Arthur, Bennett, Edens, & Bell, 2003; Van
Wijk, Jansen, & Lyles, 2008).
As this chapter will discuss, training transfer not only depends on the trainee’s willingness
and ability, but also on an organizational climate that encourages transfer—both tactically
and strategically. The importance of the organizational climate is seen, for example, in a learning organization (Senge, 1990), an organization that, through sharing and dialogue, promotes
A Framework for Training Transfer
positive training transfer. This chapter will also discuss whether supervisors, trainees, or
trainers are responsible for the transfer of training (Broad, 2005; Kopp, 2006).
8.1 A Framework for Training Transfer
As Figure 8.1 shows, Baldwin and Ford (1988) first illustrated the process of training transfer by showing how, in addition to learning (level 2) from the training, training transfer was
linked to three factors or dimensions, namely: trainee characteristics, training design, and
work environment. The premise here is that each factor contributes to the success of training
transfer and therefore to workplace performance. Let us break down each factor.
Figure 8.1: Training transfer model
There are key dimensions linked to the transfer of training including trainee characteristics,
the training design, and the work environment itself.
• Principles of learning
• Training content
• Opportunity to use
Source: Adapted from Baldwin, T. T., & Ford, J. K. (1988). Transfer of training: A review and directions for future research. Personnel Psychology, 41, 63–105.
Trainee characteristics include how willing and able the trainee is to apply the training.
Therefore, although other factors will influence whether the training is transferred, transfer
depends in no small part on the states of ability and willingness, as Table 8.1 summarizes.
The desired posttraining state is one in which the trainee is able and willing to apply the
new learning to the job. As Chapter 2 discussed, specific leadership styles, per Hersey and
Blanchard’s situational leadership theory, can influence or act upon a follower’s willingness and ability (Daft, 2014; Hersey & Blanchard, 1977). For example, with a willing and
able (R4) trainee, the transfer is voluntary, and following training, a supervisor might merely
monitor the trainee to ensure that workplace barriers are limited.
A Framework for Training Transfer
Table 8.1: Trainee ability and willingness to transfer
For a trainee who remained not able but willing (R2) following a training, a supervisor
might spend more time explaining and clarifying the training to the trainee. Doing so might
uncover not only a need for additional training, but also perhaps a learning style or disability
issue the employer needs to accommodate. For example, in the United Kingdom, new legislation makes all workplaces dyslexia-friendly workplaces (Dyslexia Action, n.d.).
Trainees who are able but not willing (R3) to apply the new learning to the workplace may
need an attitudinal intervention; in these cases the supervisor intervenes with the trainee
to address aspects of self-efficacy, commitment, or interpersonal skills (James, 1890; Noe,
2012). The goal of these interventions with R2 and R3 trainees is for the supervisor to stimulate the transfer that does not happen voluntarily (Broad, 2000; Broad, 2005).
Did You Know? Transfer of Learning Versus
Transfer of Training
Semantically, although some assert that the terms transfer of learning and transfer of
training are synonymous (Cormier & Hagman, 1987), sometimes distinctions are made. One
distinction is when the focus is on cognition and knowledge acquisition—underscoring that
not all that is learned is observable. For example, when a new customer service agent tries
out the newly memorized sales script on a caller, the term transfer of learning may be more
appropriate. When there is a focus on the transfer of particular motor skills and outcomebased behavior, such as when an employee from a cable company is trying for the first time
to hook up a DVR to a television, then transfer of training would be used.
Finally, if trainees routinely leave the training programs unable and unwilling (R1) to
apply the new learning, this outcome suggests a systemic problem; perhaps management
should review recruiting practices with the human resources department (Alagaraja, 2012;
Blanchard & Thacker, 2010).
A Framework for Training Transfer
Training design is the dimension of the transfer framework that refers to factors built into
the training program to increase the chances that transfer of training will occur (Baldwin &
Ford, 1988; Ford, 2014; Noe, 2012; Werner & DeSimone, 2011). Two particular theories of
transfer have implications for training design: theory of identical elements and cognitive
theory, first proposed by Edward Thorndike in 1928.
Theory of Identical Elements
The theory of identical elements uses the idea that the amount of transfer between the familiar situation and the unfamiliar one is determined by the number of elements that the two
situations have in common (Thorndike & Woodworth, 1901). That is, transfer of training is
enhanced when what trainees learn in the training session matches what they will be doing
on the job (Orata, 2013; Thorndike & Woodworth, 1901). In his experiment to underscore the
importance of identical elements, Thorndike had participants judge the area of rectangles,
and then he tested participants on the related task of estimating the areas of circles and triangles. Transfer was assessed by the degree to which learning skill A (estimating the area of
squares) influenced skill B (estimating the area of circles or triangles). Thorndike found little
evidence of transfer and, from this finding, concluded that “transfer of a skill was directly
related to the similarity between two situations” (Thorndike & Woodworth, 1901, p. 15).
As a result, transfer is based on making the training environment similar to the job environment; this is known as near transfer—metaphorically, the transfer distance between the
training environment and the application to the job environment (Ford, 2014; Holton & Baldwin, 2003; Wan, 2013). An example of near transfer would be a training for a department
store cashier in which new employees train on a cash register that matches the registers the
department actually uses.
An extension of the theory of identical elements is the concept of stimulus generalization,
which emphasizes the transfer of general principles and maintenance of skills. This concept
is known as far transfer, the application of learned behavior, content knowledge, concepts,
or skills in a situation that is dissimilar to the original learning context (Ford, 2014; Holton &
Baldwin, 2003). Suppose that a trainee had learned from a workshop to use conflict-handling
skills not only at work, but also at home with his spouse; this situation would be an example
of far transfer. Table 8.2 gives some everyday examples of near and far transfer.
Table 8.2: Examples of near and far transfer
Transfer from using one type of coffee mug to
another type of mug
Transfer from drinking hot coffee using a mug to
drinking hot coffee using a thermos (rule: do not
Transfer from using a knife and fork to using a different size knife and fork
Transfer from using a knife and fork to using
Transfer from using one shuttle bus to another
Transfer from reading the shuttle bus schedule to
reading an airline schedule
Source: Adapted from Svinicki, M. D. (2004). Learning and motivation in the postsecondary classroom. New York: Wiley.
A Framework for Training Transfer
If we consider near and far transfers as transfer outcomes, then the processes of transfer linked
to near and far are known as low-road transfer and high-road transfer (Doyle, McDonald, &
Leberman, 2012; Perkins & Salomon, 1988; Salomon & Perkins, 1989). Specifically, low-road
transfer, which facilitates near transfer, occurs when the context is so familiar or perceptually
similar (Ford, 2014; Svinicki, 2004) to what the trainee already knows that a reflexive or automatic triggering of transfer occurs without conscious contemplation; this unconscious competence is known as automaticity (Bargh, 2013). For example, a trainee hired as a stockroom
forklift operator who has experience driving Caterpillar™ forklifts would most likely have a
low-road near transfer, even though the hiring company uses Komatsu™ brand forklifts.
In high-road transfer, linked to far transfer, the trainee must consciously draw on previous
knowledge, skills, or attitudes. The trainee now applies conscious competence of previous
KSAs to perceptually different, but conceptually similar, contexts (Ford, 2014; Perkins & Salomon, 1988; Svinicki, 2004). An example of high-road far transfer is a new marketing department employee drawing on the concepts of game theory learned in college to analyze the
competition and the interactions between manufacturers and retailers (Chatterjee & Samuelson, 2013).
HRD in Practice: High-Road, Far Transfer
Justin Moore is the CEO of Axcient, a rapidly growing cloud services provider. Moore, now
31, is also a former star of the youth chess circuit. Moore does not play much competitively
anymore, but even so, the kinds of thinking learned from his days as a chess prodigy have
deeply informed the way he runs a successful start-up. In a sense, Moore does still play chess
every day—by running Axcient.
“Of course, it’s a business commonplace to recommend forethought. But, in chess, the
metaphor is literalized. You’re constantly looking two, three, four moves ahead,” explains
Moore. “If you do this move, what’s the countermove? What are all the countermoves? And
then, for all of those, what are all of my potential countermoves? Chess is constantly teaching
you to think about what comes next, and what comes after that, and what the repercussions
could be.” In a chess game your mind is constantly running permutations of decision trees. In
a business your mind should be doing the same.
A chess match is a war of attrition. If a soccer match is egregiously lopsided at halftime, the
game still progresses. But, if White accidentally loses his queen a few moves into the game, it
is likely he will resign. A properly matched chess game is often fought to the point that only a
few pawns, pieces, and the opposing kings remain—a bare-board state known as endgame.
The entirety of a chess game is all a prelude to endgame.
“Chess is about getting to endgame,” says Moore. “What happens between the start and then
doesn’t necessarily matter. You could lose more pieces or a more valuable piece, and at the
end of the day, if you capture the opponent’s king, you win the game.”
Pattern recognition. Playing chess teaches you to recognize patterns: the tempting bishop
sacrifice that actually led you into a trap, the queen swap that looked favorable but prevented
you from castling. You play; you learn. Moore tells a story about how pattern recognition
helped his business. In 2011 Moore and his team were trying to improve customer
satisfaction. They worked from the assumption that one metric in particular—case
A Framework for Training Transfer
backlog—was the best predictor of customer satisfaction. It seemed reasonable to assume
that if you had low or zero backlog, your customers would be happy. “It turned out we were
wrong,” says Moore. After 3 months of wandering through the weeds, Moore’s team realized
that a better predictor of customer satisfaction was the time it took to respond to a customer
request, combined with frequency of updates.
A great chess player has a deep awareness of each piece’s role on the board. A bishop has
different abilities than a knight has, and its powers are expanded or limited by a board’s
pawn structure. In some ways chess is a laboratory for human resources problems. “You have
to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the team, of your employees,” says Moore.
“You have to understand that the pawn has its role, and it’s a very important one, just as
important as the queen, rook, or bishop. Every piece is critical, and the only way to win is to
leverage all those pieces’ skill sets together.”
Source: Zax, D. (2013, February 19). Six strategy lessons from a former chess prodigy who’s now a CEO. Fast Company. Retrieved from http://www.
1. How did Moore draw on the pattern recognition in chess to solve his customer
2. In what ways did the game of chess condition Moore to be proactive versus reactive?
3. What was the significance of Moore’s example of differentiating between soccer and chess?
Cognitive Theory of Transfer
The cognitive theory of transfer is based on trainees’ ability to retrieve, manage, and deploy
learned capabilities. For training design, the richer the connections between the skill and
real-world knowledge, the better the chance of retrieval, and therefore, the better the likelihood of transfer (Baldwin & Ford, 1988; Noe, 2012; Stolovitch & Keeps, 2011). Specifically,
transfer is more probable if the trainees can see the potential applications of the training content to their jobs; this idea is consistent with adult-learning principles set forth by Malcolm
Knowles (Hafler, 2011; Knowles, 1973):
Adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences.
Adults are goal oriented.
Adults are relevancy oriented.
Adults are practical.
As it relates to the cognitive methods of knowledge recall, the late educational psychologist
Robert Gagné’s classic nine events of instruction (Gagné, 1965) is still used today (Gagné,
Wager, Golas, & Keller, 2005; Romiszowski, 2013) in instructional design.
Table 8.3 summarizes how—after gaining the trainee’s attention (for example, level 1, reaction) and ensuring that the trainee is aware of the training objectives—stimulating recall of
prerequisite learning is reinforced by subsequent events that ultimately lead to enhanced
retention and transfer; learning processes include semantic encoding (learning in context),
opportunities for reinforcement, and providing cues to assist in retrieval. As discussed in
A Framework for Training Transfer
Chapter 2, cues can include job aids, which can enhance transfer. Job aids can be used during
actual performance of tasks; they give information that helps the trainee know what actions
and decisions a specific task requires (Stolovitch & Keeps, 2011; Willmore, 2006).
Table 8.3: Gagné’s nine events of instruction
Relation to learning process
1. Gaining attention
Reception of patterns of neural impulses
3. Stimulating recall of the prerequisite knowledge
Retrieval of prior memory to working memory
2. Informing learner of the objective
4. Presenting the stimulus material
5. Providing learning guidance
6. Eliciting the performance
7. Providing feedback about performance
8. Assessing performance
9. Enhancing retention and transfer
Activating a process of executive control
Emphasizing features for selective perception
Semantic encoding; cues for retrieval
Activating response organization
Activating retrieval; making reinforcement possible
Providing cues and strategies for retrieval
Source: Adapted from Gagné, R. M. (1965). The conditions of learning. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
Self-Directed Learning Part of training design should include aspects of self-management,
designing the training to use a trainee’s propensity and level for self-direction (Broad, 2005;
Guglielmino, 2001; Noe, 2012; Rothwell & Sensenig, 1999; Saks, Haccoun, & Belcourt, 2010).
Self-directed learning is the level of initiative in the trainee’s motivation to acquire the new
ability and is linked to a trainee’s self-efficacy (Bijker, Van der Klink, & Boshuizen, 2010). Selfdirected trainees are empowered to take more responsibility in their learning endeavors; as
a result, self-directed trainees are more apt to transfer learning, in terms of both knowledge
and skill, from one situation to another (Baldwin & Ford, 1988; Guglielmino, 2001; Knowles
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