A Quasi-experimental Correlation of non-economic and Economic Determinants of a Workforce Training Intervention

A Quasi-experimental Correlation of non-economic and Economic Determinants of a Workforce Training Intervention

Author: 
James E. Austin
Program of study: 
D.B.A.
Abstract: 
Organizational leaders are spending billions of dollars each year on workforce training without an acceptable method for determining the effectiveness of their investments. This quasiexperimental correlational study explores changes in non-economic self-efficacy (SE) and economic utility in workforce managers as outcomes of a general management training intervention. In previous studies, non-economic measures of SE have been associated with employee job performance. Economic measures of utility have separately been associated with performance improvement through training transfer. This study sought to determine whether an association existed between non-economic SE outcomes and economic utility gains resulting from a general management training intervention in order to model an improved process for evaluating and predicting the consequences of workforce training programs. Three research questions were addressed. Question 1 results demonstrated a significant increase occurred in SE for participants attending a management training intervention. Question 2 results substantiated a quantifiable economic benefit was gained through a calculated increase in the market value of participants after attending the training. Question 3 results demonstrated a strong positive correlation existed between non-economic and economic training outcomes. The results in this study are useful because organizations will be able to use this methodology to either substantiate their training investments, or to pre-estimate the levels of behavioral change necessary to achieve a desired economic return from a workforce-training program.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to every workforce employee who is committed to invest in themselves and in the future of their organization. The workforce offers a vast and often untapped pool of enormous potential value to leaders and stakeholders who may not be able to access the type of information they need to judiciously evaluate alternative human capital investments. Ultimately, it is people who differentiate organizations and it will be wise investments in human capital that will determine which organizations will lead, as the way we work continues to evolve.
Acknowledgements: 
The dissertation is a complex evolutionary process and it cannot be accomplished without the support of family. My wife, and our dog, played a pivotal role in affording the time, the energy, and the comfort I needed whenever the effort felt overwhelming. I simply would not have completed this work without my wife’s love and support. Along the way, there were a number of unexpected surprises, all of which were surmountable due to the constant encouragement provided by my Chair, Dr. Kresyman; the source of my own self-efficacy. I attribute the diligence invested in this work to my committee, particularly to Dr. Potter for a relentless pursuit of quality who along with Dr. Shuler consistently emphasized the need to stay focused on its practical application. I greatly appreciated the time and attention provided by the more than 100 participants in this study who shared willingly and from whom I learned so much. An exemplary team led by a remarkable CEO who represented well the challenges real businesses face in today’s highly competitive marketplace. In hindsight, it is extraordinary to think about how many people pulled together to contribute to and support this study. I remain hopeful it meets their expectation.