Value of transferable skills training: measuring the impacts of training for individual development and organisational return on investment

  The purpose of this research project is to investigate individual perceptions and experiences of project management training in order to develop a qualitatively-informed framework for evaluation that enhances the understanding of participant values. Most existing training evaluation frameworks seek to assess the organisational impact of training. However, organisational changes do not primarily depend on the value of the training, but rather on the support and incentives provided for training transfer. This research concentrates on project management training courses delivered to university staff, and it is contended that assessing only at an organisational level may not always be most helpful. It is argued here that the effect on the individual is also important. Two research questions are developed: How do participants perceive value in the context of project management training? What are the key indicators for the identification of value in a participant’s evaluation of project management training?
Thirteen in-depth, conversational interviews were conducted with participants who had attended project management training courses. The interviews were influenced by the concepts of memory, voice and reflection to achieve a greater depth, appreciation and understanding of the participant’s perceptions of value. The participants were interviewed twice with the analysis of the first set of interviews informing the content of the second.
Two key arguments develop through the thesis. First, in relation to the form of evaluation, it suggests that for project management training the individual should be the focal point of the assessment. The evaluation should seek to understand, through memory and reflection, if a course has had any effect on the participant. This assumption implies a qualitative approach to evaluation is useful and, as it is counter to most existing models, necessitates the development of a framework which is more sensitive to participants’ perceptions of value. Second, the thesis develops an argument about the content of the evaluation and the key features to be considered for project management training.
A framework is developed based on the findings of the study, and is presented and described here. It contributes to theory by enhancing Brinkerhoff's (2003) existing evaluation model and contributes to practice by detailing an applicable and useable evaluation framework.

  • Dates:

    2010 to 2015

  • Qualification:

    Doctorate (DBA)

Project Team