Enhancing the transfer of management training



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Positive transfer is defined as "the degree to which trainees effectively apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained in a training context to the job" (Baldwin & Ford, 1988, p. 63). Researchers have become increasingly cognizant of the problem of low transfer, particularly in the realm of management skills (e.g. effective communication, delegation). This study tested Marlatt and Gordon's (1980) model of relapse-prevention as a transfer mechanism in management training. It was hypothesized that individuals trained in the theory and methodology of relapse-prevention would be more successful in transferring acquired skills in time-management to their daily lives, and in maintaining those behavioral changes over a period of nine weeks. 70 undergraduates at a large southwestern university attended one of two 3 hour time-management workshops. Both workshops used behavior modeling training. One workshop Included additional training in the theory and methodology of relapse-prevention. Repeated measures tests of self-reported behavior and measures taken from the daily planners kept for nine weeks revealed that there were no significant differences between behavior levels of the two groups over time. Manipulation checks Indicated that there were no significant differences between the two groups in using the techniques taught in the relapse-prevention training. This finding makes it quite difficult to make conclusions about the effectiveness of relapse-prevention training. It was tentatively concluded that relapse-prevention training does not significantly enhance transfer when applied in conjunction with behavioral modeling. Each of the repeated measures tests revealed an unhypothesized main effect of time. Trend analysis revealed a significant quadratic trend over time. This trend reflects changes in time-management behavior due to the participant's spring break. The break ocurred during the fifth week of the study. The implications of this study and suggestions for future research are given.



Management, Study and teaching, Executives, Executives, Time management