Training Programs: The Effect on Employees

Introduction

The paper is a critical evaluation of the research proposal titled “The effect of training programs on employees’ job linked competencies”. The author and year of publication are unknown to me. At one time or another, for one to graduate and to successfully carry out quantitative or qualitative study there is need to critique a number of articles. The paper is a proposal to carry out a quantitative study with regards to employees training and work linked competency. Additionally the study seeks to find out the impact of supportive work context in helping widen individuals job linked competency. The major objectives of the study are; reviewing literature of employees’ job linked competencies and training activities, evaluating the impact of both formal and informal training activities on the employees’ job linked competencies and finally filling the gap and identifying under which situations formal training programs can be more efficient to progress workers job linked competencies (Hunter & Leahey, 2008.). The data collection tool to be used is questionnaire based surveys. The study will take place in the United Arabs Emirates with government employees who work for 8 hours a day and have 5 years experience.

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Abstract

Starting with the abstract where the author summarizes what the whole paper is about in my view was a cleaver technique. This makes it possible for an interested person to have a glimpse of what the proposal is all about. The only problem with it is that the sample size was not specified as well as the anticipated outcomes.

The author tried to state the major objectives of the study. However, the objectives failed to link with research questions. The aim and objectives of the study although stated were not very clear in my view. It is worth noting however that the study proposed the research hypothesis. The only hypothesis then could only mean that one objective of the study will be tested. There is a need for the author to come up two other testable hypotheses (Hunter & Leahey, 2008).

Concerning the introduction, the researcher offers the readers with an excellent account of competency and training forms linked with employees’ competency. This provides the reader with a background of what the entire study is all about. According to the author the issue of employee training is of significance in ensuring an organization becomes effective in its operations. Although studies have shown that informal training offers better opportunities formal training has barely yielded positive results. Little studies have been done concerning managers’ involvement in formal training activities and the relation of the same with their job linked competencies, especially when their companies provide supportive work environments. On the same note, there are some vital summaries that have been made in forms of tables. For instance diagram (2) presents the relationship between the training programs and competency concept giving the reader the chance of quickly establishing the link between the two variables without going through a whole stuff of written work (Smith, 1983).

The problem statement seems to agree with the topic and in my view is of a significance importance in education. However, one big problem with the statement of the problem is that it is not easily visible by the average reader and required more than one time reading in order to establish the specific reason behind the researchers drive to undertake the study. With regards to the significance of the study, the author has worked hard in ensuring that the same is clearly reflected in the proposal (Smith, 1983). The major significance of the study is its contribution to test the effect of situational factors that link employees job related competencies to the work environment that enables the workers to implement what they acquired through formal training programs. It is worth noting that a conceptual framework for the study has been offered. This has been done successfully by use of a diagram.

On the other hand, the author failed to clearly demonstrate the operational definition of the dependent as well as independent variables. This is usually important in making the readers clearly establish what the study seek to work with.

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Literature review

It is important to remember that the literature review section is where an author is offered with an opportunity to give insights on the research topic. This opts to be accomplished by critically looking at previous research studies that are closely related with the one to be done in the future. One strong points of the paper with regards to this section is the ability of the author to use distinct subtitles (Onwuegbuzie, 2003). Additionally it is worth noting that the section has been summarized by use of tables. These two makes it possible for readers to quickly evaluate the contents of the proposal.

However, it has been shown that it is not enough when one simply refers to what others said with regards to certain topics. This thus calls for the researchers to critically evaluate each and every statement and clearly point out their level of agreement with the findings of the articles. In my view the author of the proposal failed to accomplish this. However, in my humble opinion, the author managed to convince readers that he solicited information from a variety of sources. This is clearly depicted from the kind of in-text citation in the entire paper. The kind of resources used shows that the author used some old literatures to back his claims. This can be justified by the fact that these materials still stood the test of times and their ideas were of value to the contribution of the understanding of the problem statement. The author has worked hard in ensuring that there is logical flow of ideas making the readers to easily connect the literature to the research’s problem statement (Lee, 2010).

Research methodology

This is where the whole research rests, a poor choice of the methods to carryout a project will result to chaotic results. The paper fails to succinctly bring to light the research design. The average reader will not be able to establish if the study is a qualitative, quantitative or a mixed one. It is worth noting that it is important for a study to explain the logical steps in the methodology section so that it can be easily reproduced by another researcher in the future (Onwuegbuzie, 2003).

Nonetheless, the paper goes an extra mile in giving the readers a whole idea with regards to the tools of data collection. In this case the use of survey questionnaire has been adequately justified. However, the weak side of the tool was not addressed (Valle, Castillo & Duarte, 2009). Having in mind that any study will have a setting, the author has done a good job in making sure that the setting of his study is well known.

According to Onwuegbuzie, 2003 concerning sampling, it is made clear by the author that the desired sample will be selected from permanent managers working 8 hours a day and having 5 years experience. The justification of doing this is not made in a clear manner. It is sad that the total number of the sample is not brought forth. Additionally, the technique of sampling to be employed in arriving at the desired population sample has not been made clear in the proposal. This makes the ability to replicate the research method by other scholars an uphill task.

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On the same note, it is evident that the major sources of data for the study have not been fully brought to light. Sadly, since the study is a quantitative one and involves human subjects, the author failed to have in place a section of ethical consideration. It is not enough for the researcher to claim that sending the questionnaires through mails with stamps reading ‘’confidential’ is enough to meet the ethical considerations. He opts to have clearly explained to the target sample population how their confidentiality will be guaranteed among other serious issues (Morse, 1991).

I must also acknowledge that the author did an excellent job when it comes to the limitations of the study. For instance a limitation for the study is that this paper targeted only employees who are in the managerial positions in the U.A.E government and exclude others who occupy other positions. This among other limitations had a negative impact on generalizability of the findings (Valle, Castillo & Duarte, 2009). The open proposal gave way for other researchers to develop questions and come up with topics that could address other issues at hand.

Another serious problem with the proposal is that it completely failed to explain the methods and software to be used to analyze data. Carrying out a study without critically analyzing the collected data is as good as not carrying out the study (Sandberg, 2000). The researcher was to mention and justify the analysis to be performed. Similarly, there are no explanations with regards to presentation of results. Usually tables, figures and diagrams are use to represent the findings (Rodriguez, et al., 2002).

Table 1 Summarizing the strengths and weaknesses of the paper

Weaknesses Strengths
The research problem statement is somehow hidden A well thought topic successfully linked with the introduction and literature review
Study justification is not well written and thus not clear A thorough explanation of the data collection tool
There is no operation definition of the variables Use of tab les to summarize main points in the literature review
Sampling strategy is not brought out in a clear manner Use of subheading/ subtitles in the various sections making ideas easy to locate
The size of the sample is unknown The kind of language used is simple and easy to understand
Ethical considerations are not explained and the data analysis technique are not explained in the proposal Objectives and the hypotheses are testable
A good account of the study limitation has been provided

Conclusion and recommendation

From the critical analysis of the proposal, the topic is in-line with the objectives and the hypothesis is testable. However there are a number of things that need to be done for the paper to be seen as good. Serious improvements need to be done with regards to the hypotheses, the research questions, justification of the study and more so in the methodology section. There is a need to include and thoroughly explain the research design as well as analysis of the findings, ethical consideration and presentation of the findings. Generally, there are problems with grammar and spelling mistakes which need to be corrected. The run on sentences makes it difficult for readers to establish what the researcher intends to convey.

References

Hunter, L., & Leahey, E., 2008. Collaborative Research in Sociology: Trends and Contributing Factors. American Sociologist, 39(1), pp.290–306.

Lee, Y., 2010. Exploring high-performers required competencies. Expert systems with applications, 37(10), pp.434-439.

Morse, J., 1991. Approaches to qualitative-quantitative methodological triangulation. Nursing Research, 40(1), pp.120–123.

Onwuegbuzie, A., (2003). Expanding the framework of internal and external validity in quantitative research. Research in the Schools, 10(1), pp.71–90.

Rodriguez, D., Patel, R., Bright, A., Gregory, D. & Gowing, M., 2002. Developing Competency models to promote integrated human resource practices. Human Resource Management, 41(3), pp.309-324.

Sandberg, J., 2000. Understanding human competence at work: An interpretative approach. Academy of management journal, 43(1), pp. 9-25.

Smith, J., 1983. Quantitative versus qualitative research: An attempt to clarify the issue. Educational Researcher, 12(1), 6–13.

Valle, I, Castillo, M. & Duarte, A. 2009. ‛The effects of training on performance in service companies‘, International Journal of Manpower, 30(4): Pp. 393-407.

Training Programs: The Effect on Employees
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