Performance templates and the regulation of learning

Paul Lyons (Department of Management, College of Business, Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Maryland, USA)

Journal of European Industrial Training

ISSN: 0309-0590

Publication date: 8 May 2009



The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed, theoretical underpinning for the training and performance improvement method: performance template (P‐T). The efficacy of P‐T, with limitations, has been demonstrated in this journal and in others. However, the theoretical bases of the P‐T approach had not been well‐developed. The other purposes of this paper are to: explain the features and functions of the P‐T and to highlight the action theory of Frese as the theory supports P‐T and offers trainers some information regarding the regulation of feedback and learning. This paper adds to the procedures and practices of human resource development.


The approach in this paper is to explain how a training and development partnership among trainers, managers, and employees is forged so as to create P‐T for use in the field. The main aspect of the methodology was to attempt to map the elements of action theory onto the specific steps (phases) of the P‐T approach. This mapping activity was achieved.


The key findings in this study is that action theory offers a hierarchical and reasonably complete explanation of how learning occurs and how individuals regulate what they know. As explained in this paper action theory provides a map of the cognitive elements in the training model employed.

Practical implications

Assuming that the P‐T approach has value, it is important to demonstrate how theory helps to ground the approach. In this paper, action theory has been used to offer a substantial foundation for the P‐T approach. In addition, action theory helps trainers to examine learning, feedback, and regulation of performance in a comprehensive manner.


Action theory offers several features that help explain the regulation of learning and behavior, yet the theory has received very little attention in formal literatures. Value: the template approach adds to our repertoire of training methods. This paper helps to better explain the approach and it offers useful theories to support practice.



Lyons, P. (2009), "Performance templates and the regulation of learning", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 341-355.

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