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Professional training as a strategy for staff development: A study in training transfer in the Lebanese context

Khalil M. Dirani (Adult Education and Human Resource and Organization Development Program, Department of Lifelong Education, Administration and Policy, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)

European Journal of Training and Development

ISSN: 2046-9012

Article publication date: 6 April 2012

Abstract

Purpose

Research studies on training‐job relevance continuously discuss the extent of transfer being found limited. This study aims to focus on exploring trainees' perceptions about the effects of a “Western” professional training program on their skill development and how cultural factors specific to Lebanon influence the learning.

Design/methodology/approach

This research adopted a mixed method study design. It was conducted in the context of a training services program offered by an HRD department in a large Lebanese financial institution. The sample frame consisted of service employees who were conveniently selected after enrolling in the professional training program. The sample was composed of 120 participants. A total number of 107 questionnaires were completed and 101 questionnaires were usable (82.5 percent response rate). Analysis of the quantitative data was through descriptive statistics. Qualitative data collection was included to corroborate the quantitative data in answering the research questions. The researcher conducted 15 interviews with participants and stakeholders in the training program to get their perceptions of how well the training workshops were helping them develop new skills.

Findings

This study yielded a broad perspective on issues related to formal training and training transfer in the Lebanese context. The issues explored are related to trainees' attitudes towards the training activities they were exposed to, their perceptions of the impact of training activities on their career development, and their attitudes towards work environment that might predict the transfer of training.

Practical implications

While professional training programs may lead to motivating trainees to become more committed to work, and enhancing learning skills relevant to individual career development and life‐long learning, such trainings fail to tackle problems specific to a trainee's organizational or cultural needs. In particular, it is often hard to integrate generic training ideas into specific workplace settings.

Originality/value

This paper provides original information on a topic that is not well researched in the Lebanese context. It identifies needs and offers practical help to HRD practitioners and international consultants, and provides theoretical insights to HRD scholars to better understand the field of HRD in international contexts.

Keywords

Citation

Dirani, K.M. (2012), "Professional training as a strategy for staff development: A study in training transfer in the Lebanese context", European Journal of Training and Development, Vol. 36 No. 2/3, pp. 158-178. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090591211204698

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited