An evaluation system for training programs: a case study using a four‐phase approach

Tony Lingham (ESADE Business School, Barcelona, Spain)
Bonnie Richley (Case Western Reserve University, Clevaland, Ohio, USA and ESADE Business School, Barcelona, Spain)
Davar Rezania (ESADE Business School, Barcelona, Spain)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Publication date: 1 June 2006



With the increased importance of training in organizations, creating important and meaningful programs are critical to an organization and its members. The purpose of this paper is to suggest a four‐phase systematic approach to designing and evaluating training programs that promotes collaboration between organizational leaders, trainers, participants and evaluators.


The paper presents a case study of a leadership training program conducted at a Midwestern corporate university. Analysis of the qualitative data from interviews with participants and field notes during the first two iterations of the program highlight three major aspects that were then used to develop a unique measure for the evaluation of subsequent iterations. The case study was conducted over a period of 31/2 years involving a total of 175 managers.


A main finding in this study was that content was three times stronger than applicability. This finding was critical in understanding the learning focus of the program and the significance of developing a unique evaluation system that is both meaningful and important to the organization and its members.

Practical implications

The four‐phase approach to develop unique evaluations involving both content and applicability would be of value to human resource professionals involving in designing training programs for career development of managers.


This four‐phase approach focuses on learning and development at the individual and organizational levels. It aligns with Kolb's experiential learning theory and is a process that provides a feedback system for organizations to engage in double‐loop learning to improve the design, delivery and evaluation of their training programs.



Lingham, T., Richley, B. and Rezania, D. (2006), "An evaluation system for training programs: a case study using a four‐phase approach", Career Development International, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 334-351.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.