This paper aims to present an exploratory study of the evaluation of training programs, based on a theoretical framework reviewing both the training literature and the strategic performance measurement (SPM) literature. The purpose of the paper is to analyse whether the operational approach (suggested by the training literature) and the strategic approach (suggested by the SPM literature) are actionable and feasible to measure the performance of training programs, and which relationships occur between these approaches.
The methodology supporting the paper is largely oriented to action research. The research project took about 12 months, working with five Italian healthcare organisations in order to develop an actionable system for measuring the performance of selected training programs.
The results suggest that the operational and the strategic approaches are actionable and feasible to measure the performance of selected training programs; that these approaches are complementary, and not alternative; and that their contextual use is mutually beneficial, because it allows alignment of the evaluation of training programs towards organisational priorities.
The limitations of the paper concern its explorative nature. The paper does not expand its focus from the training programs to the training function, and from the training literature to the strategic human resource literature. Research on these topics may contribute to further analysing the links between training evaluation and SPM systems.
The paper shows the feasibility of a systematic evaluation of selected training programs at an organisational level of analysis, aiming at increasing organisational effectiveness.
The paper suggests the relevance of evaluating training programs according to an SPM framework based on the Balanced Scorecard.
Cifalino, A. and Baraldi, S. (2009), "Training programs and performance measurement: Evidence from healthcare organisations", Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 294-315. https://doi.org/10.1108/14013381011010141
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