The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which first-line managers' (FLMs') support of employee learning activities influence the learning outcomes and the transfer of training from a work-based vocational education and training (VET) programme.
The study was designed as a multiple-case study including six service units in elder care. Data were collected through interviews with managers and care workers in the six units.
The study demonstrated that the role of FLMs was a significant condition for the learning outcomes attained and for positive transfer of training. For care workers to attain benefits from training that went beyond the individual level, that is, benefits at the level of the work team or the organisation, a supportive FLM role appeared to be necessary.
The statistical generalisability of the study is limited by its character of a multiple-case study of six work units. At the same time, a strength of the study lies in its potential for analytic generalisations, that is, for identifying and verifying theoretically meaningful patterns across a number of cases.
The findings suggest a need for management development that promotes a broader understanding of the task as FLM, and, specifically, improved knowledge and skills regarding how to lead and organise learning and development processes in a workplace.
Using a qualitative approach, this study adds to the limited knowledge of FLMs' influences on the learning outcomes and the positive transfer from work-based training.
Ellström, E. and Ellström, P.-E. (2014), "Learning outcomes of a work-based training programme: The significance of managerial support", European Journal of Training and Development, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 180-197. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJTD-09-2013-0103Download as .RIS
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