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The success and failure of trainers and trainees: a configurational analysis of training programs

Human Resource Management International Digest

ISSN: 0967-0734

Article publication date: 11 February 2021

Issue publication date: 6 July 2021




The purpose of this study is to examine formative evaluations of the training programs in order to uncover the configurations of designs which lead to the success of failure of trainers and trainees and to identify any common designs that generate this success or failure.


Data is taken from an entire calendar year using a 2017 database involving 429 training events by 264 trainers and 2,264 trainees and configurations are identified using a fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA).


The results show that for trainers more configurations (five) are shown to lead to success than failure while for trainees fewer (three) lead to success than failure(six). One configuration leading to success and two leading to failure are common to both.

Practical implications

Therefore, this suggests that consideration of configurations which lead to success should be put in place when designing training programs and damaging pathways avoided.


This paper has an original approach as it analyses the success and failure of trainers and trainees concurrently through use of the fsQCA method.



(2021), "The success and failure of trainers and trainees: a configurational analysis of training programs", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 6-8.



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