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Training evaluation of a sales programme in a Portuguese cosmetics SME

Carla Curado (ISEG, Department of Management, ADVANCE/CSG, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal)
Inês Sousa (ISEG, Lisboa, Portugal)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 22 March 2021

Issue publication date: 22 June 2021




The purpose of this study is to describe the evaluation of a training programme in a Portuguese family’s small and medium enterprise (SME) in the cosmetics industry. This study addresses the four levels of the Kirkpatrick Model and estimates the return on investment (ROI) of a training programme in sales.


The study follows a case design to address the analysis of the training outcomes. This study uses data from 53 employees and explore the programme’s results.


This study provides evidence on the reactions of the trainees to the programme; the learning which results from it; and on the changes in trainees’ behaviours and the consequent results. This study also estimates the ROI of the programme; it is 5.55.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations to this study may be the use of data from a single training programme.

Practical implications

The research results offer managers some critical information in terms of future options in resource allocation. Training managers become more informed in making future choices on where to invest in training programmes.


The originality of the study regards the ROI estimation for an SME’s sales training programme. SMEs are not often addressed in the training evaluation literature. Because SMEs have limited organisational resources, and they do not invest much in training. Further, this estimation requires data gathering and reporting that is not commonly done, even for large firms.



The authors are grateful for the support provided FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia – Portugal) under the project UIDB/04521/2020.


Curado, C. and Sousa, I. (2021), "Training evaluation of a sales programme in a Portuguese cosmetics SME", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 53 No. 3, pp. 283-293.



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