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Title:How managers and training professionals attribute causality for results: Implications for training evaluation
Author(s):Brown, Danny Carol
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Johnson, Scott D.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Adult and Continuing
Education, Vocational
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to explore differences in how managers and training professionals made causal judgements and to compare the processes they used against the processes described in causal attribution theory. Designed to collect information from within the business context, the interview questions were focused on actual events which the participants had experienced in the performance of their business responsibilities.
Eighteen purposefully selected, experienced business professionals participated in the semistructured interviews. A coding scheme derived from factors identified in causal attribution theory, an inductive analysis, and a search for signal words which indicated the presence of causal relationships in the text were used to analyze the data.
Several themes emerged: (a) complete information needed to make systematic causal judgements was rarely available; (b) both managers and training professionals relied on causal schemata developed through knowledge and experience; (c) when participants encountered data that were inconsistent with their hypothesis, they considered both correlation and alternative hypotheses as they compared the strength of the original hypothesis against the alternative hypotheses to make a causal judgement.
Training professionals differed from managers in that they referred to use of data from surveys, focus groups, and course evaluation instruments, and to information collected through conversation with other training professionals, as sources of information when making causal judgements; managers did not. Training professionals reported training as a cause of the positive results they observed; managers generally did not. Training professionals were aware of processes, but often had incomplete knowledge of results, while managers had direct knowledge of results in their own departments, but incomplete knowledge of what results had been achieved in other parts of their organization.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Brown, Danny Carol
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9512308
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9512308

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