Understanding the Process of Transfer of Training in a Military Context
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© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017. The Problem: The learning transfer literature is mainly concerned with understanding what transfer of learning is, factors affecting the transfer, and measurements of transfer factors. Researchers have identified variables likely to foster transfer such as supervisor and peer support, role ambiguity, negative change, job stress, intrinsic and extrinsic incentives, relevance of training content, goal-setting posttraining interventions, and self-efficacy, among others. Traditional learning transfer models such as Baldwin and Ford model or the Learning Transfer System Inventory (LTSI) are frequently used to measure factors affecting transfer of training and to help human resource development (HRD) practitioners move beyond the question of whether training works to why training works. Transfer models over the past 20 years have been used to assess transfer systems, including factors at the individual, group, and organization levels, that influence transfer of training to job performance. However, little space has been dedicated to the process of transfer and factors associated to transfer in a military context, and little attention has been given to understanding other factors, not included in traditional transfer models in assisting veterans’ transition from the military to civilian workforce. The Solution: This work used self-reported data from military-turned-civilian employees who were interviewed to understand the process of training transfer and to learn about the extent they were able to transfer the skills and knowledge learned in military training to their workplace. The study explored factors likely to influence training transfer from military learning cultures to civilian organizations. Results provided a better understanding on how HRD scholars and practitioners can work with, and prepare, individuals to successfully transition from a military life to the civilian workforce. A variety of individual and organizational themes emerged from the data analysis including factors such as adult learning principles, motivation to transfer, individual and organizational engagement, and roles of veterans, peers, and supervisors. The Stakeholders: Human resource and organization developers working with military contexts will find this information particularly useful as well as scholars interested in investigating the transfer of training framework.
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