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The research paper investigated the Pakistani Workplace Learning and Performance (WLP) practitioners’ perceptions of the evolving importance of delivering training in the workplace. By focusing on themes and the contents of designing, delivering and improving training, this research illuminated gaps in current knowledge and need for future improvements with respect to occupational expertise. Looking at the context of the growing formal workforce in Pakistan offers insights into the demographic and technological shifts occurring in the economies of the developing world. Forty WLP practitioners volunteered to respond to a paper-pencil based survey using convenience and snow-balling sampling approaches. This study employed inferential statistics to identify the differences in perceptions of practitioners regarding the current and future importance of selected delivering training competencies. The results of this study suggested that degree of engagement in knowledge and actions areas in delivering training would be sufficient for predicting the development of a skillful workforce. Very little empirical research had been done to connect delivering training in knowledge and actions areas. Despite possible sampling bias, this research bridged the information gap by examining the relationship between perceptions of Pakistani practitioners regarding the current and future importance of delivering training competency.
Perceptions of Delivering Training Competency among Pakistani
Naseem Saeed Sherwani, Ph.D.
Edgar Yoder,Ph.D.
William J. Rothwell,
The Pennsylvania State University,
University Park, PA, USA
The research paper investigated the Pakistani Workplace Learning and Performance
(WLP) practitioners’ perceptions of the evolving importance of delivering training in the
workplace. By focusing on themes and the contents of designing, delivering and
improving training, this research illuminated gaps in current knowledge and need for
future improvements with respect to occupational expertise. Looking at the context of the
growing formal workforce in Pakistan offers insights into the demographic and
technological shifts occurring in the economies of the developing world. Forty WLP
practitioners volunteered to respond to a paper-pencil based survey using convenience
and snow-balling sampling approaches. This study employed inferential statistics to
identify the differences in perceptions of practitioners regarding the current and future
importance of selected delivering training competencies. The results of this study
suggested that degree of engagement in knowledge and actions areas in delivering
training would be sufficient for predicting the development of a skillful workforce. Very
little empirical research had been done to connect delivering training in knowledge and
actions areas. Despite possible sampling bias, this research bridged the information gap
by examining the relationship between perceptions of Pakistani practitioners regarding
the current and future importance of delivering training competency.
Keywords- Delivering Training, Workplace Learning, Performance, Technology,
Knowledge, Actions, competencies
Paper type: Research paper
Delivering training is one of the most pronounced areas of interest in Workplace
Learning and Performance (Bernthal, Colteryahn, Davis, Naughton, Rothwell and
Wellins, 2004). Delivering training has the overarching goals of upgrading and retaining
the existing global workforce. Especially in developing countries problems such as
outdated skills have made majority of the workforce more vulnerable to economic
challenges (International Labour Organization, 2003). Improving methods for delivering
training may equip individuals with the skills that are in demand so that people have
greater access to job opportunities. Normally, in the field of workplace learning and
performance, delivering training has been considered a simple task of delivering
instructions. Looking at the other disciplines of Adult Learning, Instructional Methods, and
Performance Systems, though, gives delivering training a new dimension of complexity.
These knowledge areas have largely been neglected by the practitioners in workplaces
outside the economies of developed nations. In particular, Pakistani managers, trainers,
and executives have indicated that the most important skills to gain relate to delivering
training (Labor and Manpower Division, 1998; 2008).
Although India has made impressive inroads into the global economy, its neighbor
to the northeast, Pakistan, has occupied a more tenuous position in the world. Pakistan
is a highly populated country of 155.8 million and ranks 139th out of 179 countries of the
world on the Index of Human Resource Development (HDI) by the United Nations (UNDP,
2008). The Human Development Index looks beyond gross domestic product to a broader
range of well-being. However, economic development is necessary to address the
pressing political and social concerns that have tarnished Pakistan’s image on the world
stage. In order to improve the standard of living in Pakistan, the workforce must be
developed for the jobs that are in demand.
The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) has developed a
competency model (Bernthal, et al 2004) that conveys important knowledge areas for
delivering training. According to ASTD, delivering training is not just delivering
instructions, but also encompasses a wide variety of knowledge areas (e.g., adult learning
theories, instructional design theory and methods, delivery options such as online
learning, classroom training and print media, learning technologies and support systems).
Further, delivering training requires several key action areas to communicate effectively,
(e.g., preparation for training delivery, alignments of learning solutions with course
objectives and learner needs, conveying objectives, and facilitating learning). The
expertise of delivering training needs to be generalized to the contexts outside of the
United States of America and the developed world.
Today, organizations are continuously facing changing business environments,
increasing global competition, and rapid advances in technology. All of those factors
impact Pakistan’s economy which requires building a flexible and highly skilled workforce
(Long and Smith, 2004). Thus, organizations that provide training and development
opportunities to their employees are better able to develop employees’ know-how into a
strategic asset.
Training delivering is different than common teaching principles because it is
geared towards adult learning environments (Noe, 2002), instructional designs and
various instructional methods (Cantor, 2002). Adult learning theories play a key role in
delivering training instructions. Cercone (2008) cites in her research a leading scholar,
Malcome Knowles (1970), who suggested that activities conducted prior to and during the
first session could "greatly affect it" (p. 270). These activities include promotional
materials and announcements, activities designed to assess learner needs prior to the
event, physical arrangements, and the opening session, including greeting, learning
activity overview, introductions, and treatment by the instructor. More recently, adult
educators are recognizing that these factors in the learning environment relate to
psychological, social and cultural conditions and exert a powerful influence on the growth
and development of learners (Hiemstra, 1991).
Due to globally expanding, knowledge-driven economies, diverse skills, such as
the ability to train new or existing employees (Sloman, 2007) have become more crucial.
A need exists to think deeply about the current training practices and training career
anchors. A 2004 research study interviewed 540 managers, and a questionnaire
measured the relative importance of individual career anchors. The study found that
younger managers were more oriented towards their own skills and what they could
contribute, while older managers were more inclined to be aware of the limitations of their
roles in the organization. The study stressed that the difference between the younger and
older managers’ perceptions of their careers is something which the trainer needs to
consider. Also significant to the trainer was how similar male and female managers were
in their perceptions of their career anchors (Kniveton, 2004).
Technology is ubiquitous in the field of workplace learning in the context of
delivering training and learning it cannot be ignored. Learners are exposed to the superior
quality products of advance technologies such as ipods, web-based applications, and
social networking tools in other fields around them. Therefore, current training delivery
practices demands relevance with today's multidimensional digital age. Although scholars
have investigated training studies, mostly in the health, business and manufacturing
sectors, they do not address delivering training as a subset of workplace initiatives.
Current research will highlight a specific area of expertise for WLP practitioners as
specified by the ASTD. This approach will bridge the knowledge gap of the importance
of practitioners’ perceptions about various aspects of delivering training. The background
research will help to determine that the theoretical framework of delivering training
developed for the USA can also be applied to a developing economy.
Like other countries around the world, Pakistan is, on the one hand, experiencing
extremely high unemployment, elevated costs of living, and high debt. On the other hand,
as a developing country, Pakistan faces additional challenges. Whereas- countries such
those in Europe and the US are experiencing an influx of immigrants seeking job
opportunities (however scarce), in Pakistan_ the reverse is true. The mounting emigration
of highly skilled individuals is creating skill shortages. Lack of sophisticated workplace
training is contributing to slow economic development of the country inhibits the corporate
decision makers in utilization of resources. This phenomenon indicates the importance of
delivering training to overcome the skill shortages and to enhance the retention of
workers. Insufficient research has focused on delivering training in Pakistan and other
developing countries. The current research filled the gap in understanding the perceptions
of Pakistani practitioners in terms of their current and predicted future preparedness for
performing their jobs.
Literature Review
Delivering training can occur in several ways. Three of the most influential and widely
applied forms (Wyrick, 2001) are: Instructor-led training, technology assisted training, and
blended learning. Each has benefits and drawbacks. The first and most traditional form
of training has the benefit of not requiring much technology but it has a hidden cost of lost
productive man-hours. On the contrary, technology-assisted training helps to preserve
employee productivity but requires Information Technology (IT) and technical know-how.
The blended learning approach “utilizes e- learning and instructor-led training to address
the diverse learning needs of all its trainees on a 24/7 basis” (Kapp and McKeague, 2002,
p. 10). The following sections examine several studies in order to evaluate the attributes
of several methods of delivering training. Ultimately, the examination discusses some of
their shared characteristics in order to illuminate the complexity of delivering training,
particularly in the context of the Pakistani workplace.
Effective training delivery leads to employee job satisfaction, motivation and
commitment. A research study examined the responses of 134 employees and lower
managers of five large Greek organizations after they completed a training program. The
questions asked contained information about employee attitudes towards the training
received, as well as their attitudes towards their employers. Results indicated a significant
correlation between the employees’ perceived training effectiveness and their
commitment, job satisfaction, and motivation (Sahinidis and Bouris, 2008). However, the
study examined employee feelings, and it did not take into account their demographic
characteristics, which may be important. Findings of this study for managers and
especially for professionals are quite significant, given their roles in funding, designing
and delivering training interventions. Apparently, training appear to be important to
offering training programs to employees, but also the training program content must be
perceived as effective and of value to those participating in it. Moreover, the study
examined employee attitudes, which appear to be related to a greater or a lesser extent
to organizational performance outcomes including, productivity, turnover, and
Organizations undertake learning and development interventions to improve
employees’ performance. Delivering training is one of the most important interventions.
The demand for professionals in learning and development, especially from smaller
financial services, has increased due to downward twisting in the job market.
Recruitment specialists want to recruit dedicated training professionals to develop their
managers. Companies seek learning and development professionals who offer
experience in delivering training in areas such as presentation skills, people
management and recruitment and selection. Training professionals are also increasingly
being expected to show added value and a strong business understanding in an
organization (Bentley, 2006).
The delivery of training has a direct impact on the quality of learning that the
employee retains. Suzy Siddons book draws attention of all kinds of trainers
So it is every trainer's responsibility is to provide appropriate training, to the right
audience, with the right tools, and in an engaging way. Drawing on a wealth of
personal experience, Suzy Siddons provides trainers with practical advice on: -
answering the fundamental questions - who, why and what am I training? -
gathering vital pre-course information sets achievable objectives, fulfill
expectations and avoid logistical glitches - establishing rapport, understanding
group dynamics and opening a course successfully - accommodating learning
preferences using a range of methods and ensuring your pace, presentation and
feedback encourage a learning climate - handling training room crises and difficult
customers (Siddons, 2003).
Moreover, delivering training is a multitasking phenomenon and trainers need to be fully
equipped with the knowledge areas and actions needed to perform those skills
Knowing more about additional skills like Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)
helps individuals and organizations, whether developing or delivering training and
learning solutions. NLP focuses on helping clients to overcome their own self-perceived
or subjective problems. It seeks to do this while respecting their own capabilities and
wisdom to choose additional goals for the intervention as they learn more about their
problems, and to modify and specify those goals further as a result of extended interaction
with a therapist However, NLP is therapeutic, and its patterns have also been adapted for
use outside of psychotherapy including business communication, management training,
sales, sports and interpersonal influences As a personal effectiveness tool, learning to
change or adapt limiting beliefs helps managing time more effectively. However, NLP is
useful when it becomes part of everyday life and work -- and not just a toolkit to delve into
imparting instructions (Yemm, 2006).
In addition to the design and delivery of training instructions itself, the
implementation of training can also maximize the efficiency and productivity of
employees. Partnerships among organizations lead to better training delivery. For
example, Meridian Community College and Rush Health Systems are partners in
delivering training focused on Rush's mission statement of hospital-wide commitment to
excellence in service management. Rush and MCC have delivered customized classes
in areas such as medical billing, leadership management, computer training, admissions
administration, and system-wide customer service training (Willis, 2007).
Assessment of training approaches strengthens the program of developing a
skilled workforce. For example, the US government successfully used the Assess-Train-
Assess (ATA) approach for delivering training on the National Employer Training
Programme (NETP), which planned to reduce the number of unskilled workers by offering
free, flexible training. The effort could have been undermined by widespread use of
unsuitable delivery methods. NETP aimed to cut the number of unskilled workers by 2.4
million by 2010. An earlier IES study established that only 15% of pilot projects for the
NETP used ATA (Sheppard, 2005).
The quality in the delivery of programs by maintaining high standards is essential
by following best practices. For example, Tanzania recognizes quality assured tertiary
qualifications for training at both national and international levels. To ensure registration
processes and institutional accreditation for delivering training programmes, the National
Council for Technical Education offers awards at appropriate levels. Tanzania National
Council for Technical Education is one of the first regulatory bodies in Africa to introduce
academic quality standards in tertiary technical institutions. The experience of setting
standards and accreditation for delivering training in Tanzania is an example for other
countries interested in similar initiatives for professional development. Accreditation and
standards instill best practices in education and training to achieve expected results over
a period of time. Finally, all key stakeholders make a joint effort to ensure quality in
(Manyaga, 2008).
New developments in employee training with the latest technologies are beneficial
to the learning organization. For example, by aligning training strategies with corporate
goals, continuous learning, training of manufacturer-user, and designing and delivering
training are more cost effective. The American Transtech aligns its training with corporate
goals. The company trains its managers to hire their own personnel and encourages
teamwork participation in its 2-day orientation where company policies and procedures
are outlined. S. B. Thomas Inc. adopted 2 types of training in its continuous learning plan
- social and technical task training. Its commitment to in-house training and motivation of
all employees has proven effective. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. initiated a
manufacturer-user program with its suppliers. It requires its suppliers to enter into a
training agreement when awarding an equipment bid. C&P Telephone Co. implemented
accelerated learning and found its costs of one course reduced by 42% (Derouen and
Kleiner, 1994).
Delivering training works well to improve knowledge and skills in an environment
that is conducive for learning such as social networking. For example, the Staff
Development Unit of the University of Birmingham within Birmingham Heartlands Hospital
delivered a training course on effective teaching skills. Initially, the course structure
allowed many doctors as possible who had an interest in medical teaching could attend
and become part of a network sharing. An initial introductory half-day was followed by 13
monthly one-hour lunchtime sessions. Fifty-six doctors attended at least one session and
formed a mailing list to receive relevant documents. Of those returning feedback forms,
all found the sessions enjoyable and felt they had gained knowledge. The majority felt
they had gained in skills and many commented on the value of being able to discuss
medical teaching issues with colleagues and the tutors. The network of colleagues
continues to meet and is actively involved with developments in the universities
undergraduate medical curriculum. This way of delivering training in medical teaching is
practical, successful, and contributes to improving a hospital's learning environment
(Rawer, Morton, McCulloch, Heyes, and Ryan, 1997).
Managing the learning environment plays a crucial role in delivering training by
creating outreach learners. For example, John Matchett Ltd. conducts short training
sessions in London sushi bars to change the way executives work and to boost their
potential. Sushi-bar learning, from John Matchett Ltd, targets people who do not have
time to attend traditional training courses, yet have to develop in order to achieve their
goals. Similar sessions are a way of delivering training to people who would not normally
receive training. Short learning sessions are often run in the evening, and sometimes they
are held during weekends to avoid interrupting the busy patterns of the work day
(Anonymous, 2003).
Today, knowledge about learning management systems plays a supportive role
for large audiences at diverse locations. For example, Marshall, and Swift/Boeckh, a US-
based global player in the insurance world, is using a new learning-management system
(LMS) to bring training to insurance agents, underwriters, claims adjusters and
contractors across the US. Using Pathlore's LMS, the company delivers training via the
Internet to its stakeholders in the insurance industry (Anonymous, 2003).
One alternative is electronic performance support systems (EPSS). Nguyen and
Klein (2008) examined the effect of EPSS and training on user performance, time-on-
task, and time-in-training. They found that participants receiving only EPSS and those
receiving training and EPSS performed significantly better on a tax preparation procedure
than participants who received only training. Training-only users also spent significantly
more time completing the procedural task than their counterparts in other treatment
groups, leading to a negative correlation between time-on-task and performance. The
findings indicate that design, development and delivery of training and performance
support have important implications for performance improvement of employees.
Interestingly, creating a successful learning environment is crucial for motivating
learners, especially in an on-line situation. A research study focusing on the experiences
of adult learners in a self-directed e-learning environment indicated the challenges they
faced during their learning process. The twelve adult learners took self-directed e-learning
courses in either academic (e.g., universities) or workplace settings. Results showed that
learners found courses with a low degree of interactivity and lacking in application and
integration of content to be motivationally challenging. In contrast, courses that provided
learners with authentic and interactive learning activities, such as animations and
simulations, a positive learning climate, and control over the pace and sequence of
instruction proved to be motivating for the learner. Therefore, delivering training should
create motivational design for self-directed e-learners (Kim, 2009).
Estimates suggest that over $51 billion is spent on formal training each year in the
US (Nguyen, 2007). However, delivering training is not only costly but also requires a
significant time away from actual responsibilities. Therefore, organizations have reduced
their costs by adopting alternative training strategies. Kay Baldwin-Evans (2004)
explained the factors responsible for a shift from classroom training to e-learning in
restrictive economic climates, such necessities as reduced staffing means less time and
resources available for employees to attend workplace classroom training. Tighter
training budgets are expected to train more employees with fewer resources.
In this situation, e-learning proves to be an accepted method of delivering training
to increase skills and knowledge of diverse and geographically dispersed employees. E-
learning delivers a significant return on investment through effectiveness and monetary
terms. For the most part, organizations have seamlessly integrated e-learning into their
training strategies along with all the other methods of delivering training. Even
organizations that waited until e-learning was proven effective are now enjoying the many
benefits that e-learning brings. However, SkillSoft conducted a qualitative investigation
into the attitudes and views of the users by interviewing over 200 employees, across a
range of organizations, in over 14 countries. Findings indicated that 93 percent of
respondents enjoyed e-learning, 87 percent said that they put into practice skills and
knowledge they gained, and almost 100 percent said that they would recommend e-
learning to a friend or colleague. The large number of employees are learning in this way
proves that e-learning as a delivering training method is here a permanent fixture
(Baldwin-Evans, 2004). Research, undertaken by Taylor Nelson Sofres, a leading market
research company on behalf of SkillSoft International, indicated that companies embrace
e-learning as a method of delivering training in critical management, business and
professional skills (Anonymous, 2001). So e-learning as a method of delivering training
has also gained significance for the organizations to seek learning and performance
At the beginning of 2000, e-learning seemed poised to displace traditional training
programs. Even though e-learning - delivering training over the Internet or corporate
intranet - offered such great promise; however, many banks have not integrated e-
learning into their training strategies due to the difficulties with the technology sector.
Resultantly, banks tended to evaluate technologies and vendors more carefully than ever
before in order to avoid the challenges associated with the applications and tools of e-
learning. In addition, broader economic downturn during the same period has caused
banks to scrutinize all non-interest expense items more vigilantly, especially those
requiring an up-front investment, such as e-learning (Carlivati, 2002).
Many companies view their training budgets strictly as a cost center which is
susceptible to cuts when the business needs to reign in expenses. Eugene Deeny’s
research (2003) explores the benefits of training investments with a particular focus upon
measuring the value of delivering training via an enterprise e-learning initiative. In addition
to the many hard/measurable returns, the study explores the greater "benefit halo" of an
e-learning initiative and offers a number of formulas for calculating the ROI and justifying
the cost to senior managers. The study concludes with a case study detailing the
experiences of Rockwell Automation when the company implemented an enterprise e-
learning initiative to deliver much of its training to both employees and customers (Deeny,
Currently, companies increasing demand for "just-in-time”, "just-for-me” training
has exalted to meet the need for cost-effective and performance-focused
competitiveness. In order to meet changing company objectives, technological
communication is more supportive for delivering training. In addition, harnessing in-house
e-mail facilities creates better individual responsibility and empowerment for learning,
particularly in cultures of distance learning. Therefore, e-mail training acts as a catalyst
for successful change-making by providing training with a minimum of delay and
maximum of personal tailoring, while also helping to transcend the cultural divides
between East and West (Gilleard, 1996).
Advances in computer technology facilitate innovative methods for delivering
training in organizations. For example, the internet enables the delivery of computer-
based training across time and distance. This medium, known as Web-based distance
learning (WBDL), provides opportunities to develop human resources to support creating
a competitive advantage for an organization. Principles of WBDL design measure the
effectiveness of training delivered and build the relationship between WBDL and human
resource development planning in organizations (Long and Smith, 2004).
Delivering training is performed in a combination of different methodologies such
as web-based, classroom instructions, and on-the job training. Blended training
methodologies have become the norm in large enterprises as a method of delivering
training to large, diverse employees as well as have made the job description of
instructors more complicated. In an interview, Keith Phillips, learning and development
consultant talked about his training life in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He shared
the nature of his job tasks involved in delivering training. He works in a true blended
learning environment so he does everything in a trainer's job description: training needs
analyses, workshop development, creating e-learning courses, delivering training, and
coaching and consulting (Anonymous, Personal communication, March 2006).
Blended training delivery methodologies empowers individual to achieve
understanding of a given topic, become self-sufficient, improve job performance, and
drive results that support business objectives. Knowledge of various training
methodologies expands the traditional role of training by providing a robust set of tools
that allow employees to obtain the information and instruction they independently and
uniquely need, all within the daily flow of work. A blend of traditional and synchronous
and asynchronous tools have given a new dimension to delivering training (Baldwin-
Evans, 2004). Again, learners can personalize their training interests and needs, as well
as how content is delivered. Personalization of learning leads to customize the relevant
training contents for a better learning retention (Hartley and West, 2007).
Key knowledge areas, like adult learning, instructional design, and technology,
from around the globe, have affected the work environment in Pakistan. Generally,
technology is not embedded in the training delivery process to capitalize the role of
learning and performance at workplace. Trainers must upgrade new knowledge areas
comprising of changing skills and behaviors (Bartell, 2001). In a new knowledge- based
economy, trainers’ roles become more challenging when developing more practices that
ensure knowledge transfer and sharing between organization members. The literature
suggests that diffusion of technology does not minimize trainer’s roles rather it enlarges
them (Bartell, 2001).
[H]e/she becomes a knowledge resource, facilitator, liaison, conduit consultant
and architect for the learning experience. In other words, a [SIC] trainer’s
expanded role is to maximize total learning in the organization (p. 358).
Research indicates factors responsible for the slow learning process are
incompetence of instructors, traditional curriculum, low exposure to computers, and lack
of facilities at the workplace (Haider, 1998). In the 1990’s, the Netherlands Library
Development Project in Pakistan funded the technology related courses for the librarians
in cataloguing, classification and the use of computers (Mahmood, 1997).
Currently several issues are inhibiting Pakistani practitioners competing with the
global market. First, the workplace learning and performance disciplines are not taught
as a part of degree programs at Masters, M. Phil or PhD. levels at higher academic
institutions. A very few courses are taught as a part of Masters of Business Administration
programs. Second, technology is not embedded in delivering instruction. Due to the
advent of technology, textbooks are quickly outdated and the technology that is on the
cutting edge for practitioners and learners using the internet need to be updated
continually. Third, designing relevant curricula or content development is an important
element in delivering training (Siddons, 2003). Government sources reported “Curricula
tool [is], mostly non-relevant in the present day requirements” (Economic Advisor’s Wing,
2000-01, p. 149).
In addition, official sources indicated that the education and training system of
Pakistan encompasses low quality education, lack of qualified trainers, and lack of proper
physical infrastructure. A report further stated that “Teachers lack training, dedication,
motivation, and interest in their professions” (Economic Advisor’s Wing, 2000-01, p. 149).
The purpose of the current study was to discover differences of knowledge area
and actions needed for training delivery among the practitioners in Pakistan. Forty
participants were selected from Training and Development and related fields using
convenience and snowballing sampling approaches. The data collected was analyzed
using inferential statistics to establish differences between current and future perceived
effectiveness required to be successful on their jobs as compared to the standard set by
the ASTD.
This research identifies the Pakistani Human Resource Development (HRD),
Organization Development, Career Development, Training & Development (T and D), and
Human Resource Management (HRM) practitioners’ perceptions of the current levels of
importance and the future levels of importance for WLP competencies grouped within the
delivering training category.
What do Pakistani practitioners believe are the most important competencies in
delivering training in the present and near future for their work performance? This study
points a baseline for further studies of WLP competencies in Pakistan. Furthermore, this
research will add to current knowledge of delivering training particularly in the context of
a developing economy, and “enable(s) practitioners to effect positive, progressive and
enduring change in organizations” (Bernthal et al., 2004). This research justifies the
continued investigation of the importance of delivering training competency for Pakistani
Research Questions
This research seeks to answer the following research questions:
RQ1. What was the demographic profile of the respondents?
RQ2. To what extent do the perceptions of Pakistani practitioners differ on the current
and future importance regarding delivery of training (1) knowledge areas and (2) action
The target population for this study consisted of Pakistani Workplace Learning and
Performance (WLP) practitioners who were over 18 years old, had post-secondary
degrees but were not currently students. They each worked in one of the following
Workplace Learning & Performance (WLP) disciplines: Training and Development,
Organization Development, Career Development, Human Resource Management, or
Human Resource Development, and related areas such as workers’ compensation,
occupational health and safety. After recruiting the initial subjects to participate in the
research study, the researcher asked for assistance from the subjects to help identify
people with a similar Workplace Learning and Performance discipline.
The survey instrument used to measure practitioner’s importance in delivering
training has used in the ASTD 2004 Competency Model for Workplace Learning and
Performance questionnaire developed by Bernthal, et al. (2004). That questionnaire was
originally designed for WLP professionals in the United States. The instrument used a 5-
point Likert-type response scale (1=Not important to 5=Essential) to evaluate self-
reported technical competence called delivering training, which was defined by Bernthal,
et al. (2004).
Delivering learning solutions (for example, courses, guided experience)
in a manner that both engage the learner and produces desired
outcomes; managing and responding to learner needs; ensuring that the
learning solution is made available or delivered in a timely and effective manner
(p. 69).
Theoretical Framework
The Delivering Training competencies shown in The ASTD’s Delivering Training survey
are based on the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and
Instructions (IBSTPI) standards consists of two major sections: (a) Key knowledge areas
and (b) Key actions or behaviors.
(a) Key knowledge areas include 14 items (see Table 2)
(b) Key actions include 12 main items (see Table 3) had the following sub-items
Prepares for training delivery (three items)
Aligns learning solutions with course objectives and learner needs (three
Conveys objectives (two items)
Delivers various learning methodologies (two items)
Facilitates learning (seven items)
Encourages participation & builds learner motivation (six items)
Establishes credibility as instructor (three items)
Manages the learning environment (six items)
Delivers constructive feedback (five items)
Creates a positive learning climate (four items)
Ensures learning outcomes (four items)
Evaluates solutions (two items)
Competencies are defined per the 2004 ASTD competency study “Competencies are
clusters of skills, knowledge, abilities and behaviors required for job success” (p. 51). This
definition will be used to assess the self-perceived importance on levels of competency
(Ogbeide, 2006; Drummond, 2005).
Data Collection
Dillman’s (2007) and Borg and Gall’s (1996) survey research methodologies were
guidelines for the data collection process. The original questionnaire and the mailing list
were sent, via email, to a colleague in Pakistan for administration of the survey. He
administered these questionnaires by first class Pakistan Postal Services with a stamped,
self-addressed return envelope. The questionnaires were sent to the participants with
requests to return them, via an included self-addressed envelope within two weeks after
receiving the survey packet.
Telephone calls to request participation in this study, as well as to check on the
contact information were made to each prospective respondent before sending the
questionnaire. In total 120 respondents were contacted by phone, mail and e-mails.
During these correspondences, the purpose of the study, requests for cooperation, and
identification of the researcher were shared with the prospective respondents. A
questionnaire was sent only to those who agreed to participate in this study.
In this study the random sampling technique was infeasible due to lack of financial
support and time constraints, which become problematic due to the study’s focus on
Pakistan and its developing economy (For similar justification see Norman and Streiner,
2008). Therefore, the criterion sampling technique (Patton, 2002) was applied in order to
identify qualified, potential participants. These participant-practitioners were first
contacted by Skype phone to acquire their willingness to participate. They then received
a questionnaire delivered by a colleague currently living in Pakistan. Furthermore,
criterion sampling and snowballing, or chain sampling, were employed. The snowballing
technique requested willing participants to provide additional contacts who would also
become potential participants (Patton, 2002). The initial telephone contacts included a
request for names and telephone numbers of other practitioners who met the criteria.
These networked, potential participants were contacted by phone and surveys were
mailed to them by a research colleague in Pakistan.
Research Design
The research design of this non-experimental, quantitative study is descriptive and
correlational in nature (Black, 1999). This study seeks to examine the Pakistani
practitioners’ perceptions regarding the current and future importance of competencies
with regard to delivering training. Correlational research investigates the relationships
between two or more variables (Kerlinger and Lee, 2000; Graziano and Raulin, 2000).
However, this type of research typically does not establish causal relationships (Cohen,
Cohen, West and Aiken, 2003). Using this methodology brings statistical reliability and
validity to the practitioner’s assertions of the importance of knowledge areas and skills
pertaining to delivering training. In other words, this correlational analysis seeks to
examine whether or not a majority of the practitioners surveyed believe that delivering
training occupies a fundamental place in building the future of Pakistan’s workforce
development. Accordingly, this research does not need to establish a causal kind of
relationship between the current importance and future importance of such competencies.
Rather, comparing perceptions of the current with those of the future shows the statistical
probability that these skills are perceived essential in the next five years. Examining
perceptions of the current and future importance of delivering training recognizes the
importance of knowledge areas and actions that need to be taken to improve training
Justification for Inferential statistics
Nonparametric test for two related samples was used to test for differences between
paired scores because of limitations to make the assumptions required by the paired-
samples t test. Procedures were used for testing ordinal variables. The Wilcoxon signed-
ranks method test was used to compare paired medians from the same sample.
Data Analysis
The data were analyzed using SPSS 18.0 for Windows. Descriptive statistics and the
Wilcoxon matched pairs signed rank test were used in the analysis (Huck, 2008, pp. 488-
Profile of the Respondents
Participants were predominantly male (62.5%) and most participants held a
masters degree (69.2%). At the time of the survey, 12 (30.0 percent) had more than 15
years of Learning and Performance (L& P) experience, 11 (27.5 percent) had 3-5 years
of L& P experience, six (15.0 percent) had 11-15 years of L& P experience, five (12.5
percent) had less than 1 year of L& P experience, four (10.0 percent) had 1-2 years of L&
P experience, and two (5.0 percent) had 6-10 years of L& P experience. The average age
was 36.6 years (SD=10.7 years). According to respondents’ job titles, eight (20.0 percent)
identified themselves as supervisors, seven (17.5 percent) were managers, six (15.0
percent) were executives, five (12.5 percent) were university professors, college
instructors, or entry level professionals, while three (7.5 percent) identified themselves as
directors, private consultants and team leaders.
The type of industries in which the participants worked included business schools
and company management training, broadcasting and communication, finance and
insurance, health care and social services, information and other services, management
consulting services (including HR consulting), education, publication (including
government), real estate and rental and leasing, software publishing and retail trade.
Information in Table 1 describes the participants in greater detail.
[Insert Table 1 here]
Differences in Perceived Current and Future Importance of Knowledge Areas
Respondents’ perceptions regarding current and future importance of knowledge
areas are summarized in Table 2. Generally across the 14 specific knowledge areas
respondents perceive a current moderate level of importance. The median value for the
14 specific knowledge areas ranged from a low median value of 2.50 (instructional design
theory and methods) to a high median of 3.00 for the remaining knowledge areas.
Future perceived level of importance for the 14 specific knowledge areas reflected
an increase in each of the median values when compared to median values for current
perceived level of importance. This increase was statistically significant (p ≤ .05) for all
14 knowledge areas as reflected in the alpha level of the Wilcoxon matched pairs signed
rank test.
Respondents perceive a high level of importance for 13 of the 14 knowledge areas
as reflected in the median values consistently being about 4. The one exception is for
the cultural differences in learning styles knowledge area where the median is 3.5. The
quartile information for the future perceived importance of the cultural differences in
learning styles knowledge area reflects a fair amount of variability (Q1 = 2.25 and Q3 =
[Insert Table 2 here]
Differences in Perceived Current and Future Importance of Action Items
Results summarized in Table 3 reveal statistically significant differences (p ≤ .05)
in the ratings of current and future perceived importance for 11 of the 12 training and
delivery action items. For all 11 action items where a significant difference existed the
median value for future ratings of importance was higher than the median values for
current ratings of importance. Manage the learning environment was the one training and
delivery action item where there was no significant increase (p = .266) in the rating from
current importance (median = 3.33) to future importance (median = 3.50).
The current perceived level of importance for the 12 training and delivery action
items ranged from a low median value of 3.0 to a high of 3.5. This reflects a moderate
level of importance. The future perceived level of importance ranged from a low median
value of 3.5 to a high median value of 4.0 indicating a tendency toward a perceived high
level of future importance.
[Insert Table 3 here]
Current research predicts that technology will be very important in delivering
training instructions to make an efficient and productive workforce in the next five years.
Knowledge areas like adult learning, instructional design and electronic performance
systems are not recognized in Pakistan. Pakistani practitioners have identified strong
perceptions about the knowledge areas identified by the ASTD for delivering training or
instructions in their future jobs. The current research indicates that Pakistani practitioners
need to embrace the knowledge areas identified by the ASTD for meeting client needs
and delivering solutions.
All the values of the items, except “Manages the learning environment” of the delivering
training survey indicate a reliability coefficient greater than 0.5 or higher. The scores from
the items on the instrument are internally consistent (Table 2).
Conclusions and implications
Interestingly, all of the items for future importance are rated higher than those for
current importance. In general, most of the items for current importance average around
3.0. Although the survey of delivering training was developed for the international
practitioners, the findings indicate the survey was applicable for Pakistani practitioners.
The Pakistani participants who reported current and future importance were equivalent
with respect to generalization of delivering training expertise. For some items, they
reported a highly significant mean gains determining future importance as compared to
those in the current. Therefore, the conclusion is that in the future that the perceptions
most of the action areas will be more important than is perceived currently. The findings
are consistent with several previous studies that linked delivering training intervention
with improved learning practices in a variety of fields (Long and Smith, 2004; Hartley and
West, 2007; Gilleard, 1996; Anonymous, 2001, 2003a, & 2003b; Kim, 2009; Baldwin-
Evans, 2004; Rawer et el., 1997).
The results of this study have practical implications for Pakistani instructors,
academia, and researchers for delivering training instructions by providing information on
the importance of existing and future workforce requirements. A well designed, and
standardized training program will prepare the Pakistani workforce to embrace new roles,
changing tasks, and emerging technological trends. Delivery of training within important
knowledge areas will enhance the capacity to efficiently transfer the skills on the job.
However, current research strongly supports that a series of structured training programs
in different delivery formats, for instance, technology-embedded programs will improve
employees’ capabilities to understand automation or workflow processes in the
workplace. Research explains several benefits for individuals and organizations. For
example learners used their computing skills in writing books, articles, delivering lectures,
and providing consultancy services (Sharif and Mahmood, 2001).
Interestingly, Pakistan spends 3.39 percent as a percentage of annual
development programs on education and training. This percentage is very low even
among the developing countries. Following the best practices organizations incorporating
technology in the delivery training may reduce the costs per course by 42% (Derouen and
Kleiner, 1994). Though the diffusion of technology is a slow process, it improves the
learning environment (Rawer, Morton, McCulloch, Heyes, and Ryan, 1997), manages to
reach the learners (Anonymous, 2003), and manages time more effectively (Yemm,
2006). Pakistani practitioners’ perceptions of various actions for delivering training can
add value to businesses (Bentley, 2006), profitability in the private sector, service-delivery
in the public sector and the achievement of shared objectives in the voluntary sector
(Sloman, 2007).
Teaching of the WLP discipline can prepare potential Pakistani practitioners to
deliver training using a variety of formats such as classroom, or technology assisted
instruction. The mix of these formats encompasses several benefits, like self-sufficiency
for obtaining information and instruction for employees at the workplace (Baldwin-Evans,
2006). In addition, Pakistani employees can personalize their training needs for better
and relevant learning retention (Hartley and West, 2007). As a result, effective training
delivery will lead to employee job satisfaction, motivation and commitment on the one
hand, and organizational outcomes including, increased productivity, reduced turnover
and absenteeism on the other hand (Sahinidis and Bouris, 2008).
Furthermore, professional development activities like train-the-trainers programs
for instructors, especially those who are new entrants in the WLP field, are highly
recommended. The results of this study are useful in designing learning objectives,
developing learning environment, and providing feedback to learners. In addition,
academia needs to formulate the guidelines for developing curricula to prepare the
potential workforce. Finally, researchers will gain insight into the current and future
directions of competencies in Pakistan. Consequently, a dedicated, motivated, and
engaged workforce equipped with 21st century skills will play a vital role to fill the gap
between haves and have notes.
Delivering training for preparing learners to be successful in their workplaces has been
identified as important areas of expertise of the workplace training practitioners. In fact,
improving competency of trainers will potentially change behaviors of employees and
application of knowledge areas will bring more awareness in terms of decent work for all
(Labor and Manpower Division, 2008) in the world of work. Based on the findings, the
following recommendations for Pakistan’s future research and policy are offered:
Awareness of important knowledge areas that include adult learning and
instructional design theory, methods and principles should be integrated into
delivering training instruction by the instructors or trainers at the Pakistani
This study is based on a limited number of Pakistani workplace practitioners. To
enhance generalizability and practical significance, future research is needed to
examine the effects of delivering training in broader curricula, and a greater
number of industrial and vocational training areas and WLP disciplines.
Research based on each of the subscale items can guide curriculum development,
instructional planning, and evaluation activities in delivering training programs at
the Pakistani workplace.
In summary, additional qualitative and quantitative studies are needed to examine the
effects of delivering training on transfer of skills on the job. Further studies could provide
a baseline to develop training instructions to improve employees’ 21st century skills.
Delivering training has the potential to unleash the employees’ competencies to overcome
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Table 1. Profile of the Respondents
Gender (n=40)
Highest Education Level (n=40)
Less than Bachelor Degree
Bachelor Degree
Master Degree
Post Master Degree
Total years of Learning and Performance
Experience (n=40)
Less than 1 year
1 2 years
3 - 5 years
6 10 years
11 15 years
More than 15 years
Current Level in Organization (n=40)
Team Leader
University Faculty
Private Consultant
Entry Level Professional
Type of Industry/Business (n=39)
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing or Hunting
Finance & Insurance
Information Services & Communications
Business Schools & Management Training
Software Development
Health Care & Social Services
Retail Trade
Real Estate rental & leasing
Other (private consulting, government
Table 2. Summary Descriptive Statistics and Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test Results for
Knowledge Areas Current Perceived and Future Perceived Importance (n = 40)
Training Delivery Action Item
Median1 (1st Q /3rd
Future Importance
Median1 (1st Q / 3rd
Rank Test
p value
Key knowledge areas
3.27 (2.83 / 3.67)
4.23 (3.69 / 4.85)
Adult learning theories and
3.00 (3.00 / 3.00)
4.00 (3.00 / 5.00)
Instructional design theory &
2.50 (2.00 / 3.75)
4.00 (3.00 / 5.00)
Various instructional
methods (lectures,
discussions, exercises)
3.00 (2.00 / 3.75)
4.00 (3.00 / 5.00)
Various delivery
3.00 (3.00 / 4.00)
4.00 (3.00 / 5.00)
Existing learning
technologies and support
3.00 (3.00 / 4.00)
4.00 (3.00 / 5.00)
Emerging technologies and
support systems
3.00 (2.00 / 4.00)
4.00 (3.00 / 5.00)
Presentation techniques and
3.00 (3.00 / 4.00)
4.00 (4.00 / 5.00)
Organizational work
environment and systems
3.00 (2.25 / 4.00)
4.00 (3.00 / 5.00)
Individual learning styles e.g.
audio, visual
3.00 (2.00 / 4.00)
4.00 (3.00 / 5.00)
Cultural differences in
learning styles
3.00 (2.00 / 3.00)
3.50 (2.25 / 4.00)
Own personal learning
3.00 (3.00 / 4.00)
4.00 (3.00 / 4.00)
Tools for determining
learning preferences
3.00 (3.00 / 4.00)
4.00 (3.00 . 5.00)
Familiarity with content
being taught
3.00 (3.00 / 4.00)
4.00 (4.00 / 5.00)
Legal and ethical issues
relevant for delivering
3.00 (2.00 / 4.00)
4.00 (3.00 / 5.00)
Note: 1. Response scale was 1=Not Important; 2= Slightly important; 3=Moderately
4=Highly important; and 5 = Essential.
2. Q refers to quartile.
Table 3. Summary Descriptive Statistics and Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test Results for
Action Items Current Perceived and Future Perceived Importance (n = 40)
Training Delivery Action Item
Median1 (1st Q /3rd
Future Importance
Median1 (1st Q / 3rd
Rank Test
p value
Prepares for training delivery
3.50 (2.00 / 4.00)
3.83 (3.33 / 4.33)
Aligns learning solutions with
course objectives and
learner needs
3.00 (2.00 / 3.67)
4.00 (3.67 / 4.33)
Conveys objectives
3.50 (2.50 / 4.00)
4.00 (3.50 / 4.38)
Delivers using various
learning methodologies
3.50 (2.13 / 3.50)
4.00 (3.50 / 4.38)
Facilitates learning
3.00 (2.75 / 4.00)
3.83 (3.50 / 4.33)
Encourages participation
and builds learner motivation
3.25 (2.67 / 3.67)
3.83 (3.33 / 4.33)
Establishes credibility as
3.50 (3.00 / 4.00)
4.00 (3.33 / 4.67)
Manages the learning
3.33 (3.00 / 4.00)
3.50 (3.17 / 4.00)
Delivers constructive
3.40 (2.65 / 3.75)
3.83 (3.33 / 4.33)
Creates a positive learning
3.50 (2.81 / 4.00)
4.00 (3.31 / 4.25)
Ensures learning outcomes
3.00 (2.31 / 3.44)
3.75 (3.25 / 4.25)
Evaluates solutions
3.00 (2.50 / 3.50)
4.00 (3.50 / 4.50)
Note: 1. Response scale was 1= Not Important; 2= Slightly important; 3= Moderately
4= Highly important; and 5 = Essential.
2. Q refers to quartile.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Unplanned expansion of library education facilities has affected the quality of library manpower. Various constraints encountered by library schools in their effort to improve the situation are discussed and suggestions are offered. Bright students are not attracted to library schools because of low status according to librarians in the society. Traditional courses dominate the curriculum, with very little emphasis on computer and media courses. The existing faculty lacks competence for the teaching of courses relating to information technology. The teaching methodology is primarily characterized by traditional class-room lecture, supported by practical work. The existing facilities for conducting practicals are not satisfactory with few bibliographical and reference tools available together with a lack of equipment. The most recently published books are seldom available, while there is an absence of periodical literature. Continuing education is confined to the organization of courses in computer applications by the Pakistan Library Association and its branches. The distance education programme needs improvement in order to avoid further criticism. Both M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes are still in their initial phases and are under scrutiny constantly by academics.
Learner motivation is a key to effective instruction and is critical to creating a successful online learning environment; yet, there is a paucity of theory and empirical research on how to create a motivating online learning environment.The purpose of the present study was to explore and describe the experiences of adult learners in a self-directed e-learning environment, thereby helping us understand the motivational challenges that they face during their learning process. To this end, twelve adult learners who had taken self-directed e-learning courses in either academic (e.g., universities) or workplace settings were interviewed ontheir motivations in self-directed e-learning. Results of this qualitative interview study showed that learners found courses with a low degree of interactivity and lacking in the application and integration of content by the learner motivationally challenging. In contrast, courses that provide learners with authentic and interactive learning activities, such as animations and simulations, a positive learning climate, and the control over the pace and sequence of instruction were found motivating to the learner. It is expected that the descriptions of the motivational challenges of learners in the present study provide researchers and practitioners with an empirical basis on and insights into how to enhance the motivational design of self-directed e-learning courses.