Development oriented training climate in institutions of higher education.

AuthorJain, Ravindra

The present study contributes to the extant literature in 'Development Oriented Training Climate' (DOTC). The model suggests that the seven dimensions, viz., effective information flow from institution to the trainees, effective performance evaluation of the trainees by the faculty, supportive & empathetic feedback to the trainees from the faculty, effective problem-solving communication from faculty to the trainees, openness in faculty-trainees communication, practice of developmental leadership style by the faculty, and supportive relationship and collaboration in learning among trainees contribute to create such a climate. The suggested model and the measure of DOTC provide a concrete foundation for future research studies in the area of training effectiveness across a variety of contexts.


A favorable training climate in institutions not only shapes personality traits, positive attitudes and abilities related to creative intelligence of the trainees but also profoundly affects their behaviors. The following are the key characteristics of favorable institutional climates (Jain & Chatterjee, 2006):

* An open culture where effective communication in all directions is ensured.

* A live environment where open-ended activities are going-on with the active involvement of both trainees and faculty.

* An encouraging milieu in which creativity and innovativeness flourish.

* A positive atmosphere in which informal interaction, collaboration for mutual development and experimentation for learning is promoted.

* A learning climate in which opportunities for the students to have mutually satisfying interactions with the relevant experts and practicing professionals are available.

* A favorable setting where learning is reinforced by the system.

* Practice of active reception, supportive feedback and timely appreciation of favorable results.

Such a description of training climate may be labeled as 'Development Oriented Training Climate'. Jain & Chatterjee (2006) identified the seven dimensions that influence such a climate We propose here 'a Simple Framework of Development Oriented Training Climate in Academic Institutions' (fig. 1) to test and validate. We suggest that 'Development Oriented Training Climate in Academic Institutions' has positive impacts on the effectiveness of training and development. Axtell, Maitlis and Yearta (1997) observe that most of the earlier research studies on training effectiveness were limited to the study of trainee reactions and how much learning took place. Further, previous researchers (e.g., Baldwin & Ford, 1988; Clark, Dobbins & Ladd, 1993) have asserted that research on training effectiveness has been non-empirical. Only fewer studies have examined how the climate influences such training effectiveness and training transfer. Tracey, Tannenbaum and Kavanagh (1995) emphasized that despite the potential importance of the environment, little research has been conducted to empirically assess training-specific situational factors that either facilitate or impede the application of newly learned skills on the job. Furthermore, the lack of research on training effectiveness can be attributed to the difficulty in measurement (Kontoghiorghes, 2001).


Review of Literature

The main features of a positive climate may include adequate resources, cues that serve to remind trainees of what they have learned, opportunities to use skills, frequent feedback, and favorable consequences for using training content (Nguyen & Kim, 2013: 110). Tracey, Tannenbaum, and Kavanagh (1995) found that such a climate predicted the extent to which employees engaged in training behaviors. In the study of Colquitt, LePine and Noe (2000:682), supervisor support, peer support and positive climate were found moderately related to motivation to learn. A number of previous researchers (e.g., Seyler, Holton III, Bates, Burnett & Carvalho, 1998; Bates & Khasawneh, 2005; Colquitt, LePine & Noe, 2000; Cromwell & Kolb, 2004; Chiaburu & Marinova, 2005; Kirwan & Birchall, 2006) found peer support to be of crucial importance in facilitating the training transfer. Clark, Dobbins & Ladd (1993) indicated that supportive managers can emphasize the utility of training, thus impacting motivation of trainees. In the study of Kontoghiorghes (2001:248), supervisory support and encouragement for the application of new skills and knowledge; intrinsic rewards for applying newly learned skills and knowledge; a participative/ socio-technical organization that is characterized by a high degree of involvement; and a continuous learning environment that encourages frequent participation in multi-skill training and retraining programs were found to facilitate trainee learning and training transfer. Rouiller and Goldstein (1993) con firmed that trainees who learn more in training perform better on the job as well; however, the study also indicated that a positive organizational climate is at least as important in order for transfer of training to occur. Saks and Belcourt (2006) found evidence that the more upper management makes the effort to facilitate the transfer process, the more trainees will apply the newly learned KSAs.

The Study

The purpose of this article is to test and validate the proposed framework of Training Climate in Academic Institutions. For measuring the level of 'Development Oriented Training Climate in Academic Institutions' in terms of the seven dimensions, a Likert type scale was selected and later on adapted in consultation with a pool of experts. The Likert type scale so developed / adapted was administered to trainees (students) of higher education institutions followed by testing and validating such a measure by the way of reliability test, confirmatory factor analysis, and structure equation modeling.

The Sample &Data Collection

The study was carried out with a sample survey of five hundred and ninety one students belonging to eighty eight selected institutions. Eighty eight selected institutions included nine university teaching departments, four government colleges, forty private colleges and thirty five private sector training institutes of higher education in Madhya Pradesh (India). Five hundred ninety one students included in the survey consisted of one hundred and three from university teaching departments, twenty three from govt, colleges, two hundred fifty two from private sector colleges and two hundred thirteen from other private sector training institutions. Two hundred thirty nine, one hundred thirty nine and two hundred thirteen students included in the survey were pursuing post-graduate programs; degree level programs; and short term / long term training programs respectively. Three hundred sixty seven male students and two hundred twenty four female students have participated in the survey.

A five point Likert type scale consisting of sixty statements was administered to collect the relevant data (Appendix 1). Some items of such a scale were adapted from 'organizational climate questionnaire' developed by Chattopadhyay (1981).

Dimensions of Development Oriented Training Climate


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