Transfer of training and transfer climate: The relationship to the use of transfer maintenance strategies in an autonomous job context

Date of Completion

January 2002


Education, Adult and Continuing|Education, Business




Despite large organizational investments of time and money into employee training newly acquired knowledge and skills are not being transferred back to the job. Three propositions suggested by current studies were examined: (a) a positive transfer climate will enhance transfer of training, (b) supervisor support is a key factor in transfer climate, and (c) transfer maintenance strategies implemented at the workplace will improve the transfer climate and subsequently the transfer of training. ^ State employees (n = 33), who cared for mentally retarded clients, attended a 3-hour training session in ethical decision-making. Supervisors (n = 6) also received 1-hour instruction in the implementation of transfer maintenance strategies. The intervention, support given to supervisors to implement their transfer maintenance strategies, was carried out for 4 months. Dependent variables were: transfer climate, maintenance of learning, and transfer of training. Using the Learning Transfer Questionnaire, General Transfer Climate was measured immediately following training and Specific Transfer Climate surrounding the decision-making training was measured 4 months after training. Maintenance of learning scores were calculated by comparing Case Analysis Written Test (CAWT) administered immediately after training and 4 months later. Transfer of training was measured using Levels-of-Use (LoU) interview tool 4 months after training. ^ ANOVAs were used to determine the extent to which maintenance of learning and transfer climate differed between the intervention and non-intervention group. The extent to which transfer of training differed between intervention and non-intervention groups was determined via a Chi-square calculation. A Pearson correlation was performed to determine the relationships between transfer of training and transfer climate factors. ^ Results showed that maintenance of learning and transfer climate were not significantly different between groups. Motivation to transfer and transfer design had medium effect size relationships with transfer. The intervention group had significantly higher LoU than the non-intervention group. The intervention consisted primarily of guided practice, with inconsistent or nonexistent implementation of transfer maintenance strategies by supervisors. Future transfer models should reflect the many dimensions of the transfer system. ^