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Impact of planned informal learning methods on return on training investment

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  • Save International Journal of Applied Psychology 2013, 3(4): 89-101 DOI: 10.5923/j.ijap.20130304.01 The Impact of Planned Informal Learning Methods on the ROI of Training Karubaki Preetisikta Department of Psychology, Christ University, Bangalor e, India Abstract The current study is an empirical co mparative analysis of the Return OnInvestment of training in two organizations. The first organizat ion is one that uses informal learn ing methods and second organization depends only on formal training for its learning goals. This study is to see if informal learn ing methods impact the extent to which employees learn what is taught in forma l behavioural tra ining. The study used Personal Effect iveness Scale(1)(1) to measure the leve ls of self disclosure, openness to feedback and perceptiveness across the two organizations using a Pre and Post intervention design. The investigator then compared the changes in the Personal Effectiveness scores among the employees of the two organizations using GLM repeated measures ANOVA. The results indicated that while there were significant changes among all the partic ipants post training in a ll the dimensions of Personal Effect iveness, there was no difference in the scores of the two organizat ions. This indicates that the training produced positive ROI in behaviour of the emp loyees regardless of which organizations they belong to, but the data does not support the hypothesis that informa l learning methods enhance learning. Keywords ROI of Learn ing, Personal Effectiveness, Informal Learn ing, GLM repeated measures and Learning Organization 1. The Impact of Planned Informal Learning Methods on the ROI of Training Organisations now are battling a co mpetit ive market, volatile economic conditions, speed of light technological developments and a complex work force. In such a situation there is a growing need felt to turn to academia to provide certain solutions to the various problems faced at work. A solution is to make organisations dynamic learning environments, in short transform into learn ing organisations. Today learning organisation is seen as an ideal state, ‘towards which organizations have to evolve in order to be able to respond to the various pressures[they face]’[2]. A learning organisation is defined an organization where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspirat ion is set free, and where people are continually learn ing to see the whole together.[3] In o rder to ach ieve an opt imal learn ing env iron ment, organ isat ions need to p lan out b oth formal as well as informal methods of learn ing and focus on specific goals for each. Ho wever, creat ion and structuring o f info rmal and * Corresponding author: (Karubaki Preetisikta) Published online at Copyright © 2013 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved formal learn ing plans are not enough. Integration of the t wo learning do mains, proper imp lementation of learning strategies and evaluation of formal and informal learning methods are necessary to ensure the quality o f the p rocess and to measure how effective the endeavour has been. Recently, research has redirected its focus on informal learning. Emphasis is being given to informal learning to enhance performance and behaviour. Informal learning, such as learning out of school, should be recognised as at least as significant as formal learning.[4] Informal learn ing, a category that includes incidental learning, may occur in institutions, but it is not typically classroom-based or highly structured, and control of learning rests primarily in the hands of the learner. Informal learning can be deliberately encouraged by an organization or it can take place despite an environ ment not highly conducive to learning[5]. Informal learning occurs in the presenceof both action and reflection, and includesself-directed learn ing, networking, coaching, mentoring, performanceplanning and trial-and-erro r[6]. With reference to informal learn ing, Donald Clark[7] states “rather than learning being organized around an event, it becomes a network of both planned and spontaneous situations.” Informal learning already exists in daily life. Each experience can be a learning experience. However, an organisation has the capacity to structure and plan the informal learning that takes place inside the work place. This is also referred to as Non-formal learn ing which according to Michael Eraut[8] is more apt. The management may not be 90 Karubaki Preetisikta: The Impact of Planned Informal Learning M ethods on the ROI of Training able to control the incidental learning but through planning can help enhance informal learning at work by imp lementing methods like coaching, mentoring, performance management, non course-based learning activities, etc. Coaching it is a method of train ing, d irecting or instructing a person or group of people to do a specific task, achieve a goal or develop certain skills. Mentoring is a relationship built on trust, and one of its primary goals is to make a young people (or persons new to a field of endeavor) mo re confident in their abilities and talents. Performance management is an ongoing, continuous process of communicat ing and clarifying job responsibilities, priorities and performance expectations in order to ensure mutual understanding between supervisor and employee. It is a philosophy which values and encourages employee development through a style of management wh ich provides frequent feedback and fosters teamwork. Non course-based learning act ivities are programs that take emp loyees out of context to a d ifferent setting and involve them in games and activities that allow them to acquire skills for better group and team performance as well and pers onal development. Elearning is another in formal learn ing method. It allows learner mo re freedo m and flexib ility in choosing the content, time and the kind of study method they want. It increases scope of learn ing and gives the learner independence and accountability for his/her learn ing. These tools when used in organizations with a planned learning chart for each emp loyee and department, allows for better performance and overall organizat ion development. A large part of informal learning is incidental. However, the organisation cannot control incidental learning by planning for it or setting goals. Thus, the current study will not be studying incidental learning as a part of informal learning. The focus of the study will be to see the effect of planned informal learn ing methods on the ROI of Train ing. The planned info rmal learn ing refers to a deliberate attempt by the management to set goals of learning through informal methods, and to facilitate the acquisition, practice and retention of learning. The methods of informal learning considered in this study are Mentoring, Coaching, Secondment, Co mmunit ies of practice, Perfo rmance Support tools, e-learning (focusing on opportunity for emp loyee’s self directed learning)and Knowledge management systems which includes virtual knowledge sharing[9]. To achieve the highest possible transfer of learning, the informal learn ing structure should be such that it complements supports and sustains the formal learning structure. The synergy of informal and formal learn ing has been called the Learning Zone. According to Donald Clark 2006," The learning zone is the convergence of formal and informal learning within a social context where the interests of the enterprise and individual meet.” Training programs and informal methods are mediu ms to achieve that zone. However, adequate attention is not being focused on seeing how effective the training is or whether the learning environment and content is correlating to the learning goals of the organization. To see whether any of these tools, methods, programs and endeavoursare successful, the method of ROI, Return on Investment is done. It is a way to see the returns got from the investment made in the form of time , capita l and e ffort. The returns expected are generally o rganizat ion’s profits, improved performance, better organization culture, effective behavioural changes and employee job satisfaction. Each training program and action taken towards employee learning should be evaluated in terms of the ROI to see if the efforts and resources put in delivered the expected results, and whether the results are truly favourable to individual and organization. To examine a train ing program thoroughly, there is a 4 level model[10]. The evaluation has 4 co mponents; reaction, knowledge, behaviour and organisation results. Training is evaluated on all four do mains to see if has been effective. Unfortunately, in the cases where organisations do measure the ROI of the train ing, it is mostly done on the lower levels- Reaction of the employee and the Knowledge evaluation. A survey result that stated that 83% of the training courses are measured for participant reaction as opposed to 44% and 50% for business results and behaviour respectively[11]. Th is shows that most training programs are superficially evaluated. The current study will focus on measuring the Return of Investment on training on behaviour. The goal will be to compare the return of investment for training across organisation with planned informal learn ing methods and organisations without. This will allo w the investigator to see whether informal learning methods add value to the returns and help sustain the learning.To evaluate the behaviour and its changes among the employees of the organizations involved, the concept of Personal Effect iveness will be used. Personal Effectiveness given by UdaiPareek is understood in terms of self disclosure, openness to feedback and perceptiveness, and plays a crucial ro les in determin ing the organization’s culture, co mmunicat ion and relationships at work, as well as the degree to which the individual is capable of contributing to his/her own, organizat ion’s and peers’ growth. This concept is based on the Johari Window and it defines effectiveness types allowing the investigator to determine the current level of effectiveness of individuals as well as create a goal o f what they should be. 1.1. Rationale of the Study Train ing and Development are now an integral part of HR processes. However, there is a lack of integration between the academic and practical view of the process. Most organisations avoid doing a proper full scale evaluation of their learn ing and development programs. The efforts mostly are to capture the level 1 of ROI fro m Kirkpatrick’s model, emp loyee reaction; the immediate feedbacks to the program. A survey conducted by ASTD and i4cp showed that out of the 704 human resource professionals, only 18% respondents said that their organization measures the impact of training on ROI and less than half said that their organization measures behavioural impact[12]. International Journal of Applied Psychology 2013, 3(4): 89-101 91 This is a blind spot in understanding the extent of the contribution training makes to organisation’sand individual’s goals and growth. Although there are a plethora of theories arguing about the benefits of training and having diverse learning strategies in organisations, there are very limited studies that have explored the issue quantitatively, providing concrete evidence to support the theories. Thus, this study is to facilitate the pract ice of evaluating training programs and help organisations estimate the Return on Investment on Human capital, i.e. their employees. Also, informal learn ing in Indian context has not been explored as a business research issue. Although there are several organisations that implement planned informal learning strategies, adequate research is not being conducted to see the impact of these on the learning environment or the overall performance in the organisation. A study on informal and formal learning in organisations, [13] shows the Spending/Outcomes Parado x. Th is paradox talks off how in terms of expenditure, organizations spend 3 times more on forma l tra ining than informal, but the learning form informal methods is far more than formal. Thus, it is important to generate research that defines the balance point between formal and informal learn ing methods in organization where learning is maximised and cost minimised. By discovering how each contributes to organisation and to each other, the synergy of informal and formal learn ing can be achieved. This paper aims to aid and encourage this concept. Thus, this study is to understand to what extent informal learning techniques influence the performance of the organisation, aid in transfer of learning, and also provide quantitative evidence of the contribution structured informal learning in organisations. 1.2. Ai m To study the impact of planned informal learn ing methods on the ROI of training. 1.3. Objecti ves a. To assess the changes in behaviour post training b. To study the impact of in formal learn ing methods on the resulting ROI by co mparing the data fro m two organizations; one with structured informal learning and the other without. 1.4. Hypothesis a) There will be a significant change in the Personal Effectiveness of the employees of both organizations, post intervention. b) Organisation with planned informal learning methods, Group 1 will have a greater change in their Personal Effectiveness scores than Group two, Organization without informal learn ing methods. i. Changes in Self Disclosure levels will be higher among employees of organizat ion with informal learning. ii. Changes in Openness to Feedback will be higher among employees of organizat ion with informal learning. iii. Changes in Perceptiveness levels will be higher among employees of organization with informal learn ing, as compared to emp loyees of organizat ion without informal learn ing. 2. Review of Literature There are several studies elucidating the importance of informal learn ing. A study conducted by[14] evaluated the e xisting literature on the role informa l lea rning plays at work and reviewed the best practices of the info rmal learning as well as to propose how to link informal learning to core business processes. The authors used a multi-layered qualitative methodology which included extensive review of literature and use of semi structured interviews with key informants fro m government depart ments and other organisations with a policy perspective on informal learning at work,interv iews in four case study organisations, and a consultative seminar to discuss the project’s provisional findings. A mong the findings of this study, the key inference, taken fro m their case study on the National Health services (NHS) in London, was that the lack of recognition for informa l lea rning results is some e mployees not valuing their expertise and so are less inclined to share their knowledge with T&D (Training and Develop ment) wh ich increases company’s cost for external trainers as well as leads to wastage of internal intellectual resources. Another finding of the same study provide evidence supporting the importance and contribution of informal learning practices to work and production. The study also points out that while in many organisations, employees recognise that majority of their co mpetencies are informally learnt, the management fails to recognise informal learning as a valid asset to enhance. The article Fostering Workplace Learn ing: looking through the lens of apprenticeship[15] argues about the need to evaluate and research the apprentice and mentor relationship that exist in various forms at work. The article emphasises the need to evaluate the coaching and mentoring technique to understand how people transform fro m novices to experts. The art icle h ighlights the implication of such research on understanding and identifying the various teaching techniques used daily, and comprehending the nature of learning in organisations. With the recent recognition of informal learning as a major influence in organisations several researchers have conducted studies to enhance the informal learn ing and help organisations structure it to produce optimu mresults. Another research adapted a design based wherein the authors introduce the concept of knowledge maturing, and provide a design of a social media that takes into consideration the digital interactions in wo rk contexts and aligns it with informal learning[16]. The study focuses on the impact of modern technology on the informal learning and provides a tool that specifically targets the informal learning call knowledge maturing. This study further supports the beliefs 92 Karubaki Preetisikta: The Impact of Planned Informal Learning M ethods on the ROI of Training that it is important to identify, evaluate and enhance informal learning techniques. In another study, Work-learning in informal online communit ies: evolv ing spaces[17], the researchers investigated how workers engage in informal online communit ies for work-learning. The methodology used was qualitative. Semi structured interviews were used to gather data. The majo r findings from th is study were that people used online co mmunit ies to establish a degree of connection as well as learn ing, although not always successful. The study points out that while technology such as online communit ies, open new avenue for informal learning, they also pose several challenges which need to be controlled to ensure the learning goals are met. Thus, by proper evaluation of all learning methods managers can identify the advantages and obstacles that come with each so that they can create learning strategies accordingly. According to a research paper, Current Learn ing Trends in Europe and the United States,[18], ‘Cegos Group’s research among co mpanies operating in Europe shows that the greatest users of e-learning are managers and the under 35s and that employees are now stating a preference for e-learn ing and blended learning over trad itional classroom / instructor led training.’ It is also stated that, ‘Despite the global economic slowdown, most companies across the world remain co mmitted to investing in training. However, reduced budgets mean that less training is being delivered and different methods are being considered and used.’[18]. This paper clearly points out that there has been a shift fro m traditional classroom and formal learning to e-learning and now to informal learn ing methods like coaching, mentoring and on-the-job training, which are more cost effective and deliver equivalent results. The paper gives the statistics that indicate the expenditure on formal and e-learning is decreasing among companies due to economic conditions. However, these companies are not cutting down on Learning and Development, rather investing on more cost effective informal learning methods and tools that deliver better results. This paper also indicated how a large number of emp loyees in Europe showed a preference for a comprehensive form of learning by using both the traditional classroom train ing, and e-learning and blended learning methods. ‘While classroom learning is still the most popular method, used by 93% of emp loyees, e-learning and b lended learning are indeed rising in popularity and are used by around 40% of all emp loyees. The UK and Spain are continuing to lead the way with more than 50% of emp loyees using both techniques.’[18]. This paper also illustrates what the employees across Europe and USA prefer in learn ing. Through an in-depth survey carried out in March 2009 by Cegos Group on 2,355 emp loyees and 485 HR directors / training managers, the following trends were identified: a) Learners want to see more technology-driven learning developed during the next three years and have a preference for e-learning and blended learning over classroom learn ing b) Emp loyees are keener to emb race collaborative tools like b logs, foru ms and wikis. c) There is a gap between what employees like and want, and what HR professionals are actually planning to develop over the next three years d) Half of employees across Europe want more e-learn ing and blended learning compared to 40% of HR p ro fes s io nals e) 44% of employees want to see collaborative techniques developed compared to under a third (32%) of HR professionals This indicates that while employees are showing greater flexib ility and innovation in their learning styles, the HR is not keeping up. The evidence fro m this paper corroborates the idea of the current study of blending informal learning methods to enhance ROI fro m formal learning methods. This paper also indicates that employees show a preference for such learning environments. This paper, Current Trends in in Europe and the United States, was written on the basis of research conducted by the Cegos Group, a g lobal leader in Professional education. The research methods used are mostly surveys, feedback, and interviews. The methodology of this paper is quantitative and it also emphasises the need to quantify the benefits reaped by individuals through different learning tools used i.e. the ROI. There is a study that took a different approach to studying informal learning at work than the art icles prev iously examined[19]. This research used mixed research methodology. The first part of the study was a randomised controlled trial (RCT) and the second part of the study used semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis.The RCT element of the study involved participants being randomly allocated to one of two learning groups. In the first group participants were trained by driving instructors trained in coaching skills using a blended method of coaching and instruction. In the second group participants were trained by driving instructors using solely an instruction approach. In total 208 participants took part with 24 driv ing instructors delivering the coaching or instruction across the two groups. In the qualitative part of the research, four driving instructors and seven learners were interviewed using semi-structured interviews and the data analysed using thematic analysis. The study sought to explo re the impact o f coaching as a learning methodology and to compare this with an instruction-based approach[19]. The results of the study showed the effectiveness of coaching, an informal learning method, in emp irical as well as in qualitative terms. Both qualitative and quantitative results indicated that coaching was more effective and efficient method of learning than formal classroom train ing. With this concept applied to work, there is a possibility that informal learning methods used by the management can aid overco me several shortcomings of forma l tra ining. A research conducted to see how managers develop proficiency in managerial skills and gain co mpetencies, ‘Informal learning and the transfer of learning: How managers develop proficiency’[20], indicated that managers with h igh co mpetence but who had lo w peer, supervisory and International Journal of Applied Psychology 2013, 3(4): 89-101 93 organisational support, often learnt through informal channels and transferred learn ing more frequently. In this research paper ‘New perspectives are offered on the interrelationship between informal learning and transfer of learning, the role of meta-cognition and self-regulation in informal learning, and the influence of informal learn ing in the development of managerial proficiency.’. Thus, once again pointing out how informal learning forms the 90% of the learning iceberg and should be harnessed by organisations. The study also indicates that in the absence of good formal t rain ing opportunities, informal learning methods still make monumental contribution to employees whether it is consciously or unconsciously learnt. Another empirical study to support the effectiveness of informal methods examined whether or not peer mentoring facilitates organizational knowledge sharing using an emp irical test.[21] This test also indicated a significant relationship between peer mentoring and knowledge creation in an organizat ion.Thereby, providing evidence of the various benefits of informal learning methods in an o rg an is atio n . A survey based research indicated that for knowledge workers, in formal learning was three times more important for gaining professional profic iency than forma l tra ining[22]. This study indicated that the learning impact of on-the-job experience is 40%, mentor 35% and formal train ing only 10%. In a co mparison between learn ing impact of formal and informal learn ing methods, informal learning methods made 87% impact on overall worker’s learn ing. Since the current study is utilising ROI, return of investment as a key indicator of the effectiveness of the formal learning technique, Behavioural training and Informal learn ing in an organisation, it is important to explore research examining the concept of ROI. The rationale for conducting an ROI on training is to generate evidence of the effectiveness of the program as well as of the profitability of the investment and suggests the use of Donald Kirkpatrick’s model[23]. This study also provides the HRD professionals with emp irical evidence of the priority of each component of the model and gives a basis for decision making while selecting an evaluation method for training programs. A ROI study conducted on the leadership program, Southern Extension Leadership Development (SELD) showed that for every $1 spent on the program $3.86 in benefits are realised, and the ROI was 286%[24]. This shows how behavioural training is extremely crucial to an organization’s productivity. The same study also states, with emp irical ev idence that such programs also impact employee turnover. Thus, organizations should invest in relevant and effective behavioural programs, and measure the ROI to understand the net worth and contribution the training makes to the organization both at a behavioural and business level. Another[25] quantitative study explores the possibility of combin ing social networking and learning theories. It examines ‘the importance and the possible advantage of combin ing formal and informal learning. The analysis suggests that initiatives rooted in formal learning approaches alone do not necessarily lead to the creation of long-term grounded internal safety networks, and that patient safety improvements can crucially depend on bottom-up initiat ives of commun ities of practice and informal learn ing.’[25]. This paper suggests that bottom-up init iatives and a combination of formal and informal learn ing can make a major contribute to patient safety improvements. A study, Personal effectiveness as a function of psychological androgynyused UdaiPareek’s Personal Effectiveness Scale with Bem Sex Role Inventory to see whether sex roles and stereotypical masculine traits made for more effective managers[26]. The result was that psychologically Androgynous group was found to be most personally effective on the dimensions of self-disclosure, benefit fro m feedback & perceptiveness or sensitivity to others' feelings. Also, significant correlation existed between Psychological Androgyny and Personal Effectiveness vis-àvis the other sex-role orientations. This shows that the Personal Effectiveness scale shows individual’s effectiveness regardless of gender and in fact is secular in measurement. Th is also indicates that PE scale is a good measure for finding out an employee’s effectiveness and determining the various factors contributing to it. According to a study on the dynamics of Personal Effectiveness and Team Effectiveness, found that the Personal effectiveness of employees contributes to team effectiveness and PE scale correlates highly to performance of emp loyees and teams in several Mult inational co mpanies like Apex, Sky, Zenith and IMG[27]. This suggests that PE scale is ideally suited for the purpose of the study and is valid to measure the success of the learning goals of behavioural training, making it suitable to use as a tool for measuring ROI. 3. Methodology 3.1. Operational Definition a) Pl anned Informal Learning Methods- The planned informal learning methods refers to deliberate attempts by the management to set goals of learning through informal methods, and to facilitate the acquisition, practice and retention of learning. Th is does not include incidental learning. b) Re turn on Investme nt- the benefits the organisation or individual reaps for making an investment in terms of money, time and effort is called the Return on investment. With respect to a training program the ROI is 4 fold; reaction of participants, knowledge, behaviour and business results. The Behaviour domain of the ROI is marked by employees displaying and practicing behaviours that formed a part of the initial learning goals of training. c) Personal Effecti veness – is the individual’s ability to perform and deliver results, have good relationships and contribute to one’s own and group’s goals. It is understood 94 Karubaki Preetisikta: The Impact of Planned Informal Learning M ethods on the ROI of Training with respect to self disclosure, openness to feedback and difference in the Return on Investment of training in the two p ercep tiv en es s . types of organisations. 3.2. Variables a) Independent variable: a. informal learning methods- ; Mentoring, Coaching, Secondment, Co mmunit ies of pract ice, Performance Support tools, e-learning (focusing on opportunity for emp loyee’s self directed learn ing) and Knowledge management systems b) Dependent: a. ROI of training i. Personal Effectiveness Score (behaviour) 3.3. Design The current study is a quantitative approach that utilises the pre and post design to study the affect of independent variable on the dependent variables. 3.4. Sample i. Uni verse- Organisations that undergo training with the aim of in fluencing emp loyee behaviour at workplace. ii. Sample size-the sample size is set to be 40 participants, evenly divided between organisation with informal learning methods and organisation without. Each organisation with 20 participants. 3.5. Inclusion Criteria a) Emp loyees exposed to a common train ing program and trainer. b) Emp loyees who are receiving a training program of such nature for the first time. c) Organisations with train ing programs for changing emp loyee behaviour at work. d) Employees in middle manage ment leve l and below. e) Emp loyees with min imu m 6 months of work experience in the same organisation. f) Emp loyees with min imu m educational qualification of a bachelor’s degree. 3.6. Exclusion Criteria a) Top management level b) Emp loyees with more than 3years of experience in the same organisation. c) Lower level emp loyees d) Organisations with a different trainer. e) Organisations employing same t rainer but with a different training content. 3.7. Sampling Method The method selected for the purpose of this study is purposive sampling. The author will deliberately select organisations so as to control variables like the trainer and training content. Also the sample needs to be evenly divided between organisations with planned informal learning methods and organisations without, so as to clearly see the Table 1. showing sample characteristics Total no. of participants No. of employees in Group 1 (organization with informal learning) No. of employees in Group 2 (organization without informal learning) Gender males females Sect or Average age Average Work experience Employee Grade 41 20 21 28 13 I.T. 32.8 years 2 years Middle management level 3.8. Tools for Data Collection a) Part ic ipant detail schedule form b) Individual Consent form c) Personal Effecti veness Scale(1) -Personal effectivene ss is a measure of what effect you have on others as a person. This scale gives Personal Effectiveness types in terms of disclosure, openness to feedback and perceptiveness. Personal effectiveness depends on the individual’s openness to share and commun icate, an individual’s self awareness, how one receives feedback and perceptiveness. This tool has been designed to exp lore behaviour and feelings when individuals interact with people. It contains 15 statements, 5 statements each for the three domains mentioned. Each statement is to be rated on a five point scale, ranging fro m 0 to 4. 0 is to be allocated to the statement the participant feels never happens or is a seldom feels or behaves this way, 1 for not true or occasionally feels or behaves this way, 2 for so mewhat true, 3 for fairly true or quite often feels or behaves this way, and 4 for most characteristic or always feels or behaves this way.The scoring is done by using the key provided. Each dimension is scored separately by entering the score of corresponding statement in the table. For certain statements, the rating given by the participant is reversed while scoring. The total score for each domain, disclosure, openness to feedback and perceptiveness, is thus derived for each subject. This scale is being used to see the change in participants post training in terms of their interpersonal behaviour at work. The higher an individual’s personal effect iveness, the greater the chance is that he/she contributes positively to work relations and dynamics and aids in the creation of a healthy peer support systemthat facilitates productivity. This was done by collating the results of each organization on SPSS, and with the help of GLM repeated measures, the values of pre and post intervention are co mpared for getting results on whether there is a difference in the scores of the pre intervention and post intervention administration of the test as well as the difference in the changes seen between the two organizat ions. Thus, the scores for with in and between organizations were derived. i. Reliability of this scale is 0.90 using Cronbach’s International Journal of Applied Psychology 2013, 3(4): 89-101 95 coefficient alpha. The sample for this was a group of 30 health managers.[1] ii. The scale has sufficient validity and is standardised for Indian population. iii. Scoring is done using the scoring key and the norms given in the manual. Table 2. shows the norms provided by UdaiP areek Dimension Mean SD Self Disclosure 12 3 Openness to Feedback 10 3 P ercept iv en ess 10 3 3.9. Procedure for Data Collection The data collection for the current study was conducted in two phases to provide a thorough understanding of the impact independent variable has on the dependent variable. The phase I consisted of getting the organisation to sign a consent form and then the administering PE, Personal Effectiveness Scale(1) on the trainees for the first time before the training session, and then evaluating the reaction of the trainees to the training. The phase II, conducted after 15 days, involved the administration of PE scale for the second time. Th is allowed the investigator to see thepossible effect of training on the trainee’s PE score post training. The test was a paper pencil test. The participants were made aware of the purpose of the test as well as the study. All queries regarding the methodology and assessment of the test was clarified to the subjects and individual scores were conveyed to them v ia email. 3.10. Data Analysis The data on organisations was first classified under two categories; Group 1-organisations with planned informal learning methods and Group 2-o rganisations without. The results were then tabulated on pre and post training basis. Therefore, t wo types of results were gotten. The first type of results is ‘Within’ subjects, a comparison of the change between pre and post scores for all candidates and second, ‘Bet ween’ subjects, a comparison of the two groups that is organizations with in formal learn ing methods and organization with. To calculate the change in behavioural co mponent due to training, the change in the scores of each dimension of the PE scale for each participant was be estimated on the basis of the data collected in the first and second phases.This data was compared between the two g roups to see if there is a g reater change in organizations with informal learn ing. The author usedGLM Repeated Measures ANOVA to obtain data for the variables of behaviourto compare the results of pre and post test across organisation with informal learning and organisations without. A repeated measure ANOVA was used when all members of a random samp le are measured under a number of d ifferent conditions.This provided both data for within subjects factors, significance of difference in Pre and Post scores for all pa rtic ipants to see if change occurs as well as gave the between subject analysis showing the comparison amongst the two groups taken for the study to see if one group shows greater change. 4. Ethical Considerations Certain ethical principles and issues will be taken into consideration with respect to the study being conducted such as: ● Informed Consent form will be provided to the participant. ● Confidentiality of the information and anonymity of the subject and organization unless otherwise specified. ● Info rmation would be used only for research and no other purpose. ● Participants have the right to participate (if they meet the criteria) and drop out of the study at any point. ● Participants have the right to debriefing and exclusive right to access the results after the study has been completed. 5. Results The results are in two parts. The first part, based on the first hypothesis displays data regarding the changes in the behaviour among all the participants of the test. The data shown is for within subject comparison and provides the comparison of the scores pre and post intervention. According to the first hypothesis, there will be a change in the behaviour of the employee post training regardless of which group they belong to. The second part comprises of between subjects comparison. According to the second hypothesis, the emp loyees of organizat ion with informa l lea rning will show a greater change in behaviour post intervention as compared to employees in organization without informal learning methods. To check this, between subjects comparison will provide ANOVA values. Table 3. showing Descriptive Statistics for Within Subject Comparions Variable N SDP re 41 O2FPre 41 P ercPre 41 SDP o st 41 O2FPost 41 P ercPo st 41 Mean 11.2195 13.6098 11.6098 12.6098 14.5122 12.7561 Std. Deviation 3.88273 3.16131 3.20841 3.04038 2.58961 2.71828 ● SDPre refers to Self disclosure scores during pre intervention admin istration, SDPost is Self disclosure score post intervention ● O2FPre and O2FPost stand for Openness to feedback pre scores and Openness to Feedback post scores res p ectiv ely . ● PercPre and PercPost stand for Perceptiveness pre scores and Perceptiveness post scores respectively. 96 Karubaki Preetisikta: The Impact of Planned Informal Learning M ethods on the ROI of Training The table 3 shows the descriptive statistics for all the variable, pre and post. The mean scores for the variables Self Disclosure (SD), Openness to Feedback (O2F) and Perceptiveness (Perc) pre- training are 11.21, 13.609, and 11.60 respectively. Post training the Self Disclosure (SD), Openness to Feedback (O2F) and Perceptiveness (Perc) scores changed to 12.60, 14.51 and 12.75. Th is indicates that there has been an increase in the scores and consequently a change in behaviour. change was observed in the behaviour of the part icipants fro m both organizat ions. Table 5. shows the Test of Within Subject Contrasts Source TIME Measure SD O2F PERC ** significant at 0.01 level * significant at 0.05 level TIME Linear Linear Linear df F 1 20.686** 1 10.339* 1 24.100** Table 4. shows the Multivariate results for the Within Subject Factors Within Subjects Effect F Hypothesis df Error df TIME P illai's Trace 1 1.857 a * * a Exact statistic ** significant at 0.01 level Within Subjects Design: TIME 3.000 37.000 The above table indicates the result of the within variable analysis. It shows that with respect to time, 2 weeks, with F value being 11.857 significant at 0.01 level, there has been a significant changein the scores of all part icipants. This indicates that the intervention, formal train ing session caused a real change in the behaviour of the participants. Overall, fro m table 3 and 4, one can conclude that significant positive The Table 5 indicates that there has been a significant change in all three dimensions; Self Disclosure, Openness to Feedback and Perceptiveness with respect to time. This is true for all participants regardless of which group they belong to. Change in Self Disclosure is significant at .000 and F value is 20.68 with df 1. Openness to Feedback is significant at .003 with F value 10.33 and df 1. Perceptiveness is significant at .000 level with F value 24.1 and df 1. This means the first hypothesis is accepted and true, that post intervention, i.e. formal training, there is a significant change in the Personal Effectiveness of the subjects. Thus, the formal train ing was successful in change in behaviour of emp loyees of both organizations. This indicates to a Positive ROI; Return on Investment for the behavioural tra ining. Table 6. showing the Descriptive Statistics for Between Subject analysis Organ izat io n Mean Std. Deviation N With Informal Learning Methods 11.2000 3.56297 20 SDP re Without Informal Learning Methods 11.2381 4.25329 21 Tot al 11.2195 3.88273 41 With Informal Learning Methods 12.6500 2.77726 20 SDP o st Without Informal Learning Methods 12.5714 3.34023 21 Tot al 12.6098 3.04038 41 With Informal Learning Methods 13.4000 3.15228 20 O2FPre Without Informal Learning Methods 13.8095 3.23449 21 Tot al 13.6098 3.16131 41 With Informal Learning Methods 14.2000 2.91277 20 O2FPost Without Informal Learning Methods 14.8095 2.27198 21 Tot al 14.5122 2.58961 41 With Informal Learning Methods 10.9000 3.35449 20 P ercPre Without Informal Learning Methods 12.2857 2.98568 21 Tot al 11.6098 3.20841 41 With Informal Learning Methods 12.6000 2.79850 20 P ercPo st Without Informal Learning Methods 12.9048 2.70009 21 Tot al 12.7561 2.71828 41 International Journal of Applied Psychology 2013, 3(4): 89-101 97 ● SDPre refers to Self disclosure scores during pre intervention admin istration, SDPost is Self disclosure score post intervention ● O2FPre and O2FPost stand for Openness to feedback pre scores and Openness to Feedback post scores res p ectiv ely . ● PercPre and PercPost stand for Perceptiveness pre scores and Perceptiveness post scores respectively. Post data analysis, the mean scores of the two groups, organizations with informal learn ing and organizations without informal learn ing were more or less the same for every dimension. As seen from table 3, the Self Disclosure Pre-intervention mean scores for organization with informal learning was 11.2, while the scores for organizations without informal learn ing was 11.23. The Pre intervention scores for Openness to Feedback for organization with informal learning and organizat ion without was 13.4 and 13.8. The Pre Perceptiveness scores of organizat ion with informal learning and organization without are 10.9 and 12.28 respectively. Perceptiveness was the only dimension the two groups differed with respect to pre intervention scores.The Post-intervention results of Self d isclosure for organization with info rmal learn ing and organization without came to be 12.6 and 12.5 respectively. The scores for Openness to feedback increased for organizat ion with informal learning and organization without to 14.2 and 14.8 respectively. For Perceptiveness, the organizat ion with informal learning experienced increase in their scores to 12.6 while the organization without informal learning practices showed only a minor change to 12.9. Table 7. shows the Test of Between Subject Factors Source Measure df SD 1 Organization O2F 1 PERC 1 Mean Square F .008 .000 5.319 .346 14.637 .889 The table 7 indicates that when a co mparison is drawn between the two groups, organizations with informal learning and organizations without informal learning techniques, there is no significant difference seen. This leads to the rejection of the second hypothesis that organisation with planned informal learn ing methods, Group 1 will have a greater change in their Personal Effect iveness scores than Group two, Organization without informal learn ing methods. 6. Discussion It was hypothesised that there will be a significant change in the Personal Effectiveness of the emp loyees of both organizations, post intervention. Referring to the results in table 3 and 4, this hypothesis is accepted. In all three dimensions, the employees of both organizations showed a significant change, with F value 11.857, in their Personal Effectiveness which is a measure of behaviour. This favourable result could be attributed to receptive learners, good and effective trainer, and training content. The success of a training program in changing behaviour in the direction wanted is to a large extent the direct result of the trainer’s style and capabilities. The favourable result of within subject test indicates that the trainer used for the purpose of the study was effective. The second hypothesis of the current study, Organisation with planned informal learn ing methods, Group 1 will have a greater change in their Personal Effect iveness scores than Group two, Organization without informal learn ing methods is rejected. The data was insignificant for a difference in the degree of change between the two groups taken, organizations with informal learn ing and organization without informal learn ing. Since literature review for this concept all indicate that informal learning makes a significant difference in learn ing, the lack of significance or reject ion of the second hypothesis could be attributed to factors like research limitation, and ineffective ad min istration of informal learning techniques. In research limitations, variable of t ime is the most significant issue. The author provided for only 2 weeks time to see the change in behaviour post training, while literature review suggests that to study the effects of informal learning techniques one must do a longitudinal study. Second reason the results are unfavourable could be because the organization considered for having informal learning techniques could possibly not be properly imp lementing the methods and may have an infective way of putting informal learning tools to use. This may result in these tools not contributing to learning amongst employees as much as it should or can. Third, reason could be person characteristics and other internal factors of the individuals in the two organizations taken could have contributed to their results. If the emp loyees at the organizat ion without informal learning methods are highly motivated to learn and have a positive attitude towards change, then they will show either as much or greater degree of change in behaviour post intervention as other groups with the advantage of informal learning tactics. 7. Summary The current study aimed to study the impact planned informal learn ing methods have on the Return of Investment of Train ing. The objective of the study was to see if there is a change in behaviour of employees in organizations post training and second, if there is a higher degree of change among the emp loyees of an organization that uses planned informal learn ing at work place. 7.1. The Foll owing are the Hypothesis of the Study a) There will be a significant change in the Personal Effectiveness of the employees of both organizations, post intervention. b) Organisation with planned informal learning methods, Group 1 will have a greater change in their Personal Effectiveness scores than Group two, Organization without 98 Karubaki Preetisikta: The Impact of Planned Informal Learning M ethods on the ROI of Training informal learn ing methods. 7.2. The Sample The sample for the study included middle manage ment and lower level emp loyees of two organizations. The two organizations were purposefully chosen; Group one being fro m the Organizat ion with informal learn ing and Group two being fro m Organization without any planned informal learning at work. There were a total of 41 part icipants, 20 in Group 1 and 21 in Group 2. 7.3. Measures To measure the behaviour of the participants, Personal Effectiveness Scale by UdaiPareek was used. It has three dimensions, Self Disclosure, Openness to Feedback and Perceptiveness. These dimensions provide a profile of the individual based on their behaviour with regards to others. Since interaction styles with others impact work performance to a large e xtent this tool was taken to measure the behavioural co mponent of ROI of Training. 7.4. Results The results of the study were that there was a significant change seen in the behaviour of the employees of both organizations post the training. The F value was 11.857 significant at 0.01 level indicat ing that the intervention i.e. the training successfully changed the behaviour of the emp loyees and gave positive ROI. Th is led to the accepting of the first hypothesis that there will be a significant change in the Personal Effectiveness of the emp loyees of both organizations, post intervention. However, the second hypothesis was rejected as the data was insignificant regarding the difference in the degree of change in behaviour seen between the two groups taken, i.e. organization with structured informal learning and organization without structured informal learning. 7.5. Li mitati ons of the Study Time was a major factor that may have compromised the results of the study. As seen in many studies, informal learning is studied longitudinally to assess its impact. a) This study suggests that it is possible to calculate and conclusively see the impact on behaviour of training programs, imp lying that more organizations should focus on this aspect of ROI than just reaction and knowledge. b) This study also highlights the need to study the impact of informal learn ing methods with a longitudinalapproach as short term studies cannot conclusively suggest its effect on overall learn ing. c) The study also highlights the need to have a mixed approach at studying the ROI of tra ining as well as impact of learning methods, as the factors of success and failure for both formal training and Info rmal learning methods cannot be directly derived fro m emp irical tools and require the aid of qualitative investigation. 7.7. Suggestions for Further Research a) a study with a more mixed approach, comb ining the quantitative and qualitative methods would provide a mo re in depth analysis of how and why info rmal learning benefits individuals at work. b) A study done over a longer period of time, maybe fro m one to 5 years would give a concrete proof of whether informal learn ing impacts the ROI of formal t rain ing or not c) The ROI can be studied in all four dimensions given by Kirkpatrick, Reaction, Knowledge, Behaviour, and Organizational results. This can be studied across industries, among co mpanies with varying business and cultures approaches to see what is most effective fo r learning and growth at both individual and organization levels. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank Dr. Pad ma Ku mari for her able and patient supervision of my dissertation. Without her guidance this endeavour would not have been possible. I ac knowledge and thank Mr. Jacob Isaac, Ms. Sou myaGowda and Mr. NishantKapur for their support and assistance in data collection as well as guidance. I thank the management and the participants of the research fro m both the organizations for their time and cooperation. I sincerely appreciate and am grateful for the contribution each has made to the study. 7.6. Implications of the Research

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