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Development of an index of quality for the planning of management training programs Rusnell, Albert Dale

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to develop an Index of Program Planning which might reliably and validly measure the standard of quality present among a set of program planning procedures ordinarily exhibited by a company in the development of its managerial and supervisory training programs. As the first phase, a conceptual model of program planning for training in industry was developed, and it consisted of seven major planning functions: (1) corporate analysis and manpower planning (2) determining and assessing training needs (3) designing the training program (4) legitimization (5) instructional support (6) evaluation (7) maintenance of behaviour. Eight statements were then constructed for each of the seven functions to specify behaviours which might be performed by a company in the conduct of that function. A panel of sixty-nine judges participated in three structured exercises which were designed to test those fifty-six statements. The Index of Program Planning consisted of twenty-six statements from the original fifty-six which met the criteria for each of the three exercises. The criteria were as follows: (1) the statement was a valid example of the planning function it represented (2) the major planning function of the statement was generally agreed upon by a panel of judges (3) the importance of the statement in the planning process was generally agreed upon by a panel of judges. A numerical value which represented an overall standard of quality for program planning activities was calculated, using the index, by combining the weighted value of importance and and the relative per cent of use by a company for each of the twenty-six specified planning behaviours. The highest score possible on the index was 505.3, and scores were greater in direct proportion to a combination of the greater number of different planning behaviours generally used, the greater importance of those behaviours, and the more extensive use of those behaviours over a period of time. A panel of one hundred large corporations in Vancouver, British Columbia, was selected for the purpose of estimating the reliability and validity of the index. Twenty-three companies conducted their own local management training programs, and were interviewed for the purpose of testing the Index of Program Planning. The reliability of the index was estimated using a one-way analysis of variance procedure, and the coefficient of reliability was found to be +0.85. The construct validity for the index was estimated through the use of three hypotheses which included twenty-six independent variables. Better quality program planning was significantly associated with a greater per cent of training conducted during company time, a greater per cent of managers and supervisors participating in the programs, the number of days allocated by a company for managers to attend programs, the greater willingness of a company to spend money for training programs, the more favorable attitude of top management toward training, a lesser per cent of company reimbursement for employees enrolled in external educational courses, a greater per cent of training staff who had received some formal training in an educational field, and a greater per cent of training staff with more than two years experience in corporate training. The construct validity for the index was justified on the logical consistency which was evident, indicating that better quality program planning was found among companies which placed more emphasis and commitment on their own internal management training programs.

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