پیش بینی کننده های اجرای موفقیت آمیز برنامه آموزشی ارگونومیک
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|8111||2010||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Applied Ergonomics, Volume 42, Issue 1, December 2010, Pages 98–105
Job, organizational and individual predictors of a successful implementation of an ergonomic training program were evaluated in a single-case study. The conceptual model of learning transfer of Baldwin and Ford (1988) was adapted for an ergonomic context. 116 employees in a large production company underwent a comprehensive ergonomic training. Transfer of training into practice was measured by the number of ergonomic improvements which were realized in the company in the years after the training. Job, organizational and individual variables explained 35% of the variance of learning transfer in to the organization. Psycho-social resistance attitudes and management support were found to be the most important predictors of implementation failure and success.
Ergonomic training programs offered for all employees within an organization are a recommend method to implement ergonomic measures in a participatory ergonomics approach (e.g., Haines et al., 2002, King, 1995, Loisel et al., 2001, Noro and Imada, 1991, Wilson et al., 1995 and Wilson and Haines, 2005). Participatory ergonomic training programs are intended not only to educate, but also to involve employees in the recognition, reporting, analysis and resolution of ergonomics problems (King et al., 1997). Such programs may not only help to improve the quality of the working conditions, but also help to reduce injuries and accidents (for an estimation of the costs of work-related injuries and illnesses, see Koningsveldt, 2000). Because the development and realization of a comprehensive participatory ergonomic training program is a costly investment for management, the success of such a program should also be evaluated. In this study we present the results of a systematic evaluation of an implementation of a participatory ergonomic training program in a medical-technical production company. The study is based on Baldwin and Ford’s (1988) well-received model of learning transfer and integrates further developments of the model (e.g., Burke and Hutchins, 2007). Learning transfer is defined as the degree to which trainees effectively apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes gained in an (ergonomic) training context to the job (Wexley and Latham, 1981). Although the transfer of training research literature has increased over the past decade, only few studies have examined transfer of an ergonomic training at the organizational level (e.g., King et al., 1997 and Robertson et al., 2009). In general, although the literature continues to report a transfer problem in organizations, little attempt has been made to examine what organizations could do to improve transfer (Saks and Belcourt, 2006). The goal of this study is the evaluation of the implementation of a participatory ergonomic training initiative in a single-case study. Based on the model framework, both the model predictors and the target variable (learning transfer) were adapted to the ergonomic contents of the training program. The study combines a test of the transfer model with an evaluation approach. A practical goal of the study for the organization was a further improvement of the learning transfer of the newly developed ergonomic training program.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
We evaluated the implementation of a participatory ergonomic training program in a single-case study. The program was shown to be successful. A model of predictors of a successful implementation of the program (Baldwin and Ford, 1988) was adapted for this study and tested. The model could be partly confirmed. Before discussing the results in more detail, study limitations need to be mentioned. This single-case study has a cross-sectional post-implementation design and is therefore limited in establishing causal relations between the independent and dependent variables. Some of the constructs in the questionnaire used for this study had a relatively low reliability (e.g., quality/usefulness of training: alpha = .54). Other constructs were measured using a single question (supervisory support time and effort). On the other hand, the single-case approach allows a good evaluation of the conditions of success of the specific participatory ergonomics intervention program. The use of strong (objective) and highly relevant (action) success criteria is specific strength of the study. Sixty percent of the “ergo-guides” implemented ergonomic interventions. Some of the interventions were rather small, such as ergonomic counseling for specific work places. Other ergonomic interventions, such as the examples shown in the figures, were relatively expensive and involved a wide range of workplace improvements. From the perspective of the goals of the participatory ergonomics training measure, all these interventions could be seen as a success, since they all contribute to improve the ergonomic working conditions of the employees. The ergonomic training program consists of a two-day basic training with yearly one-day follow ups. A relatively large number of employees participate in the program. The combination of a short training program, not only widely known and accepted in the organization, but also with a high number of trainees, seems to be an important base of the program success. Because the program is designed as a continuous process over a long time period one may speculate that a percentage of trainees in relation to the employees in the organization (the “trainee density” of the organization) is a specific training design success factor. Because of the single-case study design, an evaluation of this specific success factor is not possible. ‘Trainee density’ could be included in studies comparing different participatory ergonomics training programs. If learning transfer is defined as the number of ergonomic interventions, a significant correlation between training perceptions and work-environment variables was observed. The perceived quality and usefulness of the training seems to increase the number of ergonomic interventions, whereas psycho-social resistance and lacking supervisory support seems to decrease the number of interventions. No effects of trainee characteristics were observed. When using the more strict learning transfer criteria of successful realization of specific ergonomic measures, only work-environment variables were found to be significant predictors of transfer. About one-third of the variance of the strong success criteria can be explained by the predictor variables. The criteria of learning transfer can be considered as an objective measure. Relations between (subjectively perceived) predictors and an objective target variable are underestimations of the “true” correlations (Frese and Zapf, 1988). This leads to the conclusion that, compared to perceptions of training quality and personality characteristics of the employees, work and organizational environment conditions in the learning and transfer phase are the most important promotors (or inhibitors) of a successful implementation of ergonomic measures. Perceived training quality was found to be a significant predictor for the number of ergonomic interventions, but not for successful realization. Training effectiveness is determined in part by the thoroughness of the need analysis and the quality of the training program (Tannenbaum and Yukl, 1992). A high quality participatory ergonomic training program seems to be the necessary base for interventions, but for a realization of wide-ranging ergonomic measures organizational environment factors are more important. A supportive work environment is a key factor for successful realization of ergonomic measures. Supervisory support for training has been found as an important work-environment variable affecting the transfer process for more than 50 years (Fleishmann, 1953). In our study time support (i.e. spending time for the implementation of the ergonomic measures) was found to be more important than financial support (see also Koningsveld et al., 2005). This is a specifically interesting result in the context of current observations of a general increase in work intensification (e.g., Parent-Thirion et al., 2007). Availability of time, which for many employees is the most important (missing) factor in modern working life, seems to be one of the most important success factors of an ergonomic training program. Our results further show that mental acceptance and readiness for ergonomic changes of the employees in the organization is another success factor. This result is in concordance with the recent learning transfer literature. For instance, results of a study by Cromwell and Kolb (2004) showed that trainees who reported receiving high levels of organization, supervisor and peer support and who also actively participated in a peer support network, reported higher levels of transfer of knowledge and skills Thus, the study results are also in line with the results reported in participatory ergonomics intervention studies (e.g., Carrivick et al., 2005). Trainee characteristics and personality were not found to be significant predictors of transfer. This may be explained by the fact that most of the “ergo-guides” participated in the training program on their own initiative (self selection mechanism). One could also speculate that, as compared to other field of organizational learning processes, personality aspects of the trainees are not as important in the field of ergonomic training. In summarizing the results of our study the following recommendations can be made for successful implementations of participatory ergonomics training programs.