A Systemic Perspective of Training Transfer

  • Constantine Kontoghiorghes


This chapter represents a brief overview of past literature that has helped shape training transfer thinking and practice. Once the key factors found to influence successful training transfer, motivation to learn and motivation to transfer are identified and described, the predominant conceptual framework governing traditional training transfer research and thinking is also explained. The absence of studies and models linking training transfer to organizational cultural characteristics is also highlighted. The chapter concludes with the presentation of a systemic training transfer framework which links training transfer, motivation to learn, and motivation to transfer to high-performance cultural characteristics as well as individual and organizational performance. The presented systemic model postulates that a positive training transfer climate is more likely to exist in organizations that exhibit a change-driven high-performance organizational culture. This is due to the fact that in high-performance organizations training is perceived to be an important contributor to total system optimization and therefore receives the support system it needs in order to be effective.


Organizational Performance Transfer Strategy Learning Transfer Training Outcome Training Context 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Axtell, C., Maitlis, S., & Yearta, S. (1997). Predicting immediate and longer-term transfer of training. Personnel Review, 26(3), 201–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baldwin, T. T., & Ford, J. K. (1988). Transfer of training: A review and directions for future research. Personnel Psychology, 41(1), 63–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ballesteros, L. J., & De Saá, P. (2012). The influence of organisational context on training success in the restaurant industry. The Service Industries Journal, 32(8), 1265–1282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bartlett, K. R. (2001). The relationship between training and organizational commitment: A study in the health care field. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 12(4), 335–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bell, B. S., & Kozlowski, W. (2002). Goal orientation and ability: Interactive effects on self-efficacy, performance, and knowledge. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(3), 497–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bjornberg, L. (2002). Training and development: Best practices. Public Personnel Management, 31(4), 507–516.Google Scholar
  7. Blume, B. D., Ford, J. K., Baldwin, T. T., & Huang, J. L. (2010). Transfer of training: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Management, 36(4), 1065–1105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Broad, L. M., & Newstrom, W. J. (1992). Transfer of training: Action packed strategies to ensure high payoff from training investments. Reading: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  9. Brown, T. C., & McCracken, M. (2009). Building a bridge of understanding. How barriers to training participation become barriers to training transfer. Journal of European Industrial Training, 33(6), 492–512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Burke, L. A., & Baldwin, T. T. (1999). Workforce training transfer: A study of the effect of relapse prevention: Training and transfer climate. Human Resource Management, 38(3), 227–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Burke, L. A., & Hutchins, H. M. (2007). Training transfer: An integrative literature review. Human Resource Development Review, 6(3), 263–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Burke, L. A., & Hutchins, H. M. (2008). A study of best practices in training transfer and proposed model of transfer. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 19(2), 107–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chiaburu, D. S., & Lindsay, D. R. (2008). Can do or will do? The importance of self-efficacy and instrumentality for training transfer. Human Resource Development International, 11(2), 199–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chiaburu, D. S., & Marinova, S. V. (2005). What predicts skill transfer? An exploratory study of goal orientation, training self-efficacy and organizational supports. International Journal of Training and Development, 9(2), 110–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Clarke, N. (2002). Job/work environment factors influencing training transfer within a human service agency: Some indicative support for Baldwin and Ford’s transfer climate construct. International Journal of Training and Development, 6(3), 146–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Clarke, N. (2005). Workplace learning environment and its relationship with learning outcomes in healthcare organisations. Human Resource Development International, 8(2), 185–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Clark, C. S., Dobbins, G. H., & Ladd, R. T. (1993). Exploratory field study of training motivation: Influence of involvement, credibility, and transfer climate. Group & Organization Management, 18(3), 292–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Colquitt, J. A., LePine, J. A., & Noe, R. A. (2000). Toward an integrative theory of training motivation: A meta-analytic path analysis of 20 years of research. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 85(5), 678–707.Google Scholar
  19. Egan, T. M., Yang, B., & Bartlett, K. R. (2004). The effects of organizational learning culture and job satisfaction on motivation to transfer learning and turnover intention. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 15(3), 279–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Facteau, J. D., Dobbins, G. H., Russell, J. E. A., Ladd, R. T., & Kudisch, J. D. (1995). The influence of general perceptions of the training environment on pretraining motivation and perceived training transfer. Journal of Management, 21(1), 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gegenfurtner, A., Festner, D., Gallenberger, W., Lehtinen, E., & Gruber, H. (2009). Predicting autonomous and controlled motivation to transfer training. International Journal of Training and Development, 13(2), 124–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Giangreco, A., Sebastiano, A., & Peccei, R. (2009). Trainees’ reactions to training: An analysis of the factors affecting overall satisfaction with training. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(1), 96–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gilpin-Jackson, Y., & Bushe, G. R. (2007). Leadership development training transfer: A case study of post-training determinants. Journal of Management Development, 26(10), 980–1004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Grossman, R., & Salas, E. (2011). The transfer of training: What really matters. International Journal of Training and Development, 15(2), 103–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Guerrero, S., & Sire, B. (2001). Motivation to train from the workers’ perspective: Example of french companies. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 12(6), 988–1004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hatala, J. P., & Fleming, P. R. (2007). Making transfer climate visible: Utilizing social network analysis to facilitate the transfer of training. Human Resource Development Review, 6(1), 33–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hawley, J. D., & Barnard, J. K. (2005). Work environment characteristics and implications for training transfer: A case study of the nuclear power industry. Human Resource Development International, 8(1), 65–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hesketh, B. (1997). Dilemmas in training for transfer and retention. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 46(4), 317–339.Google Scholar
  29. Kirwan, C., & Birchall, D. (2006). Transfer of learning from management development programmes: Testing the Holton model. International Journal of Training and Development, 10(4), 252–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kontoghiorghes, C. (2001). Factors affecting training effectiveness in the context of the introduction of new technology: A US case study. International Journal of Training and Development, 5(4), 248–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kontoghiorghes, C. (2002). Predicting motivation to learn and motivation to transfer learning back to the job in a service organization: A new systemic model for training effectiveness. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 15(3), 114–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kontoghiorghes, C. (2004). Reconceptualizing the learning transfer conceptual framework: Empirical validation of a new systemic model. International Journal of Training and Development, 8(3), 210–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kraiger, K., McLinden, D., & Casper, W. J. (2004). Collaborative planning for training impact. Human Resource Management, 43(4), 337–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nijman, D.-J. J. M., Nijhof, W. J., Wognum, A. A. M., & Veldkamp, B. P. (2006). Exploring differential effects of supervisor support on transfer of training. Journal of European Industrial Training, 30(7), 529–549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Liebermann, S., & Hoffmann, S. (2008). The impact of practical relevance on training transfer: Evidence from a service quality training program for German bank clerks. International Journal of Training and Development, 12(2), 74–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lim, D. H., & Johnson, S. D. (2002). Trainee perceptions of factors that influence learning transfer. International Journal of Training and Development, 6(1), 36–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Machin, M. A., & Fogarty, G. J. (2004). Assessing the antecedents of transfer intentions in a training context. International Journal of Training and Development, 8(3), 222–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Martin, H. J. (2010). Workplace climate and peer support as determinants of training transfer. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 21(1), 87–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Major, D. A., Turner, J. E., & Fletcher, T. D. (2006). Linking proactive personality and the big five to motivation to learn and development activity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91(4), 927–935.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Newstrom, J. W. (1986). Leveraging management development through the management of transfer. Journal of Management Development, 5(5), 33–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Nikandrou, I., Brinia, V., & Bereri, E. (2009). Trainee perceptions of training transfer: An empirical analysis. Journal of European Industrial Training, 33(3), 255–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Park, J.-H., & Wentling, T. (2007). Factors associated with transfer of training in workplace e-learning. Journal of Workplace Learning, 19(5), 311–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rouiller, J. Z., & Goldstein, I. L. (1993). The relationship between organizational transfer climate and positive transfer of training. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 4(4), 377–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Salas, E., & Cannon-Bowers, J. A. (2001). The science of training: A decade of progress. Annual Review of Psychology, 52(1), 471–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Scaduto, A., Lindsay, D., & Chiaburu, D. S. (2008). Leader influences on training effectiveness: Motivation and outcome expectation processes. International Journal of Training and Development, 12(3), 158–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tharenou, P. (2001). The relationship of training motivation to participation in training and development. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 74(5), 599–621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tracey, J. B., Tannenbaum, S. I., & Kavanagh, M. J. (1995). Applying trained skills on the job: The importance of the work environment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 80(2), 239–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tracey, J. B., Hinkin, R. T., Tannenbaum, I. S., & Mathieu, E. J. (2001). The influence of individual characteristics and the work environment on varying levels of training outcomes. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 12(1), 5–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Velada, R., Caetano, A., Michel, J. W., Lyons, B. D., & Kavanagh, M. J. (2007). The effects of training design, individual characteristics and work environment on transfer of training. International Journal of Training and Development, 11(4), 282–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Vroom, V. H. (1964). Work and motivation. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  51. Wright, L. (2003). Training in its organizational context: Sharing responsibility. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 16(4), 5–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Yamnill, S., & McLean, G. N. (2001). Theories supporting transfer of training. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 12(2), 195–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cyprus University of TechnologyLimassolCyprus

Personalised recommendations