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Putting the System back into Training and Firm Performance Research: A Review and Research Agenda

Garavan, Thomas N., McCarthy, Alma, Lai, Yanqing, Clarke, Nicholas, Carbery, Ronald, Gubbins, Claire, Sheehan, Maura, Saunders, Mark N.K. (2021) Putting the System back into Training and Firm Performance Research: A Review and Research Agenda. Human Resource Management Journal, 31 (4). pp. 870-903. ISSN 0954-5395. E-ISSN 1748-8583. (doi:10.1111/1748-8583.12337) (KAR id:97398)


Research examining training and firm performance is currently at an inflection point; capable of recognizing its previous achievements but also having a focus on the future. Based on our review of the past 40 years of 208 quantitative studies investigating the training-firm performance relationship we find that the focus of research studies has not changes significantly. Whereas early research focused mainly on investigating direct relationships the research emphasis has shifted to understanding the role of mediators and moderators influencing the relationship. Although this recent research has contributed to understanding how and when training impacts form performance there is evidence that much of this research adopts a linear and static view of the relationship. We propose open systems theory to provide an more integrated and dynamic view of the relationship and encourage researchers to investigate temporal dynamics in both training and form performance, the investigation of reverse causality and a broadening of conceptualisations of firm performance. We offer specific directions for future training-firm performance research and identify the methodological implications of our open-systems framework.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/1748-8583.12337
Uncontrolled keywords: Training, firm performance, open systems theory, organizational performance, future research directions.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5351 Business
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Leadership and Management
Depositing User: Nicholas Clarke
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2022 09:55 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2023 00:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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