32 SES 07 B, Research Approaches on Organizational Learning and Leadership Development
HPT is a field of study which aims to improve performance in individual performer level, organizational level, and societal level. It is defined as “the study and ethical practice of improving productivity in organizations by designing and developing effective interventions that are results-oriented, comprehensive and systemic” (Pershing, 2006, p.6). Each word in the definition emphasize not only importance of Human Performance Technology (HPT) but also its aim. Study word include systematic and disciplined inquiry for asking questions and searching for answers in an orderly manner. Therefore, study is a key element for understanding and improving practice of HPT, in detail, it is critical to select, design, develop, and test interventions. Ethical practice means pursuing confidentiality, competence, and collaboration and trustworthiness among partners by using performance technology strategies and standards in research and practice. HPT aims to improve quality and value of the product by modifying inputs and processes. It does focus not only on workers but also leaders/managers to design and develop effective interventions. Effective interventions mean doing the right action based on organizational goal and doing it with minimum inputs. HPT intervention results must be tangible and measurable, influence organization positively, and create value for all stakeholders by solving the problem comprehensively (Pershing, 2006).
This study aimed to examine Graduate School of a public university in Turkey in terms of Human Performance Technology (HPT). The mission of Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences (Hereafter it will be referred Graduate School) is defined as to educate the graduate students in a number of fields (for career in teaching, research, industry and other) for professional success within ethical standards. It has a total of 23 staff and six of them are in administrative committee, twelve of them are administrative staff and five of them are research assistants. 52 graduate programs are administered by the Graduate School. Masters programs are two-year programs leading to the Masters of Science (M.S.) or Masters of Arts (M.A.). Some departments have options of Masters with thesis (n=43) or without thesis (n=6) and some departments (n=3) offer an evening Masters Program without thesis. Doctoral programs lead to a Ph.D. (n=37).
Primary function of Graduate school is to carry out all processes of graduate students in abovementioned programs. While administrating these programs, graduate school is in a constant communication and collaboration with other units in the university. Therefore, it is one of the intensive-working unit and has a critical role in the university. A number of graduate school students verbalized that they have observed some disruptions related with Graduate School work processes, they expressed some problems they have faced. Then the researcher discussed this issue with a graduate student who is an employee at Graduate School. After meeting, the worker corrected other students, gave some detailed information on problems. Moreover, the university is a research university in Turkey and undergoes an accreditation process. It has started with departments. Graduate School is a major unit for departments. Therefore is should be in good condition as bureaucratically. For the mentioned reasons, researcher decided to study this unit in terms of HPT for performance improvement.
1- What are the gaps and causes of these gaps related with internal elements?
2- What are the gaps and causes of these gaps related with external-tangible elements?
3- What are the gaps and causes of these gaps related with external-intangible elements?
4- What interventions can help to solve these problems?
This study aimed to examine Graduate School of a public university in Turkey in terms of Human Performance Technology (HPT). Graduate School is a major unit for departments in all higher education institutions. Therefore, this unit should be in good condition as bureaucratically. Moreover, the selected university is a reputable research university in Turkey and undergoes an accreditation process. Since some disruptions were observed related with Graduate School of current university, researcher decided to study this unit in terms of HPT for performance improvement. For this aim, a case study was conducted based on Wile’s Externality- Tangibility Model of HPT. The researcher utilized E-T model because it includes all elements that are necessary for a performance improvement, it is comprehensive. Moreover, in this case desired performance is not certain. Therefore, every individual element should be considered carefully to determine gap analysis. Study aimed to find out gaps and causes of these gaps related with elements of Externality- Tangibility Model and the interventions which can help to solve these problems. To explore gaps and causes of these gaps, and to explore necessary interventions, two semi-structured interview forms were prepared (one for employees, one for manager). From Graduate School five employees and a manager were interviewed. Content analysis was used as data analysis method.
Results showed that there are a number of performance problems in the Graduate School. These problems categorized under internal, external tangible, and external intangible elements. Regarding internal, knowledge and skill and language barriers were defined as problems. Regarding external tangible, problems related to environment and incentives were identified as causes for performance gaps. Regarding external intangible, clear current expectations, performance feedback, and appropriate workload sub elements of management are defined as problematic. Interventions are suggested based on these findings. With regard to employees’ level of knowledge and skills, performance support systems, job aids, clear job description, clear feedback, and regulations for the performance can be solutions. Regarding language barriers, job oriented English can be proposed as a training intervention. . Regarding environment, some arrangements in the physical environment can be done. Regarding incentives symbolic incentives can be used effectively and performance-awards should be given relevant to its purpose. Regarding management, disambiguation of Board Decisions, giving performance feedbacks, providing appropriate workload, and using automatic phone system can be effective interventions. In this study, only productive employees were interviewed. The researcher talked with people who know jobs apart from their own jobs. Therefore, this study can be reflected only their perspective. Besides, executive secretary was interviewed as manager with the demand of actual manager. Therefore, management's perspective is limited by the executive secretary.
Altschuld, J. W. W. (1995). Planning and conducting needs assessments: a practical guide/Belle Ruth Witkin, James W. Altschuld. Creswell, J. W. (2012). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Sage., Pershing, J. L. (2002). Using document analysis in analyzing and evaluating performance. Performance Improvement, 41(1), 36–42. Pershing, J. A. (2006). Human performance technology fundamentals. Handbook of human performance technology, 5-34. Stolovitch, H. D., & Keeps, E. J. (2006). Handbook of human performance technology: Principles, practices, and potential. J. Pershing (Ed.). John Wiley & Sons. Wile, D. (2012). Why doers do: 15 years wiser. Performance Improvement,51(6), 14-18. Wile, D. E. (2014). Why Doers Do—Part 1: Internal Elements of Human Performance. Performance Improvement, 53(2), 14-20. Wile, D. E. (2014). Why Doers Do—Part 2: External‐Tangible Elements Of Human Performance. Performance Improvement, 53(3), 5-13. Wile, D. E. (2014). Why Doers Do—Part 3: External‐Intangible Elements of Human Performance. Performance Improvement, 53(4), 6-15. Wilmoth, F. S., Prigmore, C., & Bray, M. (2002). HPT models: An overview of the major models in the field. Performance Improvement, 41(8), 16-24 Yin, R. (1994). Case study research: Design and methods . Beverly Hills.
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