The Relationship between Job Training and Job Satisfaction: A Review of Literature

The Relationship between Job Training and Job Satisfaction: A Review of Literature

Steven W. Schmidt
DOI: 10.4018/javet.2010040103
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As stand-alone concepts, job satisfaction and job training have each been researched extensively. However, encouraged by researchers who have found a myriad of effects of job training on employee behavior in the workplace, the concepts of job training and job satisfaction are being examined together. Results of many studies indicate that the effects of job training go beyond those that might be considered traditional, that is, the acquisition of knowledge, the improvement of skill, and the increasing of efficiency in the workplace. This review of literature looks at the relationship between job training and job satisfaction, and also examines the concept of job training satisfaction. It has been found that the research on the relationship between these two concepts can be categorized as follows: job training satisfaction as a measured construct, workplace and employee studies, training methodology studies, perception and meaning, and additional outcomes. Training and development practitioners must be aware of the relationship between job training and job satisfaction when planning and promoting workplace training programs.
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Job Training Defined

Landy’s (1985) comprehensive description defined training as a set of planned activities on the part of an organization to increase the job knowledge and skills or to modify the attitudes and social behavior of its members in ways consistent with the goals of the organization and the requirements of the job. Patrick (2000) described training as the systematic development of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required by a person in order to effectively perform a given task or job. He goes on to note that training is a pervasive activity in society, taking place within industry and commerce, government agencies and departments, health care organizations, and all branches of the armed service.

Within every organization, training occurs at all levels of personnel, and trainees may vary in terms of age, work experience, disability, educational background, ethnic origin, and skill level (Patrick, 2000). Jewell (1985) noted that training is a sub-process of the overall process of matching individuals to jobs (a process that begins with the screening, selection and placement of employees.) He believes that training serves three important functions within an organization:

  • 1.

    Maintaining employees’ existing performance as required by the organization.

  • 2.

    Improving employee motivation by strengthening employees’ beliefs in their abilities to perform their jobs.

  • 3.

    Assisting with employee socialization and understanding of organizational priorities, norms, and values. Training methodology, structure, delivery, and content all reflect these organizational issues.

Kraiger and Aguinis (2001) concurred, noting that in addition to training content, equally important are the informal processes by which trainees interact with their environment and form attitudes and perceptions about training or themselves. These attitudes have a direct impact on their receptivity to training and potential for learning.

Despite the widespread pervasiveness of job training, Buelens and Coetsier (1984) noted more than 20 years ago that very little attention has been paid to job training theory formulation and that there is very little conceptual agreement with regard to theory formulation. This, they believe, is because training includes a variety of very diverse processes, making it difficult to find common denominators upon which to develop theories. Almost 20 years after that assessment, Salas and Canon-Bowers (2001) concluded that “training research is no longer atheoretical, as charged by our predecessors” (pp. 474-475). They do note, however, that training theory includes constructs, concepts, and models that draw from learning theory, organizational theory, and systems theory, among others. Salas and Canon-Bowers (2001) suggest that training theory does cover a variety of frameworks and constructs that are “broad, general, and integrating” (p. 474). These include issues such as training design, delivery, and evaluation, pretraining conditions, transfer of training, organizational support, individual situational characteristics and motivation for training, performance measurement, and systems factors.

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