Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Kerry J. Burner


Organizational leaders know that training improves worker performance, but training is often initiated without considering employees' work task requirements. This instrumental case study was conducted to understand the perceptions of employees who completed a skills training program and those of supervisors. The conceptual framework was andragogy, emphasizing self-efficacy and self-direction, motivation, and goal setting for adult learners. The guiding questions addressed the perceptions of employees about their self-directed participation in the skills training program and its relationship to work tasks and supervisors' perceptions of employees' participation in that program. Semi-structured interviews with 8 individual employees and a focus group with 5 supervisors were conducted to discover those perceptions. All study participants found the training program to be generally beneficial, but some findings were unexpected. Employees expressed disappointment that anticipated promotion opportunities did not result from completing the program. Supervisors stressed that the high organizational operations tempo prevented employees from performing what they learned in the program. The findings led to the proposal of an instructor development program for the study site with the intent of improving instructor abilities to create more effective training. Through the program, instructors would increase knowledge and skills in instructional and design skills. Through a performance-based mindset that focuses on whether the training participant has improved in trained work tasks, instructors would be enabled to better prepare employees to succeed in work tasks and career goals and provide leaders with the information and products that they require.