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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An evaluation of the efficacy of Wile's taxonomy of human performance factors
by Gilmore, Erika R., Ph.D., Indiana University, 2008, 170; 3319927
Abstract (Summary)

This study was designed to impact the field of Human Performance Technology (HPT) by evaluating the efficacy of a popular HPT taxonomy originally published as Wile's HPT Model (Wile, 1996). Wile's taxonomy enumerates factors needed to elicit desired human performance in organizations, and like other HPT models, frameworks, and taxonomies was developed through anecdotal means rather than systematic research.

This inquiry used content analysis to analyze published cases describing actual organizational performance improvement situations. The individual case analyses were followed by a cross-case aggregation designed to evaluate the accuracy and comprehensiveness of Wile's taxonomy. Additionally, the data set was used to appraise the legitimacy of the fundamental relationships between performance variables in Wile's taxonomy.

Results of the study revealed a high degree of support for Wile's taxonomy, though with a few notable points of departure. In addition to supporting the seven factors of performance outlined by Wile, the data suggested the need to include another variable impacting performance: external environment.

Beyond the fundamental factors of performance, the study tested the relative frequency of each variable in performance improvement problems and solutions. Consistent with Wile's assertions, most problems and solutions described in the cases were related to organizational systems and incentives. Contrary to Wile's speculation, the case sample indicated that skills and knowledge factors were at issue in performance problems and solutions with nearly as much frequency as organizational systems and incentives. This difference was due in part to Wile's underestimation of the incidence of the skills and knowledge variable as an influencer of performance, as well as the prevalent need for skills and knowledge solutions (such as training) as secondary interventions when other solutions (such as new processes and tools) are enacted to improve performance. Ultimately, a refined version of Wile's taxonomy is offered, reflecting the study outcomes and providing guidance to the field.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pershing, James A.
Commitee: Baldwin, Timothy T., Hale, Judith A., Molenda, Michael H.
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 69/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social studies education, Business education, Educational technology, Business and Secretarial Schools
Keywords: Content analysis, HPT, Human Performance Technology, Performance improvement, Taxonomy, Validation, Wile, David
Publication Number: 3319927
ISBN: 978-0-549-70362-4
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