Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Themes and issues as reflected in Human Performance Technology literature: A content analysis
by Jang, Hwan Young, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2008, 212; 3319886
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of the study was to identify themes and issues in the Human Performance Technology (HPT) field as reflected in the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) literature. Two journals published by ISPI were selected: Performance Improvement Quarterly, which is a research and theory journal; and Performance Improvement, which is a practitioner-oriented journal. This study intended to contribute to the understanding of the HPT field by identifying current themes and issues as well as drawing out information pertaining to future implications by analyzing those themes and issues.

The objectives of the study were to: (1) create an analysis framework in order to systematically identify the themes and issues; (2) examine information relevant to a variety of themes and issues that have been most dominant within the past ten years in the field of HPT by using the analysis framework; (3) compare and contrast the similarities and differences in themes and issues that appeared in PIQ and PI; and (4) identify the needs and deficiencies that require future research and practice in the HPT field through a synthesis of the literature.

Articles for a 10 year period (1997–2006) were content analyzed, totaling 886 articles. The findings revealed 17 themes, which were detected by using an analysis framework consisting of elements from selected HPT models and elements descriptive of HPT research and practice. Some examples of major themes were as follows: (1) organizational level of performance and job/performer level of performance was much more frequently discussed than process level of performance; (2) compared to the topics related to performance analysis, intervention design, and evaluation which received much attention, topics with cause analysis, development, and implementation were addressed much less frequently in both PIQ and PI; (3) skills and knowledge development such as training and learning interventions are the primary interest for HPT researchers and practitioners in responding to a variety of performance problems; (4) instructional design and learning science was the most frequently addressed discipline in HPT literature; (5) HPT literature heavily leans towards micro level instruction and individual focus, training oriented solutions, and piecemeal interventions; and (6) both PIQ and PI conveyed a similar pattern of frequency in general. In details, however, PIQ were greatly prone to training oriented topics while PI addressed more diverse topics other than training.

The researcher discussed nine issues drawn from those results, the core concept of which was transition: (1) transition from training to performance; (2) transition from performance to performance system; (3) transition from learning organization to high performance system; (4) transition from cause analysis to iterative processes; (5) transition from a problem focus to an opportunity focus; (6) transition from human resource function to leadership function; (7) transition from instruction knowledgebase to business knowledgebase; (8) transition from opinion based essays to rigorous evidence-based research; and (9) transition from a North American viewpoint to a global viewpoint. As a first step for dealing with these transitions, future research agendas were proposed in terms of: (1) HPT framework, (2) foundations, and (3) technology.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pershing, James A.
Commitee: Barnes, Ronald E., Boling, Elizabeth, Seo, Dong-Chul
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 69/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Mass communications
Keywords: Content analysis, Human performance technology, Performance improvement
Publication Number: 3319886
ISBN: 978-0-549-70300-6
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