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Time to Recognize and Reward Those Who Link Research and Practice (Darren Short, John J. Sherlock, Brenda Sugrue).
Motivation to Learn and Diversity Training: Application of the Theory of Planned Behavior (Carolyn Wiethoff)
This article examines the theory of planned behavior and applies it to diversity training. Several hypotheses are offered to influence motivation to learn from a diversity program. Implications for research and practice are identified.
The Effects of Organizational Learning Culture and Job Satisfaction on Motivation to Transfer Learning and Turnover Intention (Toby Marshall Egan, Baiyin Yang, Kenneth R. Bartlett)
This study gathered data from information technology professions using a Web-based version of the Dimensions of Learning Organization Questionnaire. Results from structural equation modeling showed learning organizational culture to have a positive relationship with job satisfaction and motivation to transfer and a negative relationship with intention to transfer (as mediated by job satisfaction).
The Development of a Multirater Instrument for Assessing Employee Problem-Solving Skill (Margaret C. Lohman)
A modification of the Problem-Solving Rating Scale was used to examine employee and supervisory ratings of problem-solving skill. Testretest reliability appeared to be low for employees’ self-ratings, and supervisor ratings of employees were lower than the employee selfratings. These results have implications for multirater assessments.
Team Assessment When Members Have Low Reading Proficiency (Glenn E. Littlepage, Grant Brower)
The Team Excellence survey was revised to reduce the reading level from a tenth- to a fifth-grade level. A sample of fifty-two undergraduates completed the original and the simplified forms. The two forms showed similar psychometric properties. Thus, the simplified form may be useful when team members possess low reading levels.
Forced Distribution: Is It Right for You? (Orna Guralnik, Eyal Rozmarin, Anne So).
Toward a Contingency Model of How to Choose the Right Type of Learning Organization (Anders Örtenblad).
Preparing Learners for e-Learning, edited by George M. Piskurich.
REVIEWED BY DIANE D. CHAPMAN.
In May 2004, ASTD launched a new set of awards to recognize and reward those who excel in linking research and practice in the field of workplace learning and performance. Given the position of HRDQ as a leading journal in the field, our hope is that HRDQ readers and authors will view the new awards as an opportunity to have their own work and achievements recognized.
Creating the new awards is an important step in a broad movement to improve connections between research and practice in a profession that depends on the strength of this link if both its practice and its research are to remain relevant and influential. For as long as we can remember, our profession has faced criticism of fad-ridden practice and inaccessible and incomprehensible research. The new awards seek to highlight those who are working to rectify this situation.
The awards were designed by the ASTD Research-to-Practice Committee with the support of attendees at the 2003 and 2004 AHRD preconferences on research-practice. The design process lasted over a year and involved expert design and validation panels, as well as field testing using beta test submissions and raters from five countries.
The awards are based on the model of the long-running ASTD Excellence in Practice Awards, with three categories of submission (researchers, practitioners, and partnerships) and two levels of recognition (award level and citation). The aim is to recognize all those who are excelling at linking research and practice rather than to just identify one winner per year. Consequently, all those who meet the award-level standard will be recognized at the annual ASTD conference and be publicized on the ASTD Web site.
The researcher category focuses on applied research that has clear benefits to the world of practice and has been tested in that world, while at the same time building on and challenging existing theory and research. A special emphasis is also placed on the dissemination of research so that it is available to, and understandable by, practitioners as well as researchers. The category requires a submission of no more than six thousand words addressing the following questions:
1. What questions were addressed by the research, what inspired it (with specific references to the applied benefits), and to what extent does the research break new ground from the perspective of eventual applied benefits? 2. How were existing theories and research used to guide the research design, and what consideration was given to international sources? 3. Which methodologies were used in pursuing the research, and how were the methodologies selected so as to increase the eventual applied benefits?
4. What were the principal research findings?
5. How did the results of the research reinforce, modify, or call into question existing theories and research?
6. What are the current practical implications of the findings for workplace learning and performance? 7. What are the implications of the research results for populations beyond the sample, including other organizations, cultures, and contexts?
8. How has the research been subsequently tested in practice, and what were the main findings of those tests?
9. How was the research published so as to be available to (and understood by) practitioners, and what other steps have been taken to ensure the research is applied by practitioners?
10. How was the research published so as to be available to other researchers, and what other steps have been taken to ensure the research can be replicated or advanced by others?
The practitioner category focuses on practice that is based on research and theory and how the lessons from that practice can be used to validate or amend that research and theory, as well as to improve practice elsewhere. As with the researcher category, a special emphasis is placed on dissemination to encourage practitioners to share their experiences with researchers and other practitioners. The category requires a submission of no more than six thousand words addressing the following questions:
1. What was the nature of the practice, how was it guided by organizational needs, and to what extent does it break new ground?
2. How were relevant and up-to-date theories and published research used in the design of the practice, and what consideration was given to international sources?
3. How was the practice designed so as to test the research and theories and/or to benefit understanding of such issues in the wider field?
4. What resources were committed to this practice, and how were they used to ensure the effective application of research and theory?
5. What were the results/outcomes of the practice (including metrics where available), and how were these connected to the application of theory and research?
6. How did this practice validate (or not) existing theories and published research?
7. How did this practice validate (or not) what is known as "best practice" in workplace learning and performance?
8. How can other practitioners (including those in other countries) benefit from lessons learned in this specific practice?
9. How have you shared your experiences with other practitioners with the intention of spreading good practice and lessons learned? 10. What actions have you taken to inform the international research community of the outcome of your practice and the implications for research and theory?
The partnership category, probably the most innovative aspect of the awards, focuses on partnerships between researchers and practitioners that address both organizational and research goals. To date, little has been written about such partnerships, although we consider them a crucial component of bridging the gap between research and practice. Our hope is that the award will generate a lot more information about how they can work most effectively. The category requires a submission of no more than six thousand words addressing the following questions:
1. What was the organizational context for the partnership-the organizational setting, organizational problems/issues, why the organization became involved in the partnership, how the partnership formed part of any wider initiatives in the organization?
2. What was the research context for the partnership-the goals of the partnership from the perspective of the researcher, how the partnership formed part of any wider research agenda?
3. What was the partnership process-the roles of the practitioner and the researcher at different stages of the partnership, timeframes, critical milestones, how decisions were made, and the extent to which the partnership was formalized?
4. How were theory and research used to guide the work of the partnership (e.g., the research design, practice design, etc.); give specific examples of how the partnership outcomes benefited from the application of theory and research.
5. What were the outputs and outcomes of the partnership?
6. What were the benefits of the partnership to the organization and how were these benefits determined (e.g., metrics)?
7. What were the benefits of the partnership to the researcher and the profession, and how were these benefits determined?
8. What were the lessons learned about effective researcher-practitioner partnerships, and how were those lessons applied to continually improve the specific partnership covered by this submission?
9. How were the lessons about effective researcher-practitioner partnerships disseminated to other researchers and practitioners?
10. How were the partnership outcomes (research findings, intervention impact, etc.) disseminated within the organizational setting, with other practitioners, and with the researcher community?
The awards have an annual cycle, and the deadline for this year's submissions process is September 20, 2004. Information on next year's awards timetable will be publicized in spring 2005. (To find out more about the awards, go to astd.org/astd/about_ASTD/awards.)
As you read through these categories and their associated questions, we hope that you are inspired to submit work to be considered for the awards and also to reflect on how your own research and practice can aspire to the ideals they promote. As more people make submissions to the awards, we will gain a much improved understanding of how to link research and practice in our profession, and perhaps we will do more than just chip away at the criticisms of fad-ridden practice and inaccessible and incomprehensible research.
Darren Short Chair, Astd Research-To-Practice Committee
John J. Sherlock Western Carolina University, Member of Astd Research-To-Practice Committee
Brenda Sugrue Astd Senior Director of Research
Excerpted from Human Resource Development Quarterly, volume 15, no. 3, Fall 2004 Copyright © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
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