Date of Award

Summer 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Richard N. Landers

Committee Member

James M. Henson

Committee Member

Pilar Pazos-Lago


Given that organizations invest a considerable amount of time and money into the training and development function, it is imperative that trainees transfer the learned material back to the job and continue to use the knowledge/skills. Yet, most studies have not assessed the transfer process over time (i.e., maintenance). Based on the lack of empirical investigation of maintenance, the current study had two goals: (1) to identify which factors are most important for skill maintenance (2) to identify when factors are most important to skill maintenance. To these ends, a model was developed and tested that examines the trainee characteristics that influence maintenance. Specifically, the model posited that pre-training trainee characteristics (self-efficacy for learning and motivation to learn) would exhibit a weak and indirect effect on maintenance while post-training and delayed measures of trainee characteristics (utility reactions, self-efficacy to transfer, and motivation to transfer) and learning (declarative and procedural knowledge and skilled performance) would emerge as key determinants of maintenance. The model also distinguished between the use and the effectiveness of use of trained knowledge/skills. It was expected that trainee characteristics would be differentially related to maintenance depending on the timing of measurement and the distinction between use and effectiveness. Two hundred thirty-one accounting students or professionals completed a 2-hour Excel training program. Of those, only 100 completed a 1-month follow-up and 40 completed a 2-month follow-up. Generally, the model was unsupported due to a lack of significant relationships. Possible reasons for the lack of support include a loss of power due to attrition and the specific context of the study — a voluntary online training program marketed to undergraduates. Directions for future research including continuing to examine trainee characteristics and incorporating work environment factors are discussed.


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