End-User Training: A Meta Model

Article excerpt

One of the major issues related to EUC is training individuals in colleges and in businesses to adopt to the new technology. This study is motivated by the issues created by end-user computing (EUC) and its growing importance within organizations. As a result, both researchers and practitioners are challenged to find new ways to train end users. Researchers have studied a number of key variables such as training support, delivery techniques, and individual differences that can be manipulated to enhance training program design in response to this challenge.

Massive investments in computing technology by universities and corporations and subsequent impact on return on investment, and the dynamic nature of information systems (IS) technology change cause a continual assessment of the management of IS. There is also a critical need for computer literacy and aptitude by all students and employees due to the pervasiveness of computers in the workplace. More specifically organizations are concerned about the long-term effect of training on individual performance. This study proposes an end-user training metamodel that organizations, trainers and researchers could use to devise effective training systems. This study reports the result of longitudinal study conducted in an industrial setting but relevant to other settings from higher education to private agencies and businesses.

Organizational needs and training methods are becoming more complex as organizations attempt to reengineer their administrative and production systems. End user training to meet these needs imposes an increase in the complexity and scope on training systems. The skills and knowledge workers need on the job are rapidly changing and require improvement in Training Systems. As a result, both industry managers and researchers are challenged to find new ways to train employees (Cabrales, Eddy, and Richards, 1992).

In response to this challenge, researchers have studied key variables such as training support, training delivery techniques, individual differences of the trainees, and technology that can be used to enhance effective training program design. The need for effective training programs and a variety of approaches to train and develop employees compete for organizational resources.

In order to achieve the maximum benefits of change, management must realize that workers are generally capable of performing above the level their jobs require or allow. In response, corporate interest in providing training in basic workplace skills has increased. For example, corporations such as Texas Instruments require their employees to take mandatory training in the job areas where they lack ability. Consequently, many corporations have opted to make rather than buy productive employees by investing in training programs (Tracey, 1985).

Problem

This study is motivated by the issues created by end-user computing (EUC) and its growing importance within organizations. One of the major issues related to EUC is training individuals to adapt to the new IT. Developing information systems (IS) human resources is ranked fourth and organizational learning and the use of IS technologies fifth among the top ten issues of IS management (Niederman, et al. 1991). The difference in training methodologies and job functions further complicates the training problem. For example, wordprocessors, spreadsheet, graphics, and other software packages are used throughout the organization, but the extent of their use varies depending on job functions. A clerk may use a word-processor more extensively than the manager, a manager may use spreadsheet software for decision-making functions, whereas a clerk may use it for data entry, and so on. Organizations face questions such as which is the most effective way of matching the workforces' requirements and the training methodology, what is an appropriate length of training for the variety of employees, and how much material is to be presented per training session (Cabrales and Eddy, 1992). …

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