First Advisor

Dean Frost

Term of Graduation

Spring 1997

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Psychology






Employees -- Training of -- Contracting out, Employee training personnel -- Rating of, Employees -- Training of -- Evaluation



Physical Description

1 online resource (iii, 109 pages)


In the field of Human Resource Development, high standards of professionalism are needed to increase the commitment to training, especially from the side of management. This study focused on external training deliverers, and investigated different perspectives concerning their competencies. The expectations (E) of core competencies of excellent external trainers had been identified and were compared to the actual performance (P) of external trainers in a specific company. Ratings were gathered from four different perspectives, the trainees and clients (supervisors of trainees) of recent training events (consumers) and HRD managers and external trainers (marketers).

The rationale for the study was a new approach which applies service quality (SQ) concepts to training and the trainer. The gap model of Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1984, 1990) was used as the overall theoretical framework. From a content perspective, literature from the field of adult learning education was also utilized.

A questionnaire was sent to the participants presenting lists of competency statements. Forty-eight participants returned the survey, resulting in a 24% response rate. A series of t-tests and one-way ANOVAs were used to analyze differences between the expectations and performance ratings within and between the participant groups. The tests were considered significant at the .001 level.

Significant differences were found between the expectations and the performance ratings of the pooled group of consumers in five out of fifteen competency items groups, as well as for the clients (4/15) and the HRD managers (1/15). All subjects reported a negative service quality perception (SQ=P-E) with regard to the external trainers. That is, their expectations were higher than the performance ratings. Although the trainers reported the least negative SQ-score, the HRD managers reported the most negative SQ-score.

A basic marketing-information gap was provided as one possible explanation of the expectancy-delivery-gap. Further research should investigate the other gaps of the service quality model and replicate the obtained results with larger sample sizes.


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