Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Robert O. Brinkerhoff

Second Advisor

Dr. Steven Rhodes

Third Advisor

Dr. David Cowden


The study surveys the acceptance of, and support for, results-oriented training activities by upper-level managers and HRD managers in representative companies in Southwest Michigan. The study also examined the agreement between the perceptions of upper-level managers (ULM) and HRD managers (HRDM) concerning results-oriented HRD activities.

The study produced a profile of the support for and/or the acceptance of those activities in the selected organizations. This profile includes both the most-recommended and the least-recommended practices as reported by upper-level and HRD managers. Additional analysis looked at levels of support for the activities across, within and among the four types of organizations represented in the study sample.

A survey questionnaire was administered to a sample of thirty-one matched pairs, consisting of thirty-one HRD managers and thirty-one upper-level managers in each organization. The questionnaire described twenty-two training practices associated with results-oriented HRD programs. Participants were asked to record how strongly they recommended the use of each practice in their organization.

Significant levels of support were found on most practices between the two groups indicating that HRD managers are in agreement with the perceived needs of their upper-level managers, particularly in some of the areas involved with evaluation and team work.

There were, on the other hand, substantial differences between the support for HRD practices involved with other evaluation activities between HRD managers and upper-level managers across the organizations studied.

Overall, 54.5 percent of the twenty-two activities were given "moderately high," or better levels of recommendation by the combined sample of participants in the study; the remaining activities were only "sometimes recommended." However, significant differences in the level of support for results-oriented practices were found between participants representing different types of organizations. Respondents from retail organizations reported the most support for practices, while respondents from utility companies gave the least support.

While there are overall high levels of agreement between upperlevel managers and HRD managers, upper-level managers tend to disagree most with practices that would demand more upper-level involvement. Recommendations are made for organizations to seek more agreement in the need for practices that would help HRD achieve more lasting results.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access