Organizations within the United States spent over $70 billion on corporate training in 2013; 35% of this budget was allocated to management and leadership, making this field the leading training area for organizations (O'Leonard, 2014). Despite this spending, only 13% of companies believe that they have done a quality job training their leaders (Schwartz, Bersin, & Pelster, 2014). This calls into question the utility and effectiveness of current initiatives. In response, this study meta-analytically organizes leadership training literature to identify the conditions under which these programs are most effective. Thus, the current meta-analysis provides the following contributions to the field: (1) meta-analytic data across years (1887 – 2014) and organization types, utilizing only employee personnel data; (2) investigation of training effectiveness across all Kirkpatrick (1959) evaluation levels (i.e., trainee reactions, learning, transfer, and results); (3) meta-analytic data computed using updated procedures identified by Morris and DeShon (2002); and (4) an examination of moderators not previously investigated. Based on data from 335 independent samples, results suggest that leadership training is effective across reactions (d = .63), learning (d = .73), transfer (d =. 82), and results (d = .72). The strength of these effect sizes is dependent upon several moderators, but the pattern of results is not consistent across all outcomes. For learning outcomes, programs incorporating information-, demonstration-, and practiced-based delivery methods were most effective while other design and delivery features did not affect results. In regards to transfer, programs that utilized information-, demonstration-, and practice-based methods, feedback, content based on a needs analysis, face-to-face settings, and a voluntary attendance policy produced the largest effect sizes. For results, longer programs that were mandatory, spanned weekly sessions, incorporated practice-based methods, and located on-site produced the largest effect sizes.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Lacerenza, Christina, "The Nuts and Bolts of Leadership Training: A Meta-Analysis" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5162.