An assessment of a just-in-time training intervention in a manufacturing organization

Barry James Wilkie, University of Southern Mississippi

Abstract

High Performance Work Practices (HPWP) is part of an area of human resource systems growing in interest among performance improvement experts. This research paper assesses the degree to which job-training-intervention programs, a type of HPWP, contribute to organizational performance in a manufacturing environment. The literature review reveals that while there is a growing body of evidence supporting an association between HPWP and organizational performance, limited research exists on the association. This research provides a literature review of previous studies, which show different ways that HPWP help to achieve the optimization of employees' skill sets. The relationship between one type of high performance work practice, Just-in-Time Training (JITT), and its effect on employees' performance is the primary focus. The purpose of the study was to explore the effect of JITT on job performance in a manufacturing organization. The researcher conducted the study in a manufacturing organization located on the central Gulf Coast of the U.S. and employed a quasi-experimental cohort control group design with nonequivalent groups (Shadish, Cook, & Campbell, 2002) to explore the effectiveness of JITT at the subject company. The researcher employed a mixed method approach, including a cohort control group comparison for the quantitative phase of the research and a focus group for the qualitative phase of the research. The researcher collected error rate data from the company's database and compared the error rates of JITT and control groups of cohorts by type of error made as well as by work station. Through analysis of the proportion of errors made by the control and JITT groups of cohorts, this dissertation investigated the effects of Just-in-Time Training on job performance. This study found that groups of employees receiving JITT would have statistically significant improvements in job performance, as measured by proportion of manufacturing error rates when compared to groups of employees receiving regularly scheduled training.