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Title: An analysis of workplace training, training transfer environment and employees' attitudes and behaviours : evidence from the Chinese retail industry
Author: Tian, Wei
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 521X
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2011
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The main purpose of the study is to investigate the relationships between workplace training related variables (training provision and support for training), and employees' attitudes and behaviours in China. The literature review revealed several gaps in the current understanding of the phenomenon including: (1) lack of research integrating different theoretical perspectives; (2) limited studies have examined the relationships between workplace training-related variables, organisational commitment (OC), job performance (JP), and turnover intentions (TI) in a simultaneous manner; (3) limited studies have examined key mediators such as OC and JP; (4) the need to expand the training and turnover relationship; (5) limited studies have examined the role of employees' occupation in influencing the impact of HR practices (for example, workplace training); and, (6) lack of research in the Chinese retail context. Addressing these gaps, the present study aims to advance knowledge by integrating theories from the labour economics field, the strategic human resource management field and the training transfer literature, and systematically examines their interrelationships between constructs drawn from these theories. Using a multi-method approach (questionnaires, interviews and company documentary analysis), the empirical evidence was collected from a major retailer in China. Structural equation modelling (SEM) procedures were followed using Mplus 5.21 to analyse the quantitative data. Interview data was used at various stages as a source to support and explain findings arising from the quantitative data. Using data from 1,578 employee questionnaires and 17 senior management interviews, the findings demonstrate that: (1) training has different effects on employees' attitudes and behaviours depending on the type of training; (2) peer support contributes positively to employees' OC and JP; (3) significant contribution of OC and JP on employees TI in general; (4) the importance of identifying affective and normative commitment, and task performance as key mediators of the workplace training-related variables and employee turnover intentions relationships in the Chinese setting; and (5) remarkable differences between frontline and backoffice employees with regard to most hypothesised relationships. By this, the study contributes to current understanding on the specific role of different types of training on employee turnover intentions, as well as the influence of supportive work environment on employees' attitudinal and behavioural outcomes. Furthermore, it contributes to the development of a broader theoretical understanding of the relationship between training-related variables, OC, JP and TI relationships in the relatively under-researched Chinese retail sector. Key words: Workplace training, organisational commitment, job performance, turnover intentions, peer support, supervisor support
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available