The soldiers new clothes: How transfer of training may facilitate or impede organizational change in the Norwegian Armed Forces
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- Master of Science 
This dissertation seeks to develop the field of research on leadership development, and the reasons why long-term training transfer in some cases are problematic or even, in worst cases, non-existent. Based on the theory of Baldwin and Ford (1988) on conditions of transfer, as well as mindset theory regarding how goals are implemented and enacted, we aim to broaden the understanding of how organizations might enhance the possible benefits of training transfer. According to Baldwin and Ford (1988) more research is needed in order to understand how learned material is generalized and maintained during the course of action in the job context, and such conditions are rarely assessed by the organization, nor the field of research. In this dissertation we have used Gollwitzer’s (1990) theory of mindsets and action phases combined with Baldwin and Ford’s (1988) conditions of transfer to help explain how conditions of transfer affect the enactment of planned behavior in an organization. In order to investigate this problem formulation we have developed three exploratory research questions based on a study by Webb and Sheeran (2006). The three questions we seek to answer is; (1) How can perceived supervisory and peer support affect the conditions of learning transfer?, (2) How can perceived behavioral control influence the intention to generalize and maintain learned material to the job context?, and (3) How can prior behaviors affect the conditions of learning transfer negatively? A case study of the Norwegian Armed Forces has been conducted in order to investigate the problem formulation, as they have recently implemented a new military personnel system. The new system for military personnel is aimed at facilitating experience-based and specialized competencies, with the intention of providing the personnel with more continuity and professional career opportunities (Forsvaret, 2016b). The new military personnel system promotes two different career hierarchies for personnel within the Norwegian Armed Forces, forcing changes in leadership role and responsibility. As such, it should be interesting to look at whether the Norwegian army has been able to enact their intended role changes, and the training transfer this requires, or if there exists a gap between planned behavior and transfer of training. The study was conducted through semi-structured interviews of 14 participants in the Norwegian Armed Forces. These participants were seperated into 3 categories; OF, OR and Converts. Whereas the Converts were to only participants who transferred from OF to OR as a result of the new military personnel system. However, each group experienced new roles and responsibilities. The results of this study suggests that all participants experienced high supervisory support, high behavioral control and they did not experience any trouble with previous learnt behavior in their new role. As such, the Norwegian Armed Forces should have experienced training transfer on all levels of the organization. However, the study showed that Officers and Specialists at the lower levels of the organization had the intention to act, but failed to change their role. As such, other factors than those mentioned in this dissertation could be to blame. We suggest that it might be the structural support that has created the gap between intentions and actions, and thus affected the enactment of planned behavior (Training transfer) in a negative way. As the participants belonging to the convert category reported that they had been able to change their role, but the participants in the OR and OF category still found the implementation to be ambiguous it might seem as this is due to the lack of resources and knowledge at the lower levels in the organization. However, this will require further research.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Psychology - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2018