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Training methods for specific objectives: preferences

of managers in private clubs

Joe Perdue
Tourism & Convention Department, Harrah College of Hotel Administration,
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA
Jack D. Ninemeier
School of Hospitality Business, Michigan State University, USA
Robert H. Woods
Hotel Management Department, Harrah College of Hotel Administration,
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA

Keywords tourism and other journals not indexed by


Training, Training techniques, Background the Social Science Citation Index (for
Training needs, Hospitality industry
Training employees to do their jobs example, of all hospitality management
Abstract effectively is one of the most important tasks journals, only the Cornell Hotel and
Describes a study undertaken to undertaken by a hospitality manager. Restaurant Administration Quarterly is
assess how private club managers included in the Social Science Citation
However, very little has been written about
perceive the relative effectiveness
the training methods managers prefer to use Index.)
of alternative training methods to
attain specific types of training to attain different training objectives. In 2000, two of the present researchers
objectives. Data were obtained Others have called for improvements in the replicated the Carroll et al. (1972) study
from 123 club managers who were
manner in which the hospitality industry (Perdue and Woods, 2000). The sample for this
members of the Club Managers initial replication was drawn from members
Association of America. utilizes training methods. For example,
Participants rated the Harris and Cannon (1994) suggested that the of the National Association of College &
effectiveness of 16 alternate industry stop relying on traditional training University Food Services. The current study
training methods for potential use
methods and seek improvements in how is a replication of the Carroll et al. (1972)
in six different types of training study applied to private clubs.
situations. Training methods training is accomplished. Barrows (2000)
studied included case study, noted that club managers would like to see
video-tape, lecture, one-to-one, their employee training improved, but found
role play, games, computer
time a major constraint to achieving this Current study
simulations, paper and pencil,
audiotapes, self-assessment, goal. The current study was undertaken to assess
movies/films, multi-media, audio, In 1971, Carroll et al. conducted a study on how private club managers perceive the
computer and video conferencing the relative effectiveness of different training relative effectiveness of alternative training
and sensitivity training. Training
methods (Carroll et al., 1972). The Carroll et methods to attain specific types of training
objectives studied were
knowledge acquisition, changing al. study was designed to determine which objectives. Data reported in this article were
attitudes, problem solving, training methods were best suited for collected from 123 club managers who were
interpersonal skill development, different training objectives. The sample members of the Club Managers Association
participant acceptance and
used in the study was drawn from the of America (CMAA). Of the total, 76
knowledge retention. Analysis of
data indicated that one-to-one manufacturing industry. Therefore, the respondents held the Certified Club Manager
training is the preferred method to results are not particularly pertinent to (CCM) designation; the remaining 47
attain all objectives except hospitality and other service industries. participants were not CCMs.
interpersonal skill development. Results of the Carroll et al., study are The CMAA is the professional association
reported in virtually all major human for managers of membership clubs. CMAA
resources management texts in spite of the has more than 5,000 members who manage
fact that the study is now over 30 years old more than 3,000 country, city, athletic,
and was limited to the manufacturing sector faculty, yacht, town and military clubs,
(e.g. Mondy and Noe, 1996; Cascio, 1989; primarily in the USA. The objectives of the
Wexley and Latham, 1981; Forrest, 1990). The CMAA are to promote and advance friendly
Carroll et al. (1972) study has also been relations between and among persons
heavily cited through the years. A recent connected with the management of clubs and
examination of the Social Science Citation other associations of similar character, to
Index produced 287 citations of the study. It is encourage the education and advancement of
International Journal of likely that several hundred additional its members, assist club officers and
Contemporary Hospitality
Management citations appear in business, hospitality, members, through their managers, and to
14/3 [2002] 114±119 secure the utmost in efficient and successful
# MCB UP Limited operations (CMAA, 2001).
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
[ISSN 0959-6119] To create the survey population, a random
[DOI 10.1108/09596110210424402] http://www.emeraldinsight.com/0959-6119.htm
sample of 442 names were drawn from the
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Joe Perdue, Jack D. Ninemeier CMAA membership list. Surveys were participants were asked: ``If you wanted to
and Robert H. Woods mailed to each of those on the randomized attain a specific training objective, how
Training methods for specific list. The 123 responses represent a return
objectives: preferences of useful would each of the alternative training
managers in private clubs rate of 28 percent. Compared to a study of methods be?'' The 16 methods (see Table II)
International Journal of mean response rates in other hospitality include all nine methods used in the Carroll
Contemporary Hospitality journals 1987-1997, five journals (Cornell et al. (1972) study (see Table III), along with
Management
14/3 [2002] 114±119 Hotel and Restaurant Administration other methods which were not available and/
Quarterly, Journal of Hospitality and or in common use 30 years ago.
Tourism Education, Journal of Hospitality The original Carroll et al. (1972) study
and Tourism Research, FIU Hospitality included only nine training methods. These
Review, and International Journal of are presented in Table III.
Hospitality Management), this is slightly An example of the survey form illustrating
lower than the average response rate potential responses for the use of case studies
(Johanson and Woods, 1999). in training is shown in Table IV.
Each participant was asked to rate the
effectiveness of 16 alternate training methods
for potential use in six different types of Results of the study
training situations, along with providing
information about themselves and their Since participants were asked to rate the
clubs. The survey was, therefore, relatively effectiveness of training methods to attain six
time consuming to complete. (We estimate different objectives, it became possible to
that it took approximately 25-30 minutes to determine both the effectiveness of each
complete the 107 information items on the method and its rank among other methods
survey.) when used to attain the same objective. For
The 1972 study by Carroll et al. asked example, 3.5 is the mid-point on our seven-
participants to rank the use of training point scale. Therefore, we can assume that
methods judged most appropriate to attain items rated below this number were
specific types of objectives. Since our study considered less effective than those methods
included 16 training methods rather than the rated above 3.5. Table V shows the results of
nine used in the original study, we chose to the ratings.
ask participants to rate the methods on a We tested the two response groups. One
seven-point semantic differential scale was made up of certified club managers
(1 = not useful for attaining the objective; (CCM), and the other non-CCM. We found
7 = extremely useful for attaining the differences significant at the 0.05 level in only
objective.) This rating rather than ranking two cases: using one-to-one instruction to
method was selected to make survey improve problem-solving skills; and second,
completion easier and to generate more using multi-media to acquire knowledge.
complete information that would be useful This suggests, then, that respondents with
for analysis and discussion. differing years of experience and education
Table I identifies the six training objectives (which are among the factors which
addressed by the survey. Each had been certification addresses) have similar beliefs
utilized in the Carroll et al. (1972) study. about the use of alternative training
Table I is replicated from the survey methods.
instructions which provided definitions Another way to review the results is by
which participants were to use as they rated ranking the methods considered most
each training method. effective for each objective. (This is how the
The participants were asked to rate 16 Carroll et al. (1972) study presented results.)
different training methods relative to their Training methods were ranked in order from
usefulness in achieving the six objectives lowest to highest mean score. These data are
identified above. For example, the survey presented in Table VI. As this ranking shows,
one-to-one training is the preferred training
Table I method to attain all objectives except that
Alternative training objectives and definitions which emphasizes interpersonal skill
development. (For this objective, sensitivity
Acquiring knowledge Helps trainees acquire new skills or information training is the highest ranked method; one-
Changing attitudes Useful in changing employee attitudes to-one training is rated second.) For one
Improves problem-solving skills Useful in teaching trainees how to solve problems other objective (problem solving), one-to-one
at work training was tied with case study as the
Improves interpersonal skills Helps trainees learn to interact better with others preferred method.
Participant acceptance How likely trainees are to enjoy this method of We previously noted that there were fewer
training training methods used in the Carroll et al.
Knowledge retention Trainees more likely to remember what they learn
(1972) study. This is likely to be a major
[ 115 ]
Joe Perdue, Jack D. Ninemeier reason for the considerable differences We note several major differences noted in
and Robert H. Woods between the rankings that club managers in Table VII. For instance:
Training methods for specific . The most popular training method in the
objectives: preferences of the present study gave to training methods
managers in private clubs and those found in the Carroll et al. (1972) present study (one-to-one; most popular
International Journal of study. Those differences are readily visible in for four objectives, tied for most popular
Contemporary Hospitality for a fifth objective and ranked second for
Management Table VII, which compares the ranking of
the last objective) was the most popular
14/3 [2002] 114±119 training method choices for different
method to attain only one training
objectives between the two studies.
objective in the Carroll et al. (1972) study
(participant acceptance). With that
Table II
exception it was a much less popular
Training methods and definitions
choice to attain the remaining five
Method Definition objectives.
1. Case study Solving problems identified in scenarios
. Paper and pencil programmed instruction
2. Instructional videotapes Video tapes describing training (the most popular method for two
3. Lecture Presentations to groups objectives in the Carroll study) was
4. One-to-one training A discussion with small group or individual ranked as the least useful method for all
(conference) objectives in our present study.
5. Role play Acting out the roles of participants in problems . Sensitivity training was the method that
6. Games Computerized or person-to-person interactions was most commonly popular between the
7. Computer simulations Computer-generated scenarios two studies. It was the most useful method
8. Paper and pencil programmed Trainees learning at their own pace using for interpersonal skill development in
instruction workbooks, etc. both the Carroll et al. (1972) and present
9. Audiotapes Instructional audio tapes study. Also, it was the preferred method
10. Self-assessments Determination of own skills and goals for changing attitudes in the Carroll et al.
11. Movies/films Commercial and non-commercial films and movies (1972) study. (The method was the second
with instructional examples choice for changing attitudes in the
12. Multi-media presentations Use of several (computer, video, internet, etc.) present study.) Sensitivity training was
methods in combination also the third most popular choice of
13. Audio conferences Audio (only) teleconferencing training methods for knowledge retention
14. Computer-assisted Trainees learning at their own pace using in both studies.
programmed instruction computers, etc. . Case study methodology should also be
15. Video conferences Video (and audio) teleconferencing noted. It was a ``top three'' choice to attain
16. Sensitivity training Confrontation and direct feedback by others four training objectives in both studies.
(usually peers) in small group setting
Table VIII identifies the most useful training
methods identified by the private club
managers. The highest rated (one-to-one) is
Table III listed first, followed by the next four
Training methods preferred methods in descending order. As
Case study noted earlier, one-to-one training is
One-to-one conferences considered the most useful overall method
Lecture (and the preferred for all objectives except
Games interpersonal skill development); the use of
Role play videotapes is considered the fifth best overall
Movies/films training method.
Programmed instruction The least useful training methods overall
Sensitivity training identified by the club managers were audio
Televised lectures (now called video conferences) conferencing, paper and pencil methods,
programmed instruction, audio-tapes,
Source: Carroll et al. (1972) computer conferencing, and self-assessment.

Table IV
Example of survey construction ± training method: case study (life-like scenarios)
Training objectives
Extent that
Extent that trainees retain
To acquire To change To improve To improve inter- trainees accept knowledge by this
knowledge attitudes problem solving personal skills method method
1234567 1234567 1234567 1234567 1234567 1234567
Note: Includes only 1 of 16 training methods

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Joe Perdue, Jack D. Ninemeier Table V
and Robert H. Woods Effectiveness of training methods by training objectives
Training methods for specific
objectives: preferences of Training objectives
managers in private clubs
Interpersonal
International Journal of
Contemporary Hospitality Knowledge Changing Problem skill Participant Knowledge
Management Training method acquisition attitudes solving development acceptance retention
14/3 [2002] 114±119
Case study 5.17 4.89 5.81 5.19 5.30 5.54
Videotape 5.03 4.30 4.06 3.86 5.07 4.29
Lecture 4.57 4.23 4.00 3.68 4.21 4.00
One-to-one 6.07 5.88 5.81 5.64 5.83 5.92
Role play 4.79 5.15 5.14 5.53 4.88 5.23
Games 4.41 4.63 4.86 4.82 4.96 4.76
Computer simulations 4.93 3.41 4.46 3.13 4.28 4.33
Paper and pencil
programmed instruction 4.25 3.14 3.96 2.80 3.62 3.70
Audiotapes 4.01 3.51 3.43 2.99 3.66 3.59
Self-assessment 3.84 4.15 3.73 3.78 3.90 4.12
Movies/films 4.62 4.40 4.00 3.86 4.91 4.26
Multi-media 4.61 4.16 4.00 3.82 4.52 4.22
Audio conferencing 3.68 3.28 3.52 3.36 3.41 3.42
Computer conferencing 4.07 3.47 3.92 3.38 3.83 3.85
Video conferencing 4.27 4.05 4.01 3.86 4.17 4.13
Sensitivity training 5.01 5.71 5.33 5.84 5.00 5.43
Notes: Scores refer to perceived usefulness on a 1-7 scale (7 = best method, 1 = worst method), the higher the
score the more useful the method is perceived to attain the training objectives

Table VI
Ranking of effectiveness of training methods for each objective
Training objectives
Interpersonal
Knowledge Changing Problem skill Participant Knowledge
Training method acquisition attitudes solving development acceptance retention
Case study 2 4 1 4 2 2
Video tape 3 7 7 6 3 7
Lecture 9 8 9 11 10 12
One-to-one 1 1 1 2 1 1
Role play 6 3 4 3 7 4
Games 10 5 5 5 5 5
Computer simulations 5 14 6 14 9 6
Paper and pencil
programmed instruction 12 16 12 16 15 14
Audiotapes 14 12 15 15 14 15
Self-assessment 15 10 14 10 12 11
Movies/films 7 6 9 6 6 8
Multi-media 8 9 9 9 8 9
Audio conferencing 16 15 15 13 16 16
Computer conferencing 13 13 13 12 13 13
Video conferencing 11 11 8 6 11 10
Sensitivity training 4 2 3 1 4 3

Each training method received the lowest the effectiveness of certain training methods.
rankings for at least one of the different For instance, as seen in Tables VI and VIII,
training objectives. the respondents rated one-to-one training as
an extremely useful method to attain all of
the types of training objectives analyzed.
Discussion Also obvious from this research is that
One important finding of this research is the private club managers do not perceive some
reliance that private club managers place on methods to be useful for attaining any
[ 117 ]
Joe Perdue, Jack D. Ninemeier Table VII
and Robert H. Woods Ranking of training method choices for different training objectives for two studies
Training methods for specific
objectives: preferences of Top three training methods
managers in private clubs
Training objective Carroll et al. study Present study
International Journal of
Contemporary Hospitality Knowledge acquisition Programmed instruction One-to-one
Management Case study Case study
14/3 [2002] 114±119
One-to-one Videotape
Changing attitudes Sensitivity training One-to-one
Role play Sensitivity training
One-to-one Role play
Problem solving Case study One-to-one
Games Case study
Role play Sensitivity training
Interpersonal skill development Sensitivity training Sensitivity training
Role play One-to-one
One-to-one Role play
Participant acceptance One-to-one One-to-one
Case study Case study
Games Videotapes
Knowledge retention Programmed instruction One-to-one
Case study Case study
Sensitivity training Sensitivity training

Table VIII
Most useful training methods
Training objectives
Interpersonal
Knowledge Changing Problem skill Participant Knowledge
Training method acquisition attitudes solving development acceptance retention
One-to-one 1 1 1 2 1 1
Case study 2 4 1 4 2 2
Sensitivity training 4 2 3 1 4 3
Role play 6 3 4 3 7 4
Videotapes 3 7 7 6 3 7

training objective. However, this finding this method was rated highly for four of
does not mean the methods are not widely six training objectives we could find no
used in other industries. In fact, they are previous research in which this training
included on this list because they may be method is mentioned.
useful in other businesses. . While paper-pencil instruction rated low
There are other findings that are of for each training objective, it is frequently
interest. For example, the two highest ranked used in clubs (for manuals, handbooks,
methods to attain each of the objectives orientation materials, etc.).
involve significant trainee participation/ . About 85 percent of club managers do not
interaction (one-to-one, sensitivity training have difficulty finding training resources;
and case study). Also, the only instance in 80 percent of club managers would do
which one-to-one instruction was not judged more group training if materials were
the highest ranked method involves available; are club-specific resources
changing attitudes (which is the purpose of needed?
sensitivity training ± the first choice of
survey respondents).
The study also raises interesting questions Conclusion
including:
. Were methods judged better because of the The results of this study indicate that club
high rate of trainee acceptance and managers believe that some methods are
knowledge retention? better for training for specific objectives than
. Do a significant number of club managers others. In addition, it highlights the fact that
actually use sensitivity training? While club managers perceive some training
[ 118 ]
methods that are widely used as relatively
Joe Perdue, Jack D. Ninemeier
and Robert H. Woods
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