Elaboration and empirical evaluation of the De Goede learning potential structural model

Van Heerden, Sunelle (2013-03)

Thesis (MComm)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: As a direct result of having segregated amenities and public services during the Apartheid era where Black individuals were provided with services inferior to those of White individuals, the country is currently challenged by serious and debilitating issues such as a skills shortage across most industry sectors, high unemployment and poverty rates, and inequality in terms of income distribution as well as in terms of racial representation in the workforce. The country is furthermore facing social problems such as high crime rates and high incidence of HIV/AIDS. A discussion is put forward that these challenges are the consequence of a larger problem. The larger problem being the fact that knowledge, skills and abilities are not uniformly distributed across all races. The situation is that in the past, and still now, White South Africans have greater access to skills development and educational opportunities. It is this fundamental cause that must be addressed to in order to create a sustainable solution to the challenges described above. It is therefore argued that a means to overcome the challenges the country faces as a result of Apartheid is through skills development – specifically affirmative action skills development. Affirmative action skills development will entail giving previously disadvantaged Black individuals access to skills development and educational opportunities as to equip them with the currently deficit skills, knowledge, and abilities. It is proposed that affirmative action skills development is one of the most effective mechanisms through which the aforementioned problems facing the country might be alleviated. A need was therefore identified for Industrial Psychology researchers to assist organisations to identify the individuals who would gain maximum benefit from such affirmative action skills development opportunities. To achieve this, an understanding is required of the factors that determine whether or not a learner will be successful if entered into an affirmative action skills development opportunity. Some studies have already been conducted regarding this need. One such study was conducted by de Goede (2007). The primary objective of this study consequently was to expand on De Goede’s (2007) learning potential structural model. Non-cognitive factors were added to the De Goede (2007) learning potential structural model in order to gain a deeper understanding of the complexity underlying learning and the determinants of learning performance. A subset of the hypothesised learning potential structural model was then empirically evaluated. The measurement model was found to have a good fit. However, the first analysis of the structural model failed to produce a good fit to the data. The analysis of the standardised residuals for the structural model suggested the addition of paths to the existing structural would probably improve the fit of the model. Modification indices calculated as part of the structural equation modeling pointed out specific additions to the existing model that would improve the fit. The model was subsequently modified by both adding additional paths. Furthermore, when considering the modification of an initially proposed structural model, the question should not only be whether any additional paths should be added, but should also include the question whether any of the existing paths should be removed. To this end the unstandardised beta and gamma matrices were examined and it pointed to insignificant paths that could be removed. The model was subsequently also modified by removing insignificant paths. The final revised structural model was found to fit the data well. All paths contained in the final model were empirically corroborated. The practical implications of the learning potential structural model on HR and organisations are discussed. Suggestions for future research are made by indicating how the model can be further elaborated. The limitations of the study are also discussed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: ‘n Resultaat van Apartheid is dat Suid Afrika dringende uitdagings in die gesig staar soos byvoorbeeld lae vaardigheidsvlakke, hoë vlakke van werkloosheid en armoede, en ongelykheid in terme van inkomste en verteenwordiging in die werksmag. Suid Afrika het onder meer ook die uitdagings van hoë vlakke van misdaad en HIV/VIGS. Hierdie tesis stel voor dat die bogenoemde uitdagings simptome is van ‘n groter probleem, naamlik gebrekkige opleiding en ontwikkeling van vaardighede van Swart Suid Afrikaners. Dit is hierdie gebrek aan vaardighede wat aangespreek moet word om ‘n volhoubare oplossing tot die bogenoemde uitdagings te vind. Die argument word gestel dat ‘n oplossing gevind sal word in regstellende ontwikkeling. Regstellende ontwikkeling behels om voorheen benadeelde Swart Suid Afrikaners toegang te gee tot opleidings en ontwikkelingsgeleenthede. Dit word gestel dat regstellende ontwikkeling die meganisme is waardeur die land se uitdagings aangespreek moet word. ‘n Behoefte is dus geïdentifiseer vir Bedryfsielkundiges om navorsing te doen aangaande die eienskappe van studente wat sal bepaal of hulle suksesvol, al dan nie, sal wees tydens versnelde regstellende ontwikkeling. ‘n Soortgelyke studie is reeds onderneem deur de Goede (2007). Die primêre doelwit van hierdie studie was gevolglik om De Goede (2007) se leerpotensiaal-strukturele model uit te brei. Nie-kognitiewe faktore is tot De Goede (2007) se model toegegevoeg om ’n meer indringende begrip van die kompleksiteit onderliggend aan leer en die determinante van leerprestasie te verkry. ‘n Subversameling van die voorgestelde leerpotensiaal-strukturele model is vervolgens empiries geëvalueer. Dit is gevind dat die metingsmodel die data goed pas. Met die eerste analise van die strukturele model is goeie passing nie verkry nie. ‘n Ondersoek na die gestandardiseerde residue het getoon dat die toevoeging van addisionele bane tot die bestaande strukturele model waarskynlik die passing van die model sou verbeter. Modifikasie-indekse bereken as deel van die strukturele vergelykingsmodellering het spesifieke bane uitgewys wat die passing van die model sou verbeter indien dit bygevoeg word tot die bestaande model. Die strukturele model is dus aangepas deur addisionele bane by te voeg tot die bestaande model. Die strukturele model is ook aangepas deur bane te verwyder wat nie statisties beduidend was nie. Die bevinding was dat die hersiene model die data goed pas. Alle bane in die finale model is empiries bevestig.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80144
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