The modification, elaboration and empirical evaluation of the De Goede learning potential structural model through the incorporation of non-cognitive learning competency potential latent variables

Du Toit, Berne (2014-12)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: People are often referred to in a Human Resource Development context as the organisation‟s most important resource in recognition of the important knowledge and learning they bring to the organisation (Bierema & Eraut, 2004). South African organisations experience a shortage of this valuable and important resource due to the country‟s social political past which was led by the Apartheid system. South Africa today still suffers from the consequences of the history of racial discrimination which was lead by the Apartheid system. This system was one of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government of South Africa between 1948 and 1993 and it deprived the majority of South Africans of the opportunity to develop and accumulate human capital. South Africa‟s past has thus left the previously disadvantaged group members with underdeveloped competency potential, as opposed to the not previously disadvantaged group members, and this has subsequently led to adverse impact in valid, fair (in the Cleary sense of the term) strict-top-down selection. This underdeveloped competency potential prohibits these individuals from succeeding in the world of work. Because of the importance of labour it is crucial that the South African labour force be developed to reach its full potential. Adverse impact in personnel selection refers to the situation where a selection strategy affords members of a specific group a lower probability of being selected compared to members of another group (Boeyens, 1989). There thus lies a vast reservoir of untapped human potential in this country, and a method to identify these individuals is required. The fact that adverse impact is created during personnel selection does not necessarily mean that selection procedures are responsible for the adverse impact. Adopting a problem orientation involves using careful analysis to identify the root causes of a problem (Bierema & Eraut, 2004). In South Africa an intellectually honest solution to the problem of adverse impact would be to provide development opportunities, rather than searching for an alternative selection instrument, to those individuals who have been denied opportunities in the past in order to develop skills, abilities and coping strategies necessary for job performance. This does not imply that affirmative action should be abolished; it rather suggests that the focus of this corrective policy should shift towards a more developmental approach. More emphasis should be placed on providing the previously disadvantaged with the necessary training and development to foster the necessary competency potential to succeed in the world of work. Affirmative developmental opportunities will entail giving previously disadvantaged individuals access to skills development and educational opportunities aimed at equipping them with the currently deficit skills and knowledge. A need exists to identify individuals who will gain maximum benefit from these developmental opportunities and who display the highest potential to learn, as resources for such developmental programmes are scarce. Attempts at accelerated affirmative development will be effective to the extent to which there exists a comprehensive understanding of the factors underlying training performance and the manner in which they combine to determine learning performance (De Goede & Theron, 2010). De Goede (2007) has already conducted a study to identify such individuals. Selection alone, although important and necessary, is not sufficient to ensure successful affirmative development interventions. Additional interventions are required, post-selection, to ensure success. The primary objectives of this study are consequently to build onto De Goede‟s (2007) foundations and it is therefore necessary to describe De Goede‟s (2007) model, explain its underlying argument, report on the fit of his proposed structural model and also to report on the findings regarding the specific causal relationships which he proposed. De Goede‟s (2007) existing learning potential structural model was expanded with the inclusion of additional non-cognitive variables in order to gain a deeper understanding of the complexity underlying learning and the determinants of learning performance. The hypothesised learning potential structural model was empirically tested and evaluated and achieved good close fit. Modification indices calculated as part of the structural equation modelling suggested a specific addition to the existing model that would improve the fit. One modification was subsequently made to the model after the consideration of the full range of fit indices, standardised residuals, modification indices and parameter estimates. No paths were removed. This decision was taken because the path-specific hypotheses that were tested referred to the specific paths when they were included in the specific model. Deleting insignificant paths from the model would therefore change the original hypotheses. The final revised structural model achieved good fit. The limitations of the research methodology, the practical implications of this study, and recommendations for future research are also discussed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die konteks van Menslike Hulpbronontwikkeling word daar vele kere na mense verwys as die organisasie se belangrikste hulpbron uit erkenning vir die belangrike kennis en leer wat hulle na die organisasie bring (Bierema & Eraut, 2004). Suid-Afrikaanse organisasies ervaar „n tekort aan die waardevolle en belangrike hulpbron weens die land se verlede onder leiding van die Apartheidsisteem. Suid-Afrika ly vandag steeds onder die gevolge van die geskiedenis van rassediskriminasie onder leiding van die Apartheidstelsel. Hierdie stelsel is gebaseer op wetlike rasseskeiding, afgedwing deur die Nasionale Party regering in Suid-afrika tussen 1948 en 1993. Hierdie sisteem het die meeste Suid-Afrikaners die geleentheid op toegang tot ontwikkelingsgeleenthede ontneem. Suid-Afrika se verlede het die lede van die voorheen benadeelde groepe gelaat met onderontwikkelde bevoegdheidspotensiaal, in teenstelling met lede van bevoorregte groepe. Dit het daartoe aanleiding gegee dat geldige en regverdige (in die Cleary sin van die begrip) streng bo-tot-onder keuring „n nadelige impak teen voorheen benadeelde individue tot gevolg het. Die onderontwikkelde bevoegdheidspotensiaal verhoed die voorheen benadeelde groepe om suksesvol in die werksplek te wees. Weens die belangrikheid van arbeid is dit noodsaaklik dat die Suid-Afrikaanse arbeidsmag ontwikkel word om sy volle potensiaal te bereik. Nadelige impak in personeelkeuring verwys na die situasie waar „n keuringstrategie lede van „n spesifieke groep „n laer waarskynlikheid van keuring bied in vergelyking met lede van „n ander groep (Boeyens, 1989). Daar bestaan dus „n reuse onontginde reservoir van menslike potensiaal in hierdie land en „n metode om hierdie individue te identifiseer word benodig. Die feit dat „n nadelige impak geskep word tydens personeelkeuring beteken nie noodwendig dat die keuringsprosedures verantwoordelik is vir die nadelige impak nie. Die aanvaarding van „n probleemoriëntasie vereis die gebruik van „n versigtige analise om die grondoorsake van „n problem te identifiseer (Bierema & Eraut, 2004). In Suid-Afrika sal dit „n intellektueel eerlike oplossing ten opsigte van die probleem van nadelige impak bied om ontwikkelingsgeleenthede te voorsien aan daardie lede wat geleenthede misgun is in die verlede, om vaardighede, vermoëns en hanteringstrategieë wat benodig word vir werksprestasie te ontwikkel, eerder as om „n ander keuringsinstrument te soek. Daar word glad nie hiermee geïmpliseer dat regstellende aksie tot niet gemaak moet word nie. Daar word slegs voorgestel dat die fokus van regstellende aksie meer ontwikkelingsgerig moet wees. Groter klem moet dus daarop geplaas word om lede van voorheen benadeelde groepe die geleenthede te gee om die nodige bevoegdheidspotensiaal te ontwikkel om suksesvol in the werksplek te wees. Regstellende ontwikkelingsgeleenthede sal voorheen benadeelde individue toegang gee tot opleidings en ontwikkelingsgeleenthede wat daarop afgestem is om hulle van die nodige vaardighede en kennis te voorsien wat hulle kortkom. „n Behoefte bestaan om daardie indiwidue te identifieer wat die grootste voordeel uit hierdie ontwikkelingsgeleenthede sal trek en wat die hoogste vlak van leerpotensiaal het, aangesien hulpbronne vir die doel baie skaars is. Pogings tot versnelde regstellende ontwikkeling sal net suksesvol wees tot die mate wat daar „n omvattende begrip is van die faktore wat onderliggend is aan leerprestasie en die wyse waarop hulle kombineer om leerprestasie te bepaal (De Goede & Theron, 2010). De Goede (2007) het reeds so „n leerpotensiaalnavorsingstudie gedoen. Keuring alleen, alhoewel belangrik en noodsaaklik, is nie voldoende om suksesvolle regstellende ontwikkelingsingrypings te verseker nie. Verdere addisionele ingrypings word na keuring benodig om sukses te verseker. Die primêre doelstellings van hierdie studie is gevolglik om op De Goede (2007) se fondasies te bou. De Goede (2007) se model is beskryf, sy onderliggende argument is verduidelik, verslag is gedoen oor die pasgehalte van die voorgestelde strukturele model en ook oor sy bevindinge aangaande die spesifieke, oorsaaklike verwantskappe wat hy voorgestel het. De Goede (2007) se bestaande leerpotensiaal strukturele model is gewysig en uitgebrei deur die toevoeging van addisionele nie-kognitiewe veranderlikes om ‟n meer indringende begrip van die kompleksiteit onderliggend aan leer en die determinante van leerprestasie te verkry. Die strukturele model is empiries getoets en geëvalueer en die model het „n goeie passing getoon. Modifikasie-indekse bereken as deel van die strukturele vergelykingsmodellering het „n spesifieke baan uitgewys wat die passing van die model sou verbeter indien dit bygevoeg word tot die bestaande model. Die strukturele model is dus aangepas deur die addisionele baan by te voeg tot die bestaande model na die oorweging van die volle spektrum pasgehaltemaatstawwe, gestandaardiseerde residue, modifikasie-indekse and parameterskattings. Geen bane is verwyder nie. Die besluit is geneem omdat die baan-spesifieke hipoteses wat getoets is, verwys het na spesifieke bane toe hulle ingesluit is in die spesifieke model. Verwydering van bane wat nie statisties beduidend was nie, sou dus die oorspronklike hipoteses verander. Die bevinding was dat die finaal-gewysigde strukturele model die data goed gepas het. Die beperkinge van die navorsingsmetodiek, die praktiese implikasies van die studie en aanbevelinge vir toekomstige navorsing word ook bespreek.

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