Can do or will do? the importance of self-efficacy and instrumentality for training transfer

Dan S. Chiaburu, Douglas R. Lindsay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Training participants' cognitions (training self-efficacy and training instrumentality) can be powerful motivational forces (and impact their motivation to learn and motivation to transfer) and influence important distal outcomes (such as training transfer). Our paper provides a set of ideas linking training cognitions with training outcomes. In addition, we support our propositions with a preliminary empirical test, based on a sample of 254 employees, who provide information on their training perceptions of training and development efforts at their organization. The results indicate that although the ‘can do’ (training self-efficacy) is a primary predictor or motivation to learn, the ‘will do’ aspect (training instrumentality) is the primary predictor for motivation to transfer. In addition, training transfer is predicted primarily by motivation to transfer, and has a strong relationship with training instrumentality. Given the paucity of research on the instrumentality aspect, we discuss theoretical and practical implications, and directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-206
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Resource Development International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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