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Research Proposal on Competency-based Training & Assessment in the Oil & Gas Industry

Competency-based Training & Assessment in the Oil and Gas Industry

1.0 Introduction        
The importance of training and assessment effectiveness has long been recognized as a crucial issue for organizations (Ford et al., 1997; Noe and Ford, 1992; Tannenbaum and Yukl, 1992). To the extent that employee-training programs are effective, organizations are able to avoid wasteful spending and improve performance and productivity. Thus, a key consideration for virtually all organizations is the expected return provided the organization for its training investment. Because it has been suggested that organizations are likely to increase their reliance upon and utilization of employee training programs in years to come, the effectiveness of competency-based training and assessment in the Oil and Gas Industry is likely to become even more salient in the future. In today's Oil and Gas Industry, workers must be prepared to change the way they do their jobs in order to capture the benefits from rapidly evolving technology. Competency-based training and assessment goes hand-in-hand with productivity, quality, flexibility, and automation in the best performing firms.

2.0 Thesis Statement/Problem
The study intends to conduct a study pertaining to the competency-based training and assessment in the Oil and Gas Industry. Specifically, the study would like to answer the following questions:
  1. What are the training techniques conducted by competency-based training and assessment in the Oil and Gas Industry?
  2. How do Oil and Gas Industry choose their trainees?
  3. How do this Oil and Gas Industry measure the level of learning the trainees have acquired from their training?
  4. What is the level of learning of the trainees after they have finished their training from Oil and Gas Industry?
  5. Is there a significant difference between the level of learning acquired by the trainees from Oil and Gas Industry?

3.0 Literature Review
This is illustrated by several studies conducted by other authors regarding training and assessment. Specifically, Tannenbaum and colleagues (1993) provided an integrative framework for all the variables that influence the design and delivery of training (Cannon-Bowers et al 1995). The framework outlines in detail the pretraining and during-training conditions that may influence learning, as well as the factors that may facilitate the transfer of skills after training. Kozlowski & Salas (1997), drawing from organizational theory, discussed the importance of characterizing the factors and processes in which training interventions are implemented and transferred in organizations. Moreover, Kozlowski and colleagues (Kozlowski et al 2000) consider organizational system factors and training design issues that influence the effectiveness of vertical transfer processes. Vertical transfer refers to the upward propagation of individual-level training outcomes that emerge as team- and organizational-level outcomes. This issue has been largely neglected by researchers yet is suggested to be crucial to training effectiveness. Similarly, researchers have begun to understand and outline the barriers and myths that exist in organizations as they implement training (Salas et al 1999). In other work, Kraiger et al (1993) provided new conceptualizations of learning and evaluation theory, approaches, and measurement. These authors expanded Kirkpatrick's (1976) evaluation typology by incorporating recent notions in cognitive psychology.

4.0 Theoretical Orientation
The theoretical orteientation to be used in the study is the Input-Process-Output Model. Figure 1 illustrates the basic IPO model:
Figure 1
Input – Process – Output Model

The IPO model will provide the general structure and guide for the direction of the study. Substituting the variables of this study on the IPO model, the researcher came up with the following:
Figure 2
Conceptual Framework
           INPUT                                PROCESS                           OUTPUT

5.0 Methodology

Research requires an organized data gathering in order to pinpoint the research philosophies and theories that will be included in the research, the methodology of the research and the instruments of data interpretation. The research described in this document is partly based on quantitative research methods. This permits a flexible and iterative approach. During data gathering the choice and design of methods are constantly modified, based on ongoing analysis. This allows investigation of important new issues and questions as they arise, and allows the investigators to drop unproductive areas of research from the original research plan.
This study also employs qualitative research method, since this research intends to find and build theories that would explain the relationship of one variable with another variable through qualitative elements in research. These qualitative elements does not have standard measures, rather they are behavior, attitudes, opinions, and beliefs.
Furthermore, as we define the qualitative research it is multimethod in focus, involving an interpretative, naturalistic approach to its subject matter. This means that qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or interpret phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them. Accordingly, qualitative researchers deploy a wide range of interconnected methods, hoping always to get a better fix on the subject matter at hand.
6.0 Data Analysis
The primary source of data will come from the researcher-made questionnaire and interview questions. The primary data frequently gives the detailed definitions of terms and statistical units used in the study. These are usually broken down into finer classifications.
The secondary sources of data will come from published articles from social science journals, theses and related studies on corporate management. Acquiring secondary data are more convenient to use because they are already condensed and organized. Moreover, analysis and interpretation are done more easily.

7.0 Implication of Research

This study will be focusing on the current competency-based training and assessment practices of Oil and Gas Industry. This study will primarily benefit both the leaders of business industries.  As for the leaders, this study will show if their expectations and goals pertaining to training and development will be met and be used in future of businesses.  Moreover, educators can gain from this study, as they find the connection between how they have designed their curriculum and identify the actual needs of the oil and gas industry.  In that way, they would be able to make immediate changes, if necessary, or continued improvement of their programs, through further studies.  Any deficiencies in training can then be addressed by both the academe and the industry so that there won’t be any shortages in that field.

Finally, this study would benefit future researchers in the field of the public administration, business administration, education, and the social sciences since it depicts the future of the businesses and corporations and its varying effects to many sectors of society.

8.0 Work plan


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
Select topic
Undertake preliminary literature search
  • Define research questions
  • Write-up aims and objectives
Select appropriate methodology and locate sources of information. Confirm access.
Write-up Dissertation Plan
Undertake and write-up draft critical literature review.
Secondary and Primary Data Detailed
  • Sources
  • Consulted
Research Findings:
  • Analyzed
  • Evaluated
  • Written-up
  • Research findings evaluated and discussed in relation to the literature review
Methodology written-up
(including limitations and constraints)
Main body of the report written-up and checked for logical structure
  • Conclusions drawn
  • Recommendations made
Introduction and Executive Summary written-up
Final format and indexing

9.0 List of References

Cannon-Bowers JA, Salas E. 1997. Teamwork competencies: the interaction of team member knowledge, skills, and attitudes. In Workforce Readiness: Competencies and Assessment, ed. HF O'Niel, pp. 151-74. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum
Ford JK, Smith EM, Weissbein DA, Gully SM, Salas E. 1998. Relationships of goal-orientation, metacognitive activity, and practice strategies with learning outcomes and transfer. J. Appl. Psychol. 83:218-33
Kirkpatrick DL. 1976. Evaluation of training. In Training and Development Handbook, ed. RL Craig, Ch. 18. New York: McGraw-Hill. 2nd ed.
Kozlowski SWJ, & Salas E. 1997. A multilevel organizational systems approach for the implementation and transfer of training. See Ford et al 1997, pp. 247-87
Kraiger K, Ford JK, Salas E. 1993. Application of cognitive, skill-based, and affective theories of learning outcomes to new methods of training evaluation. J. Appl. Psychol. 78:311-28
Noe, R. A. and J. K. Ford. 1992. "Emerging issues and new directions for training research." In Research in personnel and human resources management. Ed. G. R. Ferris. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press. pp. 345-384.
Salas E, Fowlkes J, Stout RJ, Milanovich DM, Prince C. 1999. Does CRM training improve teamwork skills in the cockpit?: two evaluation studies. Hum. Factors 41:326-43
Tannenbaum SI, Cannon-Bowers JA, Mathieu JE. 1993. Factors That Influence Training Effectiveness: A Conceptual Model and Longitudinal Analysis. Rep. 93-011, Naval Train. Syst. Cent., Orlando, FL
Tannenbaum, S. I. and G. Yukl. 1992. "Training and development in work organizations." In Annual review of psychology. Eds. P. R. Rozenzwig and L. W. Porter. Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews, Inc. pp. 399-441.


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