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22 Using Journals and Databases in Research

Richard A. Swanson Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

Using journal catalogs and databases as resources is critical to any research, no matter the form, circumstance, or method. Journal catalogs and databases are key tools commonly used to ground research studies in previous research, conduct literature reviews, develop theoretical frameworks, and provide general support for arguments, cases, and opinions. Databases can provide enough data to support multiple research studies, and the difficulties become knowing the most appropriate and meaningful questions to pose to the data.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide a clear and explicit description of how to use journal catalogs and databases as research resources. We will first review journal catalogs and their key uses, and provide a general process for using journal catalogs. Then we will do the same for databases.

JOURNAL CATALOGS

A source within the Penn State Library System suggests that “theoretically” 100% of all journals are cataloged in some form. However, there is no single catalog that contains all of them; rather, the catalogs attempt to arrange journals by subject. These catalogs, then, vary in how much of the subject area they actually provide access to, which can be anywhere from about 20% to 60% of “the literature” in that subject area. Thus, accessing the majority of the literature regarding a single subject area requires searches in multiple catalogs.

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9 Structural Equation Modeling: An Introduction to Basic Techniques and Advanced Issues

Richard A. Swanson Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

Structural equation modeling (SEM), a statistical modeling technique offering a comprehensive approach to research questions, has become increasingly popular in the behavioral sciences. The ease of a simple bivariate experiment is often not a feasible option when researchers investigate human behavior in its natural setting. Consequently, over the years, researchers have developed advanced statistical techniques to handle multiple independent and dependent variables, some of which are measured and others of which are unobserved. Researchers in areas of organizational behavior, management, business, and applied psychology are often interested in multivariate relationships among some or all of the variables in a specified model, and SEM provides a viable statistical tool for exploring all of these relationships. The models investigated typically depict processes presumed to underlie values obtained with sample data, and these processes are assumed to result in measures of association (e.g., correlation) among the variables in the models (Williams, Edwards, & Vandenberg, 2003). SEM tests models of predicted relationships among observed and unobserved variables and offers numerous advantages over traditional approaches to model testing.

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20 Technology and Human Resource Development

Richard A. Swanson Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

INTRODUCTION

Intense discussions about advancing technology have been around for three hundred years. Certainly the industrial revolutions of the 1700s and 1800s were watershed periods. Talking about technology advances is not new. Advancing technology for the past century has been largely about the core production and delivery of goods and services and the impact that technology has had on the nature of work and society.

The detailed lens-grinding case example in the WWII Training Within Industry Report (Dooley, 1945; Jacobs, 2003) is a vivid example of the interplay between HRD and technology. In that case, the quality of airplane gunnery lenses was a life-and-death matter. Trainers analyzed the work required (technology) and trained workers to perform the work at a very high level.

This first tier contact of HRD with technology still remains a large challenge to the profession as it goes about developing and unleashing human expertise for the purpose of improving performance. Most organizations are in a constant battle to keep their workforce technology expertise up to standard and helping to meet this challenge is one of the primary roles of HRD.

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18 Mixed Methods Research: Developments, Debates, and Dilemmas

Richard A. Swanson Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

Calls have been made for social and human science researchers to expand their research methodologies beyond traditional quantitative approaches (Hoshmand,

1989; Ponterotto & Grieger, 1999; Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004; Morrow &

Smith, 2000; Gergen, 2001; Hanson, Creswell, Plano Clark, & Petska, 2005. As qualitative approaches find increased acceptance within the social sciences, it is likely that empirically oriented investigators will increasingly look for ways to expand and diversify their methods for tackling research problems. One specific approach—mixed methods research—holds potential to have wide application for conducting research in organizations. In fact, some scholars indicate that it represents the next evolutionary trend (the “third methodological movement,” according to Tashakkori & Teddlie [2003, p. 45]) following the emergence of first quantitative and then qualitative approaches. Within 5 years, we predict, most social science research studies will involve the collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data (Creswell, 2004). Mixed methods will reside as a research design much the way investigators view randomized control trials or ethnographies.

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10 Overview of Training and Development

Richard A. Swanson Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

INTRODUCTION

Training and development constitutes the largest realm of HRD activity. Training and development (T&D) is defined as a process of systematically developing work-related knowledge and expertise for the purpose of improving performance. Training is not education-light—it is more than knowledge. People experiencing T&D should end up with new knowledge and be able to do things well after they complete a training program (Zemke, 1990). New knowledge by itself generally is not enough.

Within T&D, more effort is focused on training than on development. Also, training is more likely focused on new employees and those entering new job roles in contrast to long-term development. To be clear, the development portion of training and development is seen as “the planned growth and expansion of knowledge and expertise of people beyond the present job requirements” (Swanson,

2002, p. 6). In the majority of instances, development opportunities are provided to people who have a strong potential to contribute to the organization. Indeed, development often comes under the banner of management development and leadership development. In every case, people at all levels in all organizations need to know how to do their work (expertise) and generally need help with their learning.

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