Leading decision making and planning for online HRD in a national health and wellness NGO
Ross Humby, University of Calgary , Canada
University of Calgary . Awarded
This explanatory multiple case study was conducted to determine what factors were important to decision making that led individuals in a national, multisite, nonprofit organization, a subset of a nongovernmental organization (NGO), to select a technology-enhanced distance education solution for staff and volunteer training, and to identify key emergent themes. The literature review included canon on the nature of training, planning, and decision making for technology-enhanced distance education. The Bates ACTIONS technology choice model (2000), and the curriculum-centred strategic planning model (Dolence, 2004) formed the conceptual framework for the data collected from the case study interviews. The factors that influenced the 8 decision makers to choose a technology-enhanced distance education system included factors external as well as internal to the organization. External factors were the market and economic situation, competitive and partnership considerations, and the cost of technology for training. Internal factors were learner centred or organization centred. Learner-centred factors were the ability of learners to access the learning, the necessity to understand the learners' needs including their geographic distribution, a need for interactivity in the learning design, and an understanding of the impact of the technological choice on teachers and learners. Internal organizational factors included the understanding of organizational impacts, plus a need to incorporate technology decisions into the strategic planning and operational analysis processes. A measure of organizational effectiveness (i.e., key performance indicators) and the importance of individual skills completed the organizational factor influences. This research identified the internal and external factors that influenced the decision making for individuals within an NGO that led to the decision to implement a technology-enhanced distance education for staff and volunteer training. A new balanced decision-planning model was proposed as a result of this research and the extended application of the Bates (2000) ACTIONS technology choice model. This research also demonstrated the need for further investigation into NGO performance, including the role of leadership, human resource development, and NGO program policy.
Humby, R. Leading decision making and planning for online HRD in a national health and wellness NGO. Ph.D. thesis, University of Calgary.
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