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International Journal of Business and Management

Vol. 6, No. 7; July 2011

Enhancing Employees’ Commitment to Organisation through Training
Owoyemi, Oluwakemi Ayodeji, PhD Department of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, Faculty of Business Administration University of Lagos, Nigeria E-mail: oowoyemi@unilag.edu.ng Oyelere, Michael, PhD European Business School London, Department of Management and Human Resources Inner Circle, Regent's Park, London, United Kingdom E-mail: OyelereM@REGENTS.AC.UK Elegbede, Tunde Department of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, Faculty of Business Administration University of Lagos, Nigeria E-mail: telegbede@unilag.edu.ng Gbajumo-Sheriff, Mariam (Corresponding author) Department of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, Faculty of Business Administration University of Lagos, Nigeria Tel: 234-803-714-8629 E-mail: mgbajumo@unilag.edu.ng Received: November 29, 2010 Accepted: February 12, 2011 doi:10.5539/ijbm.v6n7p280

Abstract The role of training in human resource management practice has spur renewed and vigorous debate about the need for training and development. The debate has led academics and management to ponder on some issues germane to the benefits or otherwise of training. Is training an investment in people or cost? If training is required, what are the criterion used to determine who should be trained and when to train? These questions have permeated management circle and those in HRM department. Recent years have seen training terms renamed as training and development or learning and development, a sign of the spate of debate on the issue. Given these flurry, this paper explores the relationship between training and employees’ commitment to their organisation. The paper was based on a survey of 250 employees and management staff of a financial firm based in the South Western part of Nigeria. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to conduct several forms of analysis. The analysis revealed some evidence that suggest a positive statistical significant relationship between the different levels of training and employees’ commitment to organisation. A regression analysis was conducted on the data collected. The study revealed a positive statistical significant relationship between the different levels of training and employees’ commitment to the organisation. The paper concludes that the more the training giving to employees, the higher their level commitment to the organisation. Keywords: Training, Commitment, Performance, Human Resources, Management 1. Introduction The economic downturn is causing much concern about the potential decline in training, learning and development of employees. The conventional knowledge is that most employers cut back on employees training during recession to save production cost. This paper emphasise the importance of maintaining training, learning and development levels during recession. This is based on two main suppositions; first, training improves employees’ commitment to the organisation, and second, committed employees are likely to be more productive. In essence, in order for employers to remain competitive and maintain high level of performance, employers are employed not to cut back on employees’ training, learning and development needs. Training has been a subject of debate with various functions and definitions. Some authors define training as the ability of an organisation to develop skills and knowledge to do present and future job (Guest, 1997; Guest,

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1994. it can also be used to develop psychological connections between the company and employee as a means of achieving goals (Arthur. 2003. and Wasley 1993. Superior performance has been linked with organisations that implement this practices based on the fact that ‘commitment approach’ as classified by (Walton. July 2011 Michie. High Commitment Work Practices Commitment according to Jaw and Liu (2004) is not only a human relation concept but also involves generating human energy and activating human mind. normally away from the workplace with an instructor leading and aiming to change individual behaviour or attitude (Mullins. Peccei. 2004). Without commitment. 2009). and Finkelstein.ccsenet. 2003). Training according to Brum (2010). 2003) have been given. absenteeism. productivity and rely on conditions that encourages employees to identify with the goals of the organisation and also work in order to achieve common goals (Sweetman. training is a content-based activity. 1995) is used. 2009). Published by Canadian Center of Science and Education 281 . The development of skills underpins organisational business objectives (Keep. 2009. 2003). Walton (1995) prescribed “commitment” as a distinctive strategy for HRM whose positive effect will be felt. While these studies have been useful for demonstrating the potential value created through HR practice. 2010). 2010. 2003). In an attempt to ensure that the employee remains with the company following training. Rayton and Swart (2003) have argued that the majority of previous studies have looked at high commitment work practices from the employers’ perspective. Conway & Sheehan. but unable rule out the possibilities of the reverse (Wright et al. labour productivity and the quality of service (Boxall & Macky. Moreover.. 6. conversely. Most of the conceptualization of commitment used in most of the American studies reflects more of managerialist and unitarist outlook (Guest. 2003). it will sequentially increase their commitment to the organisation. Although researchers such as Boxall and Macky (2009) and Purcell. which emphasises is on the need to develop organisational commitment amongst employees based on the assumption that it will lead to positive outcomes such as low labour turn over. selection. security employee involvement (Guest et al.org/ijbm International Journal of Business and Management Vol. High commitment work practice according to Guest (2003) is an approach to managing employees. Kinnie. 1999. Employees’ Training and Development Explored Most training literatures have emphasised the benefits organisational gained from adopting a systematic approach to human resource learning and development. the implementation of new ideas and initiatives will be compromised (see Ramus and Steger 2000 cited in Jaw & Liu. 2000. even though most of them are focused on effective work management. Several academic researches on human resource management practices suggested that high commitment human resource practices will increase organisational effectiveness by creating a condition whereby employees become highly motivated and involved in the organisational activities aimed at achieving organisational goals (see Arthur. 2000). Puffer. Companies can seek to achieve organizational goals through a variety of human resource strategies and approaches and the importance of ensuring employees’ commitment and retention following training may lie in the strategic approach that is utilised. and Weintrop 1991). 2004). when employees positively interpret high commitment work practices. employers may implement a strategy to training that fosters commitment. 7. That is why we may believe that HR practices are driving employees’ commitment. according to Scholl (2003). which can further counter the numerous direct and indirect costs associated with employees’ turnover. Abu-Baker. performance evaluation. Pfeffer 1994). 3. Hence organisations with a fit business strategy. recruitment. There is no general agreement as to what can increase an employee’s commitment to the organisation. Other labels such as high commitment (Boxall & Macky. 1994. Marchington 1994. thereby increasing their individual performances and hence organisational performance will also increase (Purcell et al.. No. Training from a company’s perspective adds to human capital and also a means of securing workplace commitment. 2001). Although a commitment strategy can be tied to all company human resource practices. Scholl. Nevertheless. Most behavioural learning theorist agreed on this point (see Haleblian. 2000).. others sees it as an important employee motivator (Barret & O’Connell. Boxall & Macky.. which aims at increasing effectiveness. better motivation and improved performance. Studies have shown that most organisations devote little attention to the evaluation of training effectiveness (Keep and Rainbird. 1995). they have revealed very little regarding the process through which this value is created (Wright et al. 1989). recent studies have shown that high commitment practices can work well synergistically and a reflective of a general commitment strategy (Sweetman. 2003). 2001). Human resource system can facilitate the development or organisational competencies through eliciting employees’ commitment to the firm (Arthur. and the over dependence on such perspectives can sometimes be mis-leading and will not present the real impact on organisational performance. Guest et al. Owen (2006) will increase employees’ commitment.. 2. structure and practices and policy might perform better. 2001). Boxall & Macky. Campbell. Hutchinson. 2009. 1994. The theoretical proposition therefore is that training is likely to lead to employees’ commitment to the organisation. lean production (MacDuffie & Kochan.www. Evidences derived from social science researches have shown that there is now a broad agreement amongst commentators that high commitment work practices do improve performance.

ccsenet. Fleetwood & Hesketh. 2002). This argument is based on the premise that some HR practices such as ‘Training’ may be perceived as a ‘gift’ from the employers (following Barrett and O’Connell. within a supposition that establishments that provide training to their employees are likely perform better than organisations that do not. Thus. (bo) is the intercept or the constant upon which the independent variables are based on. The research model and equation will be as follows Commitment = Constant + Level of Training……equation (1a) The variable “commitment” was used to measure all the responses to the question ‘do you feel committed to the organisation’? The responses to the question were recoded and broken down into those that strongly agree. Even though the lack of training in Nigerian workplaces has sometimes been blamed on the lack of interest amongst workers. neither agree or disagree. 6. agree. especially when there has been so much investment in high quality and flexibility of the workforce. Guest et al.www. July 2011 Nigerian has been consistently criticised for its low levels of workplace training and development (Fajana. The effect of such gift according to Brum (2010) will make employees to exert more effort. 2010). 4. its values must lie in the part it can play in the integrated HRM strategy. when an organisation meets such expectation. A total of 250 respondents. Although various reports have been given on the positive impact of training on organisational commitment (Boxall & Macky. Statement of Problem The study investigates the relationship between training and commitment in a financial service organisation in South-Western Nigeria. The hypothesis tested in this paper is based on the comprehensive analysis of the argument that surrounds training and commitment. Alternative Hypothesis: There is a positive statistical significant relationship between training and employees’ commitment to the organisation. The levels of training were Less than one day training. Identifying why employers are failing to train according to Keep and Rainbird (2000) is an attempt to find the solution to the problem.Xp) are the independent variables. returned the questionnaire distributed. 6. for those who had received training for less than one day. bii. Most fingers are now being pointed at the employers.org/ijbm International Journal of Business and Management Vol. 7. Objectives for the Study Specifically. lack of information and inadequate individual resources (Lloyd. biii…bp) are the coefficient which can also be the slope. 2) To determine if an increase in the amount of training employees have will increase their level of commitment to the organisation.. This paper therefore looks at training as a single practice in the financial service organisation and its effect on employees’ commitment to their organisation. become more productive. (bi. The independent variable “training” was also broken down into different levels of training based on the number of days that employees were trained. 2002). Methodology The target population for the study consists of all the employees of Financial Service organisation in South-Western Nigeria. Amongst the explanation given were the market failure. Other commentators have argued that the training failure is more systematic and a reflection of Nigerian’ economy and organisational culture. Xiii…. 2001). 2009. Given the position of the existing literature on the relationship between training and commitment. that emphasises that employee will help the organisation. 6. Xii. No. which represents seventy five percent of the total population.1 The Model of Analysis The model of analysis will be based on regression analysis. because the organisation helped to employee (Brum. especially now that there is a global economic down turn. strongly disagree and the missing value (-999) for no response. The idea parallels closely to the concept of reciprocity. The respondents consist of 120 (48%) male employees and 130 (52%) female employees. the following hypothesis is developed Null Hypothesis: There is no statistical significant relationship between training and employees’ commitment to the organisation. where Y = bo + bi(X) + bii(Xii) + biii(X)……bp(Xp) Where (Y) is the dependent variable (commitment) (X. Less than five days training for those that have received training for 2 to 4 days. who are trying everything possible to reduce running cost. 2006). and have a greater sense of debt to the organization. The purposive and stratified sampling technique was used to select the respondents. disagree. 5. Brum further argues that the ‘training as a gift’ from employers also has the potential to make employees feel like insiders into the organisation and are more likely to be more committed and devoted to the company. employees are most likely to reciprocate. (2003) argued that for the effect of training to be felt. the objectives of the study are to: 1) Explore the relationship between training and employees’ commitment to the organisation. (See Table 1: Overview of the Respondents in the Appendix). Less than two days training for those who had received training for 1 to 2 days. Less than ten days 282 ISSN 1833-3850 E-ISSN 1833-8119 . recent studies disprove this assertion.

7. Ten or more days training is for those who had received more than 10 days training. Owens (2006) also reported a significant relationship between training and organisational outcomes.org/ijbm International Journal of Business and Management Vol. July 2011 training for those that had training for 5 to 10 days and finally. increase earnings and likewise non financial benefits in terms of commitment and job satisfaction. The major finding is that businesses that were operating below their expected labour productivity levels prior to providing and implementing new employees’ training. . learning and development programs that resulted in significantly larger increases in labour productivity growth should understand the significance of training programmes to employees’ productivity and organisational objectives. The human resource management practitioners should integrate employee training. Given the above. less 10 and more than 10 days training all had a standard error showing (. Although the direction of causality cannot be truly established. When an organisation provides training to employees. 14. The research supports the existing literature that training is likely not only to increase and improve employees’ knowledge and skill. we can conclude that training will not only improve the technical and non. 2006. 13.0175707). 6. the more training given. He found that employee’s in training programs increases the levels of commitment. Discussion Commitment within the workplace typically results from the interaction and the relationship that an employee has with an organization (Scholl. which will result in employees reciprocating such behaviour by demonstrating a stronger affective organisational commitment. creating and facilitating increased organisational output.0232076. That is. . . The result of analysis is illustrated in the table below The table 2 below shows that the employees that had less than one day training has a standard error of (. Gallie and White cited in Santos and Stuart 2003). The effect of training in this situation is positive and beneficial to the financial service organisation. Huselid 1996). These results suggest that the more training given to employees.technical skills of the employees. 2003). learning and development of their employees in order to ensure better performance. 8. rather. Another empirical evidence and theoretical argument that supports these were also given by Keep (1998). Based on the findings. It is suggested that training should be implemented as part of the larger organisational development strategies aimed at getting a committed workforce.0363487).0245801) and the coefficient is (. No. the more committed they will be to the organisation. the results are in line with other findings (see Black and Lynch 1996. the stronger employees’ commitment to the organisation.. Furthermore. this paper suggests that by adopting and increasing employees’ training.155000.ccsenet. the chances of better performance is enhanced. less 5. The results showed that the size of coefficients is increasing as the level of training increases. That is. The hypothesis that there is a positive statistical significant relationship between training and employees’ commitment to the organisation stated in the previous section has therefore been supported. .7. Employers should therefore invest more in training. which is quite productive and can affect performance.253328. employees are likely to place greater value on training programs that are more frequent and highly respected by colleagues. coefficients (. In the main. . The (Z = 1.3147034.585 employees in the Employment in Britain Survey. 7. and which they may reciprocate through their committed to the organisation. Porter and Tripoli (1997) reported similar results that training signals commitment from the organisation to the employees. but it can be used to get employees committed to the organisation. the more committed an employee will be to the organisation. . learning and development into HRM practises aimed at getting a committed workforce and also practices aimed at increasing organisational performance (Fleetwood & Hesketh. less 10. 12. All these aforementioned research affirmed the hypotheses that training has a positive impact on employees’ commitment and turnover. he found that 94% of the employees felt that training is beneficial in terms of achieving qualification. gain promotions. The levels of training and the proportion of employees that had been trained as the independent variables are expected to affect employees’ commitment.0201217. this is likely to lead to the actualisation of organisational objectives and ensure competitive advantage over its competitors. Bartlett (2001) argues that organisations that are able to create an environment where training is supported and valued by employees will be able to achieve greater commitment outcomes such as low employees’ turnover.46.56. supervisors. The positive sign indicates the direction of the relationship. organisations are likely not only to support the growth and development of their employees. This is because employees interpret training as an indicative of commitment from the organisation to them.42) respectively and all are significant at 1%.48) and it is significant at 5%. Results The results in the summarised table showed that training is positively and strongly correlated with employees’ commitment to the organisation. it is also a means of achieving higher organisational commitment and performance. The other levels of training such as the less 2. The statistical analyses have shown that the more training given to employees’.www. in his study of 3. This higher rate of productivity growth is sufficient to bring these businesses up to the labour productivity levels of comparable businesses. Published by Canadian Center of Science and Education 283 . access to training according to Brum (2010) can also play a significant role into the level of commitment that is established.301899 respectively) and (Z = 7. and managers. but conversely.0242390. In a more recent study.

11. No. The relationship between 'high-performance work practices' and employee attitudes: an investigation of additive and interaction effects. 284 ISSN 1833-3850 E-ISSN 1833-8119 . (January. S. Measuring performance using NASDAQ Returns. (2006). C. (2009). Research and theory on high-performance work systems: progressing the high-involvement stream. Does Training Generally Work?: The return to In. the policy-makers should also put in place polices that will be tailored at organisations that are yet to put into place employees’ training and development programmes in their management strategies. 12(4). Limitations of the Study This research has adopted a one-sided approach of the effect of training. (2010). C. 37 (3).835. and Macky. Havard Business Review. (2001). 670 -687. S.. There is also the need to enlighten the general public on the sine qua non and overall effect of training on employees’ commitment to the organisation. Delery. Kogan. (2007). A. Academy of Management Journal. In conclusion. Human Resource Management: An Introduction. establishments that train might also be at a higher risk of losing their most efficient and better-trained employees to other organisations that are ready to offer them more pay in terms of their well-developed skills. 8 (3). 2011). References Abu-Baker. C. J. K. (1993). Campbell. training is a tool that can assist in building a more committed and productive workforce and can lead to greater commitment and less employee turnover. learning and development to commitment. Conclusions The main purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between training. What Impact Does Training have on Employee Commitment and Employee Turnover. K. A. 76 (3). This result is consistent with other research and findings on the relationship between training and employees’ commitment to the organisation. Boxall. learning and development on employee attitude in terms of commitment. (2001). 34 (4). Journal of Financial Economics. and O' Connell. Journal of Critical Realism 5 (2). Furthermore. Armstrong. Fleetwood. The cost implications can be either monetary in terms of money spent on training or non monetary or intangible in terms of times spent while been trained or while giving out training.edu/research/lrc/research/papers/Brum-Commitment. 98 -105. The Relationship Between Training and Organizational Commitment: A Study in the Health Care Field. Industrial and labour Relations Review. D. M. Modes of Theorising in Strategic Human Resource Management: Test of Universalistic.pdf. July 2011 Furthermore. The underlying philosophy therefore is the need for management to acknowledge and openly accept that training is one of the commitment-based strategies that can be utilised to enhance organisational performance. (1997). Arthur.org/ijbm International Journal of Business and Management Vol. Fajana. S. Human Resource Management and Performance.www...uri. 263-275. (1996).. Organisational Performance and (Lack of) Predictive Power. Productivity Gains from the Implementation of employee Training Programme. Human Resource Development Quarterly. Barrett. 6. International Journal of Human Resource Management. (2002). Based on these findings. the more committed they will be to the organisation. Industrial Relations. Training from another perspective can be expensive and cost-effective. 33 (4). P. A hand book of Human Resource Management Practice. Bartel. effective training program can lead to greater employee commitment and a more stable workforce. Lagos. (1994). M.ccsenet. Empowerment: The Emperor's New Cloth. J. Brum. Creating awareness of its importance will go along way in ensuring management’s commitment to employees training. 335-352. The result using a regression model showed that. 33: 73-92. Argyris.Company Training. 19: 3-23. Doctorial Symposium. Manchester Metropolitan University Business School. Effects of Human Resource System on Manufacturing Performance and Turnover. J. Research Institute for Business and Management. 10. and Wasley. (2010). International Journal of Human Resource Management. (2003).. High Performance Work Systems. 9. The Role and Impact of Family Friendly Work Practices in the Contect of Middle Eastern Organisations. Although this result suggests that it is beneficial to both employees and employers. D. and Doty. and Hesketh. 803 . 18(4): 537-67. P. learning and development. Human Resource Management Journal. it did lay much emphasis on the fact that training can increase the operational cost of running an organisation which can reduce the gross profit for those establishments that are large and those that train most of their employees. 228-250. 53 (3). (1994). Labofin and Company. K. and Macky. P.425 Bartlett. the more training given to employees. 7. Academy of Management Journal. Contingency and Configurational Performance Prediction. 647-662. Guest. (1998). Boxall. [Online] Available: http://www. A. E..

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.0% 36.0% 50.70 Less than 5days training . Err.org/ijbm International Journal of Business and Management Vol. M.www.46 Less than10days training .56 More than10days training .4% 51.6% 30.ccsenet.2% 36. M.0242390 12.155000 .Sc.42 *** indicates that the coefficient is statistically significant at the 5% level P>|z| 0.0201217 7.0% 32.4% 4.0175707 14.0% 52.000*** 0. No.000*** 286 ISSN 1833-3850 E-ISSN 1833-8119 .036348 .8% 36.0% Table 2.0% 56. B.A. Table showing the Relationship between Training and Commitment Equation : Y(commitment) = function* bi (Training) Number of observations = 250 Variables Coef.253328 . 7..0232076 13.0% 2.0% 18.Sc.139* 0.48 Less than 2days training .000*** 0.301899 .6% 12.0% 48.000*** 0. July 2011 Table 1. Work Experience Less than a year 1-5 years 6-10 years 11-15 years Status of Respondent Management staff Senior staff Junior staff (N=250) (N=120) (N=130) (N=80) (N=125) (N=45) (N=90) (N=140) (N=15) (N=5) (N=121) (N=129) (N=30) (N=134) (N=76) (N=10) (N=68) (N=92) (N=90) Per cent (%) 48.A MBA.0% 6.0% 27.314703 . B.0245801 1. An Overview of the Respondents Descriptive Gender Female Male Age 21-30 31-40 41-50 Marital Status Single Married Widowed Divorced/Separate Academic Qualification HND. Std.0% 53. 6. z Less than 1day training .

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