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Proffesional Doctorate



Personal characteristics which enable learning to be applied


Thesis Outline.

The 'transfer problem', making sure learning is applied is estimated to cost 90 billion euros and 107 million dollars a year, with estimates of 10% - 30% of learning being realised. A literature review of the research on learning transfer reveals a complex, multifaceted and confusing array of information. Enabling learning to be transferred is a combination of the organisational setting, the support received and the personal characteristics of the learner. Isolating how individual learners create impact and add value is the purpose of the research. Establishing a diagnostic which can be used within, or between learners, and enables them to establish the importance of the characteristics within a context, self assess their capability and identify opportunities to practice, is the outcome of the research to influence the community of practice called 'trainers'. The world of training is changing as open learning and coaching place more emphasis on the learner to manage their learning and deliverers of learning content to make sure learning can be applied. The distinction between formal and informal learning is being diluted as people have to take responsibility for the application of their learning. The research has polled 116 global trainers, students on the Professional Doctorate programme, line managers who are coaches. 120 global managers in multinational organisations, retirees who held executive positions, Professors/Deans of business schools and experts in professional development contributed to understand how they apply their learning in a life long learning approach.


I have spent 30 years in people development running programmes in leadership development, influence and coaching in 37 countries. 8 years were spent as head of HR for a multinational chemical company, with plants in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Canada and Malaysia, changing the corporate culture from traditional top down to embrace leadership, innovation and adopt a people oriented approach. Following a diagnosis of cancer I asked ex participants whether I had made a difference. With the complexity of responses it was clear that the application of learning is not a simple process. I acquired the European rights to a company who specialised in learning transfer and found HR had developed 'willful blindness' to managing the impact of learning, the tools and techniques for measuring return of investment lacking in theoretical rigour, and individuals often left to their own devises pioneering the application of their learning. Initially with enthusiasm but often left disillusioned.


Research Activities.

A mixed method approach Literature review in the area of 1. The transfer learning 'problem' 2. The significance of learning transfer to strategic Human Resource development 3. Defining the personal characteristics involved in learning transfer A quantitative approach using a questionnaire to both formal and informal learning targeting both the deliverers of content, trainers, coaches and students. A qualitative approach using interviews based on the responses to the questionnaire

Citations And Presentations.

Coursera Introduction to Learning Transfer and Life Long Learning (3L) Aligning Learning Transfer and Strategic HRD projector=1





Lauren Doyle

Contact Details.


Director of Studies.

Dr John Fulton