Original Research

A theory evaluation of an induction programme

Kenrick Hendricks, Joha Louw-Potgieter
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 10, No 3 | a421 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v10i3.421 | © 2012 Kenrick Hendricks, Joha Louw-Potgieter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 October 2011 | Published: 13 July 2012

About the author(s)

Kenrick Hendricks, Section of Organisational Psychology, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Joha Louw-Potgieter, Section of Organisational Psychology, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Orientation: An induction programme is commonly used to help new employees understand their job within the organisation.

Research purpose: The main aim of this study was to examine whether or not the programme theory of an induction programme was plausible and would lead to the intended outcomes as described by the programme manager.

Motivation for the study: Induction training is one of the most common training programmes in an organisation. However, there is little research to evaluate whether or not the activities of an induction programme will lead to the intended outcomes of such a programme.

Research design, approach and method: This theory evaluation used a descriptive design. One hundred and thirteen employees of a media company completed a ten-item, five-point Likert scale which measured their perceptions of the programme’s outcome, identification with the organisation and intentions to stay with the organisation.

Main findings: From this theory evaluation it was apparent that an induction programme based on an implausible programme theory could be problematic. An implausible programme theory affects the design of the programme activities and unsuitable activities may not deliver the desired outcomes.

Practical/managerial implications: The intention of the evaluation is to guide human resource managers through a process of replacing an implausible programme theory with one that is plausible, and which ensures better alignment of programme activities and outcomes.

Contribution/value-add: The evaluators showed how a plausible programme theory could improve programme design. This redesigned induction programme may lead to benefits, such as staff retention and company identification, rather than the vague assumption that it has been conforming to a legal obligation.


theory evaluation; induction programme; on-boarding programme; staff retention; organisational identification; South Africa


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