The state of professional Human Performance Technology (hpt) practice in the federal sector: An exploratory study

by White, Margaret C., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2013, 136 pages; 3607455


Human Performance Technology (HPT) literature is replete with case studies and research from a multitude of businesses, industries, nonprofits, and public sectors, yet the same HPT literature includes little representation from U.S. federal government (nonmilitary) agencies as to its acceptance, perceived value, and extent of application. With the exception of certain components of the armed forces, the practice of HPT in the federal sector was virtually unknown. Given the renewed focus on performance across the federal government, a foundational study was needed to first explore the scope or extent of HPT in the federal workplace. The purpose of this generic qualitative study was to describe the formal and informal practices of HPT professionals working in or for the federal government, and to gain insight into the factors that enabled HPT practice and the barriers that may have precluded it. An open-ended questionnaire was distributed through professional HPT organizations to query federal HPT professionals, who were considered knowledgeable of the established professional and ethical standards of HPT and who may have practiced or attempted to practice HPT in or for their respective federal agencies. Findings indicated that a broader extent and scope of HPT practice existed in the federal sector than originally thought; federal HPT professionals were generally well-versed with and could appropriately apply the HPT Standards of Practice established in 2002. Federal practitioners, however, still faced similar constraints found in previous research, including a lack of management and organizational support for HPT, noting that using terminology specific to HPT was a primary barrier. Recommendations include mapping HPT principles with the requirements of the Government Performance Results Act to identify common goals, language, tools, and methods for achieving performance; and to further query federal HPT professionals and managers about the results from and benefits of using the HPT approach.

AdviserKeith Johansen
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Public administration; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3607455

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