Sulsky, L.M. & Kline, T.J.B. (2007). Understanding frame-of-reference training success: a social learning theory perspective. International Journal of Training & Development (11)2. 121-131.

In “Understanding frame-of-reference training success: a social learning theory perspective,” Sulsky & Kline (2007) examine training effectiveness according to Kirkpatrick’s levels of reaction, learning and behavior for alternative frame-of-reference training methods. Participants using frame-of-reference methods to rate managerial behaviors were assigned to one of the following conditions: control (no training); information only training; information and modeling condition; information, modeling and role-playing condition; and full frame of reference training (all methods plus feedback). Based on social learning theory, the authors hypothesized that increasing levels of social learning components would also show increased levels of effectiveness in terms of reaction, learning and behavior. Findings supported the hypothesis to the extent that the participants receiving training with social learning components did score higher on all levels; however, increases in effectiveness were not found between methods incorporating social learning components. These findings also indicated that reactions and learning were significantly correlated. These authors conclude from these findings that information and modeling seem to be the key components for frame-of-reference training.