Evaluating Innovative Leader Development in the U.S. Army
Nov 19, 2014
The U.S. Army's Asymmetric Warfare Adaptive Leader Program is designed to enhance adaptive performance in leaders and promote innovative solutions in training. This report describes results of a systematic evaluation of the program, offers recommendations for improvement, and provides recommendations for ongoing evaluation of this program and other courses or events that address adaptive performance and acquisition of other intangible skills.
Evaluation of the U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Adaptive Leader Program
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The Asymmetric Warfare Group offers the Asymmetric Warfare Adaptive Leader Program (AWALP) — a 10-day course designed to enhance adaptive performance in leaders and promote innovative solutions in training in support of unified land operations. This report describes results of a systematic evaluation of AWALP, offers recommendations to improve the course, and provides recommendations for ongoing evaluation of AWALP and other courses or events that address adaptive performance and acquisition of other intangible skills. The study used a pretest-posttest design and collected data from 104 students who participated in AWALP. Results show substantial improvement in training outcomes, including students' self-efficacy for being adaptive and leading adaptive teams and knowledge of course concepts. Graduates also reported that they were applying course concepts on the job after returning to their units. In addition, students had exceptionally favorable reactions to AWALP and remained extremely positive about the course three months after graduation. Results indicate few needs for improvement in the course; the most important area to address is challenges in applying concepts on the job because of the command climate and entrenched leadership. Recommendations for ongoing evaluation focus on obtaining additional measures of adaptive performance, particularly to establish the impact of AWALP on subsequent job performance. The current success of AWALP suggests that its approach to training might be usefully expanded in the Army, and the authors discuss strategies to achieve broader dissemination. Finally, the authors describe how the methods used in this study might be applied to evaluating related training in other contexts.
General Approach and Study Design
Reactions Toward AWALP and Attitudes Toward Adaptability
Results: Application of AWALP Principles on the Job and Longer-Term Attitudes Toward AWALP
Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations
Typical AWALP-Like Practical Exercise: One Rope Bridge
Items Assessing Reactions to Training
Main Effects and Interactions of Individual Characteristics and Attitudes Toward Adaptive Performance
Change in Students' Pre-Post Responses Regarding Need for Adaptive Performance
This research was sponsored by TRADOC and was conducted within the RAND Arroyo Center's Manpower and Training Program. RAND Arroyo Center, part of the RAND Corporation, is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the United States Army.
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