Transfer of self-leadership skills within the Dutch police: A three-wave study

Jolanda A. Botke*, Maria Tims, Svetlana N. Khapova, Paul G. W. Jansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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This three-wave study examined the training-to-work transfer process of a self-leadership skills training programme for crime scene investigators working for the Dutch police force. The transfer process is complex and depends on numerous factors. Two important steps forward are taken in the present study. First, we take into account all transfer steps in one study to gain insights into the transfer process, and second, by being specific about the work situation in which transfer outcomes should occur, we address the "criterion problem" that is often mentioned in transfer research. Based on the Ability Motivation Opportunity model, we hypothesised that the posttraining transfer process starts with being motivated to transfer and that this motivation increases the use of self-leadership during work. Another aspect that may facilitate the use of trained skills is supervisor support, as it offers opportunities to use self-leadership skills during work. In turn, self-leadership skills at work were hypothesised to lead to increased work performance. We tested our transfer model in two different work situations experienced by crime fighters. Our findings show that the use of self-leadership skills is positively related to the detached concern of crime fighters in specific situations. Additionally, our findings show that the use of self-leadership skills mediates the relation between the motivation to transfer and work performance in specific situations. Finally, our findings show that including different transfer steps (i.e. the motivation to transfer, use of skills, and performance), different performance measures, and different work situations in the transfer process provides more insight into when and how transfer-to-work after training occurs. These findings suggest that if organisations aspire to improve such transfer, then they should be specific about the intended posttraining behaviours and performance and the situations in which these outcomes should emerge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-668
JournalJournal of Police and Criminal Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Transfer of soft skills training
  • Self-leadership training
  • Context-specific transfer
  • Motivation to transfer
  • Supervisor support behaviours
  • WORK


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