In this research, the authors present theoretical explanations for quantitative and qualitative types of changes to evaluate the malleability of general self-efficacy (GSE) and specific self-efficacy (SSE) measures due to domain-specific training. First, the authors hypothesize that the change in the GSE measure due to sales training is a quantitative mean-difference (alpha) change. Second, they hypothesize that the change in SSE due to sales training is a qualitative (beta or gamma) change. Results of latent variable cross-lagged analysis on sales trainee data (N = 417) support the authors' hypothesis that the difference in GSE was quantitative. Findings also provide partial support of the second hypothesis that a change in a SSE measure was qualitative. The qualitative change is attributed to the novelty and complexity of the particular SSE tasks (i.e., direct selling). Additional analysis of rank-order consistency further validates the measures and demonstrates the GSE measure was consistent before and after training whereas the SSE scales were not as consistent. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
- measurement invariance
- research methods