In addressing the second question, this chapter has highlighted some of the limitations of Kirkpatrick’s model. It has pointed to several risks for clients and stakeholders that can be generated from acceptance of the model and its assumptions. In addition, the inability of the model to effectively address both the summative question (Was training effective?) and the formative question (How can training be modified in ways that increase its potential for effectiveness?) suggests that potential benefits of the model may not outweigh the risks.
The point of this chapter has not been to make a case that training evaluations using Kirkpatrick’s model are unethical. However, it does raise questions about the extent to which the model benefits clients and stakeholders and suggests that consideration of these issues from an ethical perspective may be overdue.