Incompetency Training: Theory, Practice, and Remedies

  • Arch Woodside
  • Rouxelle de Villiers
  • Roger Marshall


“Incompetency training” includes formal and informal instruction that consciously (purposively) or unconsciously imparts knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior (including procedures) that are useless, inaccurate, misleading, and/or will lower performance outcomes of the trainee versus no training or training using alternative training methods. “Imparts” in the definition refers to exposing a trainee to incompetency training; such exposure is not a guarantee that such training increases the trainee’s incompetence. This editorial is to stimulate research interest among scholars in incompetency training theory, evidence, and the efficacy of remedies. The editorial offers an early workbench model of incompetency theory. The theory includes the proposition that executives and associates in firms, academia, and government organizations consciously as well as unknowingly offer incompetency training in some contexts. A second proposition: increasing trainees’ vigilance and ability to recognize exposure to incompetency-training may help trainees to decrease the effectiveness (impact) of incompetency training—advancing incompetency training theory and practice-knowledge may be necessary conditions for remedying negative outcomes that follow from trainees receiving such training. Available evidence supports the first proposition and, to a limited extent, the second proposition.


Competitor-oriented Contexts Deregulation Experience curve Evidence Incompetency AIDS HIV Key success factor Key success path Portfolio planning Profit-oriented Heuristics Training 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arch Woodside
    • 1
  • Rouxelle de Villiers
    • 2
  • Roger Marshall
    • 3
  1. 1.Boston CollegeChestnut HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of MarketingUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  3. 3.Department of Marketing, Advertising, Retailing & SalesAuckland University of TechnologyAucklandNew Zealand

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