Writing in Slate, L. V. Anderson condemns simplistic, online training programs that are supposed to encourage regulatory compliance, but really just suck up time and money without improving behavior.
[L. V. Anderson, “Ethics Trainings Are Even Dumber Than You Think,” Slate, May 19, 2016.]
Regulators, managers, and employees are caught in a vicious cycle. Regulators pressure companies to implement training programs in hopes of reducing corporate crime and malfeasance. Executives implement training programs in hopes of protecting themselves against lawsuits and prosecution. Employees see through executives’ motivations and ignore, or even rebel against, the lessons of the trainings.
Although there’s not much research one way or the other, the online nature of compliance courses probably exacerbates this vicious cycle.
Anderson does not specifically mention the mortifyingly stupid CITI Program and its cousins in the IRB world, but everything she says applies to them.