Earli SIG 14 Learning and professional development edition:5th location:München date:25-27 August 2010
Social changes like international economic relationships, economic competitiveness, increasing importance of knowledge, etc. made it important for employees from all ages to keep on learning. However, research has shown that as employees age, their participation in education and training declines. This research investigates the reasons that stimulate or prohibit the participation in formal learning activities. It also investigates if differences exist between employees in the first half and second half of the career. Participants in this study were 628 employees. Several stimulating or prohibiting reasons for participation have been identified. This study found different significant differences when comparing employees with different ages and different seniorities. On the one hand, the required investments only differed significantly for the different age groups, this can be explained due to the fact that the required investments are more influenced by the personal situation (rather than working experience) of an employee like for example having a young child or having more financial constraints than older employees (new house etc). On the other hand ‘professional and personal development’ and ‘dispositional barriers’ only differed significantly when comparing groups with different seniorities. ‘Professional and personal development’ can be related with career expectations which in turn is related to their working experience and seniority. While dispositional barriers are partially coming from personal experiences, they are also determined by the climate in the organization; former research has suggested that employers tend to send a message to older employees that it is not expected from them to learn and develop further.