Organisational and Task Factors Influencing Teachers’ Professional Development at Work

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Purpose The development of life-long learning competencies and, consequently, the careers of teachers, has become a permanent issue on the agenda of schools worldwide. The workplace is also increasingly regarded as the place to develop these competencies. The main purpose of this article is to investigate organisational (cultural and relational) and task factors which potentially enhance Teachers’ Professional Development (TPD) at Work. Methodology A model incorporating the relationships between organisational and task factors as predictor variables, and TPD at Work as the dependent, is presented and tested empirically by a quantitative (survey research) method. Findings The study results indicated that learning climate, social support from one’s immediate supervisor, social support from close colleagues, and learning value of the function can act as important job resources for TPD at Work. Work pressure and emotional demands, on the other hand, appeared to act as job demands for TPD at Work, but also have the potential to enhance TPD at Work. Research limitations The most important limitations of the study were the cross-sectional nature and the use of self-ratings only, which may imply common-method bias. Practical implications To enhance TPD at Work, it is vital for actors inside and outside schools to focus on the right working conditions (as mentioned under findings) in schools, so that teachers can learn from their job. Originality Knowledge in schools and empirical research about which factors at the organisational and task level are important to enhance TPD at Work seems scarce. This research contributes to this knowledge gap.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-55
JournalEuropean Journal of Training and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Teachers
  • Professional development
  • Cultural factors
  • Learning at work
  • Relational factors
  • Task factors


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