Managers and lifelong learning: An analysis of motivation and motivational factors
Lifelong learning has become imperative in today’s rapidly changing world, where people must constantly improve their knowledge and skills to contribute to life and work fully. Since the success of an organization in a knowledge-based economy is highly dependent on competent and committed employees, their professional development should be encouraged and supported at all levels. Managers need to participate in lifelong learning activities. Considering that the willingness to learn is an essential prerequisite for learner engagement and success, this study investigated managers’ motivation for lifelong learning. An online survey was conducted among Croatian managers to answer the research questions. They generally rated their motivation to participate in lifelong learning as very high. According to the results, the studied groups of managers were quite similar in their self-reported motivation levels, except for educational background. The study also found several important motivators for lifelong learning, such as increasing knowledge and skills, improving job performance, and satisfying the need to stay current. Some other potential motivators were not considered important, including gaining social recognition and job insecurity. An exploratory factor analysis revealed three underlying dimensions of motivation: job satisfaction and compensation, competence development, and recognition and respect. In addition, some significant group differences in the factors were found. Given the limited literature on this topic, this study contributes to a better understanding managers’ motivation for lifelong learning.
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