The crucial role of the supervisor in supporting employees’ use of a personal development plan: An exploratory intervention study

S.A.J. Beausaert, M.S.R. Segers, A. van den Berge, J.A. Hommes, W.H. Gijselaers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


When confronted with an aging population, fast-developing organizations come to realize that the employee’s continuing professional development drives business success. In order to gain competitive advantage, attracting and integrating new highly skilled workers and developing, motivating, and retaining the current workers have become crucial (Noe et al., Human resource management: gaining a competitive advantage, 6th edn, McGraw-Hill, New York, 2008). To support the professional development of their employees to a growing extent, organizations implement personal development plans (PDP). Although the evidence is scare, research results indicate positive effects on reflective learning and performance. However, the effectiveness of PDPs may depend on the presence of supporting process conditions, inherent to using a PDP. One of the supporting conditions often argued upon is the support of a supervisor. In this study, we will research the role of the supervisor in stimulating and guiding the employee’s use of a personal development plan. To research the role of the supervisor, an intervention study was conducted. During the intervention, the supervisors were trained in conducting performance interviews in which the tool takes a central role. The results suggest that employees start to reflect more because of having a supervisor who was enrolled in the training.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFacilitating Learning in the 21st Century: Leading through Technology, Diversity and Authenticity
EditorsP. van den Bossche, W.H. Gijselaers, R.G. Milter
Place of PublicationDordrecht, Boston, London
ISBN (Print)9789400761360
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

Publication series

SeriesAdvances in Business Education and Training

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