The use of Personal Development Plans (PDP's) in organizations and the role of its perceived purpose

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


In today’s fast changing knowledge economy, organizations are forced to give priority to strategic human resource development to gain and maintain a competitive advantage (guthridge et al., the mckinsey quarterly 1:49–59, 2008). Therefore, tools such as personal development plans (pdps) are increasingly implemented. This assessment tool is used for various purposes, ranging from evaluative purposes to developmental purposes (smith and tillema, scandinavian journal of educational research 45:183–202, 2001). Although the power of a pdp lies in stimulating learning and professional development of employees, it can be questioned if implementing pdp with evaluative purposes does not jeopardize its developmental power. In this study, we focus on the influence of the nature of the pdp’s perceived purpose on its practice and on the employee’s performance. In addition, the mediating role of the pdp practice between perceived purpose and performance was researched. It was found that perceiving the pdp as a tool that aims at learning and development is related to a better performance, in contrast to perceiving it as a tool for certification or selection. In addition, the pdp practice components effort quality and feedback quality mediated the relation between the perceived developmental purposes and the employee’s performance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLearning at the Crossroads of Theory and Practice
EditorsP.G.C. van den Bossche, W.H. Gijselaers, R.G. Milter
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Number of pages249
ISBN (Print)978-94-007-2845-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

Publication series

SeriesAdvances in Business Education and Training

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