Learning at the workplace and sustainable employability: a multi-source model moderated by age

Beatrice van der Heijden, Marjan J. Gorgievski, Annet H. de Lange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


This study, among 330 pairs of employees and their supervisors, tested whether self- versus supervisor ratings of five employability dimensions (occupational expertise, corporate sense, personal flexibility, anticipation and optimization, and balance) are associated with different learning characteristics in the workplace, and whether age moderates these relationships. Results of structural equation modelling showed that the learning value of the job positively related to both self- and supervisor ratings of corporate sense, personal flexibility, and anticipation and optimization. Applicability in the job of recently followed training and development programmes was associated with all dimensions of self-rated employability and with supervisor ratings of anticipation and optimization. Regarding the hypothesized age moderation effects, contrary to our expectations, it was found that both learning value and applicability of training and development related more strongly to self-rated anticipation and optimization for younger workers. In addition, age appeared to moderate the otherwise non-significant relationship between learning value and self-rated occupational expertise. Implications for Human Resource Development (HRD) practices are discussed. As learning characteristics are differentially related to the unique employability dimensions, tailor-made development programmes are key. Moreover, it is advocated that having a job with a high learning value is an important factor in the light of the employee’s sustainable employability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-30
JournalEuropean journal of work and organizational psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • METIS-313829
  • IR-98739


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