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Workshop attendance as a mode of learning: Evidence from the Netherlands

Research Memorandum by Andries de Grip & Astrid Pleijers

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Although workshop attendance appears to be as high as participation in training, this paper is the first study in the educational science, human resource management and labour economics literature that explores the drivers of workshop attendance among the working population. In our analysis of the Dutch Adult Education Survey, we find that workshop attendance is highest among managers and professionals, in contrast to their participation in training. These results confirm our expectation that workshop attendance is important in acquiring state-of-the art knowledge on external developments as a dominant source of competitive advantage for the organization. Furthermore, workshop attendance is positively related to individuals’ level of education. Particularly in workers’ mid-career years, attending workshops appears to be an important mode of learning: Workshop attendance is peaking at the age of 47. Moreover, we find that workshop attendance is complementary to training participation instead of a substitute. Our results show that there are interesting differences between the drivers of workshop attendance and those of participation in training and informal learning.

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