Administrative Professionals in New Zealand: Their Professional Development Opportunities and Career Pathways
This descriptive study to investigate the perceptions of administrative professionals of their professional development opportunities and career pathways was conducted mid-2009. The study used an on-line survey and focus groups. One hundred and ninety-three responded to the survey from throughout New Zealand. Fifteen of those respondents participated in the focus groups, held in both the North and South Islands. The majority of participants were from larger organisations who perceived that training and professional development was available for them and supported. However, the professional development available was often ad hoc, with no specific goal. Many participants perceive themselves as undervalued within the business world and noted that even where support for professional development was available there were significant barriers. These barriers, impacting on the availability and the uptake of professional development opportunities and career pathways, were both internal (value of self) and external. A conceptual framework is presented of the relationship between the key elements from the research, value of self and value of the role, and the impacts of those on professional development opportunities and career pathways.