This paper is based on a mixed method study, with a questionnaire among 244 adults and interviews with 25 adults participating in different adult education courses. The results indicate that these adult’s work-related motives consist of two separate “motive categories”. One contains motives associated with increased salary, a new job, a better job and new work tasks in the current job. The other category includes motives related to increased power and influence in their current job and strengthened identity, concerning both work and privacy. In Adult Education (AE) theories and Human Resource Development theory (HRD), items in the second category are hardly mentioned as individual work-related motives, although these motives seem to be visible and strong for adults in this study. Viewed against this background, the paper includes a discussion of the possibilities for a further revitalization of AE- and HRD theories, in order to include and interpret important work-related motives as a consequence of social change and development.
Keywords: Adult Learning, motivation for learning, work-related motives, Human Resource Development, mixed methods