Key factors in work engagement and job motivation of teaching faculty at a university medical centre

B. A.M. van den Berg, Arnold B. Bakker, Th J. ten Cate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


This study reports about teacher motivation and work engagement in a Dutch University Medical Centre (UMC). We examined factors affecting the motivation for teaching in a UMC, the engagement of UMC Utrecht teaching faculty in their work, and their engagement in teaching compared with engagement in patient care and research. Based on a pilot study within various departments at the UMCU, a survey on teaching motivation and work engagement was developed and sent to over 600 UMCU teachers. About 50 % responded. Work engagement was measured by the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale, included in this survey. From a list of 22 pre-defined items, 5 were marked as most motivating: teaching about my own speciality, noticeable appreciation for teaching by my direct superior, teaching small groups, feedback on my teaching performance, and freedom to determine what I teach. Feedback on my teaching performance showed the strongest predictive value for teaching engagement. Engagement scores were relatively favourable, but engagement with patient care was higher than with research and teaching. Task combinations appear to decrease teaching engagement. Our results match with self-determination theory and the job demands–resources model, and challenge the policy to combine teaching with research and patient care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-275
Number of pages12
JournalPerspectives on Medical Education
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Management and/or staff development
  • Roles of teacher
  • Staff workload
  • Teaching motivation
  • Teaching workload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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