Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Employee expertise development, workplace learning, instrument development

Major Advisor

Robin S. Grenier

Associate Advisor

Alexandra A. Bell

Associate Advisor

Marijke Kehrhahn

Field of Study

Adult Learning


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Understanding the process of expertise development is critical for human resource development. The present study aimed to develop a quantitative instrument to assess general procedural components of employee expertise development in various work contexts. Specifically, the present study answered the following two research questions: (1) What are the general dimensions of employee expertise development? and (2) To what extent can the general dimensions of employee expertise development be confirmed across various work settings? I employed an exploratory sequential mixed methods design. Based on qualitative data from 46 employees and comprehensive literature review, three constructs were generated: Developmental Work Experience (DWE), Engagement in Deliberate Practice (EDP), and Learning in Professional Networks (LPN). Through a content validation, the initial Employee Expertise Development Scale (EEDS) consists of 45 revised items out of the original 66-item pool. Using a 272 employee sample, Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) returned four dimensions of the EEDS that can be mapped with the original three constructs and 30 items were retained. The dimensions include: Engagement in Deliberate Practice (EDP, 11 items), Strategic Networking (SN, 5 items), Frequent and Focused Interactions (FFI, 5 items), and Developmental Work Experience (DWE, 9 items). To examine the generalizability of the four-factor structure of the EEDS, Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was conducted with another 186 employee sample. The identified four-factor structure of the EEDS showed an adequate level of internal consistency and construct validity, and 23 items were finally retained: EDP (7 items), SN (5 items), FFI (5 items) and DWE (6 items). With a total sample of 458 employees, the four factors of the EEDS demonstrated a satisfactory internal reliability. Additional construct validity evidences of the EEDS as well as its theoretical and practical implications were provided. The present study filled the gaps between traditional and contemporary expertise development theories, and the EEDS opens various new research and practical avenues in the field of employee expertise development.