International Journal of Training and Development 9:1 ISSN 1360-3736
Organizational interventions inﬂuencing employee career development preferred by different career success orientations Namhee Kim
This study explores what Korean employees prefer as organizational interventions that inﬂuence their career development, according to their personal interpretation of career success. A quantitative sample survey was designed from a Korean wireless communications company using a survey instrument. The ﬁndings of this study contributed to the validation of theoretical discussions on the association of individuals and organizational career development interventions, implying that organizations need to design their career mobility systems or performance incentive systems in accordance with employees’ career orientations.
Market changes often necessitate substantial transformation in organizations via reorganizing, restructuring or downsizing (Gutteridge et al., 1993). The characteristics of employees have changed as well. One of the biggest issues facing organizations is the increasing diversity of the modern workforce. Determining how to manage and develop today’s workforce effectively from the perspective of career development has become a critical issue at the organizational level. Companies must ﬁnd ways to match organizational goals and needs with those of individuals, but employees’ internal orientations are often left largely uninvestigated
r Research Fellow, Korean Women’s Development Institute, 1-363 Bulkwang-dong, Eunpyong-gu, Seoul 122-707, Korea. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org © Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main St., Malden, MA 02148, USA.
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in the design and implementation of organizational interventions. This study explores Korean employees’ perspectives on organizational interventions that inﬂuence their career development, according to personal deﬁnitions of career success. Answers to this research question will help organizations design and implement more effective employee career development policies and activities.
Theories of career orientation
Traditional career theories deﬁned success in terms of extrinsic or objective factors with visible metrics, such as salary, promotions or status (e.g. Gattiker & Larwood, 1989; Jaskolka et al., 1985). Therefore, hierarchical advancement, larger income and increasing recognition and respect from others typically indicated success at work. On the other hand, some researchers have investigated careers from an internal, subjective perspective. Schein examined individuals’ subjective ideas about work life and their roles within it (van Maanen & Schein, 1977). He identiﬁed the concept of a ‘career anchor’, which is an occupational self-concept or self-knowledge that ‘serves to guide, constrain, stabilize and integrate the person’s career’ (Schein, 1978: 127). Schein (1978) identiﬁed ﬁve types of career anchors: managerial competence, autonomy, security, technical/functional competence, and entrepreneurial creativity. Later, three more types were added: service/dedication to a cause, pure challenge, and life style. Delong (1982) proposed replacing the term ‘career anchor’ with ‘career orientation’, meaning the capacity to select certain features of an occupation for investment according to one’s motives, interests and competencies. He identiﬁed three new types of career orientation (identity, service, and variety), in addition to Schein’s (1978) ﬁve original career anchors. Driver (1979, 1980, 1982) studied business executives and staff specialists in a variety of companies, identifying four ‘career concepts’ (transitory, steady-state, linear, and spiral) from self-perceptions based on habits of thought, motives and decision-making styles. These career concepts become the guiding foundation for a person’s long-term career choices (Driver, 1980). Derr (1986) used the term ‘career success orientation’ to refer to how people deﬁne their success at work, and argued that an individual’s meaning of career success reﬂects their personal values, attitudes and motivation with regard to work and life. Career success orientation can vary considerably given the diversity of the modern workforce and its work values. To describe patterns of career success orientation, Derr (1986) developed a minimum set of useful dimensions based on his research with the US Navy, MBA students and multinational executives. Derr’s ﬁve dimensions of career success orientations are: 1. Getting ahead: Traditionally, this type was assumed to be typical career orientation for most people who want to succeed in their career. Individuals who exhibit these characteristics pursue upward mobility in organizations. Advancement in status and increased responsibility, authority and opportunities are also attractive to this type. People in this type enjoy wealth and prestige. Getting free: Individuals in this type avoid any restrictions and pursue personal freedom at work. They often like to create their own service or product, enjoying a variety of different experiences. The desire to maintain autonomy at work is the strongest work value. Independence and being free from external interruption make the ideal work situation. Getting secure: Individuals in this type value stability, predictability or security at work. Guaranteed long-term job security is desirable. They are loyal to their organizations and commit themselves seriously to the company. Gaining secure jobs and feeling recognized by their organizations are closely related to their personal meaning of career success. To this type of people, stability is more important than getting ahead. Getting high: Individuals with these characteristics pursue technical or functional expertise in one area and want to test their talents and skills. Excitement is very important to them. They long for continued growth and dedicate themselves to © Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005.
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self-renewing experiences, and consider success as doing what they like. Being an expert in their interest areas is an uppermost goal of their career. Getting balanced: Individuals who exhibit these characteristics pursue a balanced professional and personal life. They enjoy working in an environment that respects personal and family life. People view their career success in relation to other aspects of life, including family and personal development. To them, the meaning of career success cannot be separated from the value of family and personal relationships. The emergence of this career type reﬂects the diversity of the workforce and work values in recent decades (Derr, 1986).
Hall (1976) introduced the concept of the ‘protean career’, characterized by individuals taking the lead in career management, driven by the change of personal rather than organizational needs. He even argued that the ‘career’ no longer exists within organizations (1996). Similarly, Arthur and Rousseau (1996) described modern careers as ‘boundaryless’, defying traditional assumptions about organizational careers. Recent literature, including Hall’s work in 2002, indicates the importance of the individual career, particularly its internal aspects. Baruch (2004) summarized current measures of individual career success as ‘a multi-level set of self-development targets; gaining employability; making lateral transitions for enrichment . . . ; undertaking selfmanagement and entrepreneurship . . . ; and achieving a better and richer quality of life’ (2004: 76). A comparison of the concepts of career anchor, career orientation, career concept, and career success orientation (as well as other recent trends) allows ﬁve types of commonly identiﬁed career orientation to be determined, as presented in Table 1. This table shows that although scholars researched career orientations at different times and used different criteria and terms, the common categories of career orientation can be identiﬁed. The categories of personal deﬁnition of career success also tend to follow a similar framework. Since career orientation is likely to determine (or at least inﬂuence) an individual’s occupational decisions, it has been hypothesized that this orientation can inﬂuence their willingness to participate in speciﬁc career development activities (Watts, 1989). However, little literature has empirically explored the relationship between career success orientation and career development intervention. In this study, the career orientations of Korean employees are ﬁrst explored in terms of Derr’s (1986) framework of career success orientation.
Organizational interventions inﬂuencing employee career development (ECD) The term ‘organizational interventions inﬂuencing ECD’ is deﬁned as organizationinitiated policies or activities that could affect ECD, directly or indirectly. According to Wils et al. (1993), there are three types of career development activities currently conducted in organizations. Speciﬁcally, 14 activities are identiﬁed with three different foci: 1. 2. 3. Impersonal career, focusing on three internal stafﬁng activities: job posting, promotion-from-within and lateral mobility. Organizational career, consisting of ﬁve organization-oriented activities: succession planning, high potential management, data collection on employees, job matching and data collection on future jobs. Individual career, subsuming two individual-oriented activities: career planning and career counselling.
In addition to these direct interventions, some organizational policies or activities may inﬂuence ECD indirectly (Watts, 1989). For instance, employee compensation and beneﬁts can enhance or impede ECD, affecting critical career decisions. Employee assessment is often understood as a management function, but it can and should be approached from a career development perspective as well (Baruch, 2004; Iles, 1999). © Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005.
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Table 1: Comparison of theories of career orientation 50 International Journal of Training and Development © Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005.
Description of common characteristics • Advancing up the organizational hierarchy • Increased responsibility, authority • High status, prestige, income • Recognized expertise in one area • Excitement to test one’s talents and skills • Continued growth and experience • Stability, predictability, security • Long-term commitment, loyalty • Maintenance of freedom, avoidance of restrictions • Creation of own service or product • A variety of different experiences • A balanced life • Respect for personal and family life • Flexible time and job sharing • Dedication to a cause, making a contribution to improve the world
Schein’s (1978) career anchor General management competence Technical/ functional competence or pure challenge Security/ stability Autonomy/ independence or entrepreneurial creativity Life style
Delong’s (1982) career orientation Managerial competence/ identity Technical/ functional competence
Driver’s (1980) career concept Linear
Derr’s (1986) career success orientation Getting ahead
Baruch’s (2004) measures of career success Self-development competencies
Lateral transitions; spiral movements
Type 3 Type 4
Security Autonomy, creativity, or variety
Getting secure Getting free
Employability Self-management; entrepreneurship
Getting balanced Service Self-perceived attitudes, values and needs Frequency, time, Subjective direction of career deﬁnition of change success
Quality of life; work-family balance
Other types Criteria of typology
Service/ dedication to a cause Self-perceived talents, values and motives
Source: N. Kim (2004). Career success orientation of Korean women bank employees, Career Development International, 9(6), p. 598.
Many organizations do not consider such activities a part of ECD (Watts, 1989). In this regard, career systems in organizations are closely linked to human resource management systems, or employee relations, and are integrated into those systems (Gutteridge et al., 1993; Wils et al., 1993). Recently, Baruch (2004) elaborated his six-dimension model of organizational career systems, which includes involvement, sophistication & complexity, strategic orientation, developmental focus, organizational decision-making focus, and innovation. Among these, involvement, strategic orientation, developmental focus and organizational decision-making focus relate to the idea of organizational versus individualfocused dimensions (as found in Wils et al., 1993), as well as the direct versus indirect intervention dimensions addressed by Watts (1989). Innovation and sophistication & complexity seem to be more methodological concerns; this is understandable since the model was designed to facilitate guidelines for evaluating organizational career systems. Given the deﬁnition and scope of organizational interventions inﬂuencing ECD, broad types of organization-initiated policies or activities can be categorized (Figure 1). Individual-focused activities partially or entirely allow individuals to make decisions about their participation. Accordingly, participants can take primary advantage of the resulting beneﬁts. Organizational-focused activities are operated primarily for organizational purposes, rather than individual beneﬁt. Further, indirect interventions can inﬂuence ECD, although they may not appear to be a part of ECD. This two-dimensional taxonomy of organizational interventions inﬂuencing ECD in Figure 1 provides a useful framework for understanding the various kinds of organizational interventions inﬂuencing ECD that have been identiﬁed from the career literature, including personnel allocation systems, employee appraisal systems, training/development systems, career development (CD) support systems, and compensation/beneﬁts systems (Baruch, 2004; Derr, 1986; Noe et al., 1996; Watts, 1989; Wils et al., 1993). Under this taxonomy, 13 types of interventions can be summarized, as presented in Table 2. According to Table 2, succession planning, career paths, job posting/job matching, promotion/upward mobility, downward mobility, and job rotation/lateral
Direct ECD interventions
Training/development systems Personnel allocation systems CD support systems
Employee appraisal systems
Indirect interventions influencing ECD
Figure 1: Two-dimensional taxonomy of organizational interventions inﬂuencing ECD. © Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005.
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Table 2: Organizational interventions inﬂuencing ECD Types of interventions Description
Personnel allocation systems Succession planning Identifying and systematically developing high potential employees for certain key positions Career paths Structuring sequences of jobs or positions related to speciﬁc career goals, such as managerial or technical career tracks Job posting/job Internal announcing of vacant job positions and matching matching internal individuals’ preferences with the job prior to external recruiting Promotion/upward Advancement in position with greater pay, challenges, mobility responsibility, and authority Downward mobility Moving to positions with a reduced level of responsibility and authority with an opportunity to develop skills and meet personal needs or interests Job rotation/lateral Systematically transferring employees laterally to another movement function or area over the course of time, not necessarily involving increased responsibilities or compensation Employee appraisal systems Assessment system Evaluating and collecting data on employees to discover their performance and potential, feedback can be given to employees Training/development systems Mentoring/coaching Assigning mentors or coaches (often supervisors or superiors) to employees to help them develop their careers Training/development Providing opportunities for career information workshops opportunities or training events that deal with career planning or transitions, self-assessment, or other career issues, or supporting individual efforts to learn and develop Career development support systems Career counselling/ Providing counselling services and guides by professionals discussions (external or internal agency) or supervisors/managers to meet individual needs in employees’ careers Career information Building a system for sharing information about career system opportunities, such as various career paths or job vacancies, programmes and beneﬁts offered through a variety of media Employee compensation/beneﬁts systems Individual Adopting recognition systems for individual contributions compensation system to the organization (e.g., merit pay, individual incentives, stock options) Flexible beneﬁt plans Allowing diverse, ﬂexible options of beneﬁts/rewards plans (e.g., insurance or pension provisions, retirement plans, ﬂexible work schedule, part-time employment, child-care beneﬁts, maternity and paternity leave) Note: Summarized from the literature (Baruch, 2004; Derr, 1986; Noe et al., 1996; Watts, 1989; Wils et al., 1993).
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movement fall into personnel allocation systems. Assessment systems belong to employee appraisal systems. Mentoring/coaching and training/development opportunities are examples of broad training/development systems. Counselling/ discussions and career information systems are included in career development support systems. Individual compensation systems and ﬂexible beneﬁt plans can be categorized under employee compensation/beneﬁt systems. It is important to note that not all organizational career-related activities have the same appeal or provide the same beneﬁts to all employees (Derr, 1986; Schein, 1978). Additionally, variation must be expected in terms of employees’ acceptance of their employers’ involvement in their career development (Portwood & Granrose, 1986; Rhebergen & Wognum, 1997). Only a few studies have examined what types of interventions are most appropriate for speciﬁc types of employees. Derr (1986) examined contemporary CD programmes, matching each programme with certain types of career success orientations, as presented in Table 3. This table shows that there are different types of career development programmes appropriate for speciﬁc career success orientations. For example, some programmes are appropriate only for Getting ahead people. However, empirical support for this matching was not provided. Building on this work, Watts (1989) conducted empirical research to see if non-managerial female workers preferred different organizational CD activities according to their types of career success orientation; no signiﬁcant differences were reported. Solid empirical
Table 3: Career development programmes and appropriate career types CD Programme Getting free Assessment centres Career counselling and coaching by managers Career counselling by others Career information centres Career information systems Career pathing Computer-aided instruction and information systems Educational and professional development beneﬁts Fallback-position transfers Flexible scheduling and beneﬁts Family-related beneﬁts High-potential identiﬁcation programmes Individual development plans Integrated career planning Job matching Job posting Lifelong employment Mentor programmes Succession planning Workshops and training events Orientation Getting balanced Getting high Getting ahead O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O Getting secure O O O
Note: Adapted from Derr’s career development programmes (1986: 255–258). © Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005.
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knowledge is not yet available for matching individual preferences with organizational interventions; further investigation is warranted. Nevertheless, different observations in relevant studies imply the following hypotheses: H1: People who have different career success orientations will show different preferences for career development interventions. H2: People who have the same career success orientation will show different preferences for career development interventions.
Career development in Korean organizations
Shifts in organizational behaviours are not culturally neutral. Although career dynamics are known to reﬂect particular aspects of a culture (Derr & Laurent, 1989; Greenhaus et al., 2000), career literature has failed to account for career dynamics in diverse cultures. Very few studies have explored what the term ‘career’ means in an international context (e.g. Derr & Laurent, 1989; Hofstede, 1980; Triandis, 1989), and careerrelated perceptions and strategies have almost never been researched in third world countries (Counsell & Popova, 2000). In terms of ECD, most Korean organizations are at a very early stage (H. Kim, 2000). Employers have not yet felt the necessity to adopt ECD systems, and employees are not familiar with the meaning or implications of CD. Only a very few large corporations have begun to introduce relevant interventions into their practice (H. Kim, 2000). Consequently, examples of ECD in Korean organizations are limited (e.g. Choi, 1994; Jung, 1991; J. S. M. Kim, 1992; K. H. Lee, 1996). Comprehensive information regarding the status of Korean organizational career development is not yet available. Korean literature based on several case studies (Choi, 1994; D. K. Lee, 1993; K. H. Lee, 1996) shows that a wide range of activities, such as promotion and advancement, job rotation and transfer, and job evaluation and performance appraisal, has been addressed. The literature reviewed indicates that organizational ECD is still viewed as a part of the human resource management function in Korea (H. Kim, 2000). Therefore, it is important that this study covers the full range of interventions, from direct ECD activities to indirect organizational interventions.
A quantitative sample survey was designed to test research hypotheses on career success orientations. Data were collected from a sample of 1000 employees in a Korean wireless communications company. The sample was randomly selected from the company directory of 3003 employees, and the survey instrument was distributed and collected through the company’s intranet system. A 33.7% response rate resulted, with 337 useable surveys returned. Table 4 shows the sample composition by demographic characteristics. The respondents’ ages were categorized into three groups: 20–29, 30–39, and 40 and above. The average age was just over 33. The range was between 22 and 56. Most respondents’ ages were between 30 and 39 (69.4%). The respondents’ average years of work experience was 5.42, ranging between less than 1 and 13. The largest respondent group was those who have worked for 4–6.99 years (49%). Almost half of the respondents (48.1%) were assistant managers, while 22.8% were managers, 21.7% were employees, and 7.4% were senior managers. Respondents were predominantly male (89.6%), and 78% of the respondents were married. The two major types of job were 29.1% in marketing and 38.6% in engineering. A majority of the respondents (63.8%) had completed 4-year college courses, and 19.3% had completed graduate school. The instrument consisted of two parts. The ﬁrst part identiﬁed individuals’ career success orientations. A modiﬁed Derr’s (1986) ‘Career success map questionnaire’ (CSMQ) was used, since this instrument was originally developed to identify ﬁve types of career success orientation. The questionnaire was changed from a forced54 International Journal of Training and Development © Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005.
Table 4: Sample composition by demographic characteristics (n = 337) Demographic Age (M = 33.29, sd = 5.09) Category 20–29 years old 30–39 years old 40 years old and above Less than 4 years 4–6.99 years* 7–9.99 years* 10 years or more Employee Assistant manager Manager Senior manager Male Female Married Unmarried Marketing R&D IT Engineering Ad/Mgmt Internal ventures High school 2-year college 4-year college Graduate school Frequency 60 234 43 76 165 63 33 73 162 77 25 302 35 263 74 98 34 14 130 47 14 25 32 215 65 % 17.8 69.4 12.8 22.6 49.0 18.7 9.8 21.7 48.1 22.8 7.4 89.6 10.4 78.0 22.0 29.1 10.1 4.2 38.6 13.9 4.2 7.4 9.5 63.8 19.3
Years of work experience (M = 5.42, sd = 2.77)
Gender Marital status Type of job
* Months were converted to fractions of a year.
choice instrument of thirty paired statements to a Likert-type instrument, in order to make it statistically possible to test its factor structures and reliability (given the lack of empirical information with regard to this instrument). The second part was developed to explore respondents’ preferred organizational interventions inﬂuencing employee career development. Thirteen types of organizational interventions (as summarized in Table 2) were used for this purpose. The instrument was translated into Korean, and a three-round cross-translation performed. The face validity and construct validity of the instrument were examined in a series of three-round pilot tests and instrument revisions. Through factor analysis, with the elimination of some items, the ﬁve dimensions originally included emerged. Reliability, measured by Cronbach’s coefﬁcient alpha, was between 0.56 and 0.79: Getting high (0.78), Getting secure (0.72), Getting balanced (0.79), Getting ahead (0.59), and Getting free (0.56). These results indicate some limitations in interpreting the data for Getting ahead and Getting free. To analyse collected data, descriptive statistics as well as inferential statistics, such as ANOVA or repeated measures analysis, were conducted.
Two approaches were used to test the research hypotheses. First, differences in preferences between groups were examined. Second, differences in preferences within © Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005.
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each group were explored. The highest mean score among the ﬁve types was deemed the dominant orientation for each individual. According to descriptive information regarding dominant career success orientations, each individual’s career success orientation was identiﬁed. The sample consisted of 40% Getting free, 38% Getting balanced, 17% Getting high, 3% Getting ahead, and 2% Getting secure. Since Getting ahead and Getting secure obtained very small percentages, those two types were excluded from the analysis. Hypothesis 1: Differences in preferences between groups The Levene test of homogeneity of variances showed that several items, including succession planning, job posting/job matching, promotion and compensation systems, violated the assumption to conduct the ANOVAs. Those items were excluded from further analysis. As a result, the ANOVAs were conducted with the remaining nine items. The ANOVAs showed that the preferences for six organizational interventions differed signiﬁcantly according to respondents’ dominant career success orientation types, as presented in Table 5. According to post hoc comparisons using the Tukey test, most interventions were preferred more by Getting free than Getting balanced or Getting high. There were no signiﬁcant differences in downward mobility, assessment system, or career information system. Hypothesis 1 was partly supported. Hypothesis 2: Differences in preferences within groups Repeated measures analysis showed statistically signiﬁcant differences in Getting free preferences (Wilks’ Lambda = 0.396, F = 13.86) at the 0.001 level across the 13 organizational interventions. According to post hoc pairwise comparisons using the Bonferroni test, succession planning, career paths, job posting/job matching, promotion, and training/development opportunities were signiﬁcantly more preferred than other interventions, while downward mobility and career information system were signiﬁcantly less preferred. Repeated measures analysis showed statistically signiﬁcant differences in Getting balanced preferences (Wilks’ Lambda = 0.471, F = 9.63) at the 0.001 level across the 13 organizational interventions. According to post hoc pairwise comparisons using the Bonferroni test, job posting/job matching and training/development opportunities were signiﬁcantly more preferred than other interventions, while downward mobility and career information system were signiﬁcantly less preferred. Repeated measures analysis showed statistically signiﬁcant differences in Getting high preferences (Wilks’ Lambda = 0.423, F = 4.42) at the 0.001 level across the 13 organizational interventions. According to post hoc pairwise comparisons using the Bonferroni test, succession planning, career paths, and promotion were signiﬁcantly more preferred than other interventions, while downward mobility was signiﬁcantly less preferred. Overall, hypothesis 2 was supported.
Discussion of ﬁndings
Different types of work, pay/beneﬁts, promotion systems, and types of recognition motivate individuals who have different needs (Derr, 1986; Schein, 1990). The ﬁndings of this study mostly support this assertion. That is, Korean employees’ career success orientations seem to impact their preferences for organizational interventions inﬂuencing employee career development. Even within each speciﬁc career orientation group, some interventions were preferred over others. The ﬁndings regarding preferences for the 13 organizational interventions inﬂuencing employee career development are discussed in detail below. Though the differences in preferences for succession planning among three groups (Getting free, Getting balanced, and Getting high) could not be compared due to violations of homogeneity of variance assumptions for ANOVA, within-group 56 International Journal of Training and Development © Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005.
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Table 5: Preferences for organizational interventions inﬂuencing ECD by career success orientation Organizational interventions inﬂuencing ECD Getting free (n = 121) Mean 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Succession planning Career paths Job posting/job matching Promotion Downward mobility Job rotation Assessment system Mentoring/coaching Training/development Career counselling Career information system Compensation system Flexible beneﬁt plans 5.65 5.58 5.43 5.62 3.98 5.07 5.25 5.27 5.55 5.38 5.05 5.40 5.50 sd 1.06 0.96 1.03 0.90 1.49 1.09 0.97 1.03 0.95 0.96 1.06 1.05 1.04 Getting balanced (n = 115) Mean 5.21 5.25 5.31 5.29 4.24 4.93 4.98 4.95 5.31 5.00 4.89 5.09 5.31 sd 1.07 1.02 0.93 1.01 1.35 1.18 0.95 1.06 1.05 1.07 1.08 1.05 1.05 Getting high (n = 51) Mean 5.24 5.29 5.10 5.22 4.04 4.43 4.90 4.73 5.06 4.76 4.73 5.00 5.06 sd 0.79 0.81 0.83 0.73 1.30 1.17 0.90 1.02 0.90 0.89 0.85 0.75 0.93 – F = 3.76* – – F = 1.07 F = 5.66** F = 3.38* F = 5.80** F = 4.84** F = 8.27** F = 1.89 – F = 3.51* *p < 0.05 **p < 0.01 ***p < 0.001 Between group comparison
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Within group comparison
Wilk’s Lambda = 0.396 F = 13.86***
Wilk’s Lambda = 0.471 F = 9.63***
Wilk’s Lambda = 0.423 F = 4.42***
comparison indicated that both Getting free and Getting high groups signiﬁcantly preferred this intervention over other options, such as job rotation, assessment system, mentoring/coaching or career information system. Derr’s (1986) assertion that succession planning would be appropriate only for the Getting ahead orientation was not conﬁrmed; this intervention seems to be favourably accepted by both Getting free and Getting high orientations. It was ranked ﬁrst by Getting free, and second by Getting high in rank orders. Career paths were preferred signiﬁcantly more by the Getting free than the Getting balanced group. Since career paths provide individuals with the opportunity to follow their own career goals, it is understandable that people who want freedom would be in favour of this intervention, while the Getting balanced orientation maintains a need for ﬂexibility (Derr, 1986; Schein, 1978). Interestingly, there was no signiﬁcant difference in preferences for career paths between Getting high and Getting balanced. However, Getting high preferred career paths over the other intervention options. Derr (1986) suggested that career paths would be appropriate for Getting free and Getting high; this was partially conﬁrmed by the study. Group differences in job posting/job matching and promotions could not be explored due to violations of the assumptions for ANOVA. However, Getting free and Getting balanced, respectively, signiﬁcantly preferred job posting/job matching over job rotation. It is assumed that the Getting free orientation seeks a position with more autonomy, while Getting balanced seeks a position that accommodates personal values in family and relationships through announced open job opportunities (Derr, 1986). Getting free and Getting high signiﬁcantly preferred promotion over job rotation, assessment system, mentoring/coaching, career counselling, and career information system. It seems that the Getting free and Getting high orientations desire some level of status that allows them to make decisions based on personal interests. There was no signiﬁcant difference in preferences for downward mobility, assessment system, and career information system among the groups. However, downward mobility was consistently the least preferred intervention among the 13 options. Although people tend to pursue what they want, they naturally do not want to give up their current levels of income and responsibility. Derr (1986) claimed that career information system may be appropriate for Getting free and Getting high, but no difference was found between the groups studied. Moreover, this intervention was not particularly preferred within any of the groups. Getting free ranked it 12th, Getting balanced ranked it 10th, and Getting free ranked it 9th in rank order. Considering that the concept and necessity of career development are still relatively new in Korea (H. Kim, 2000), respondents may not be familiar with such ideas or aware of some systems’ potential beneﬁts for individual career goals, which may be manifested in low preference results. Job rotation was signiﬁcantly less preferred by the Getting high orientation than by Getting free or Getting balanced. Since it is very important for Getting high individuals to keep jobs which they can truly enjoy (Derr, 1986), these people are likely to be reluctant to move to a new function or area. Mentoring/coaching and career counselling were preferred signiﬁcantly more by Getting free than by Getting high or Getting balanced. Although Derr (1986) assumed that career counselling and mentoring programmes would be appropriate for Getting balanced, this was not conﬁrmed in this study. These interventions did not seem to be attractive to the Getting balanced group; they are in the middle rank. It seems that Getting free individuals may maintain positive attitudes toward sharing career issues, and want to be guided by someone who can help them. Getting balanced individuals may not have speciﬁc career aspirations that can be shared with others at work, since they view careers in relation to other dimensions of their lives. Training/development opportunities and ﬂexible beneﬁt plans were preferred signiﬁcantly more by Getting free than by Getting high. Although Derr (1986) and Watts (1989) viewed training/development as appropriate for all three (Getting free, Getting high, and Getting balanced) groups, our study showed that Getting free particularly 58 International Journal of Training and Development © Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005.
preferred this intervention. Getting balanced, as a group, preferred training/ development opportunities over assessment system, mentoring/coaching, and career counselling. This result supports the characteristics of the Getting balanced orientation, which pursues self-development in order to remain competent at work (Derr, 1986). According to descriptive statistics, ﬂexible beneﬁt plans were also one of the most preferred interventions by Getting balanced, consistent with the arguments of S. Y. Kim (1995), Igbaria et al. (1991), and McGovern & Hart (1992). Individual compensation system could not be compared between the groups. A comparison of preferences for this option within groups showed that respondents signiﬁcantly preferred compensation system only over downward mobility and career information system. The lower popularity of this option in all groups may be due to characteristics of Korean society and organizations (Bae & Chung, 1997). Although Korean society has been changing, teamwork and family spirit are still deeply rooted in its culture (Koch et al., 1995), which may have led respondents to be reluctant to place value on this option.
Limitations of the study
This study was limited to one large Korean company; it may be difﬁcult to generalize the ﬁndings of this study to other organizations in different cultures. Second, there may be limitations to the instrument, since it was originally developed in the context of western cultures. The instrument may contain culturally sensitive items that were not detected in the researcher’s efforts to validate the instrument, conduct pilot tests, and obtain feedback. Finally, at least two of the scales had lower-thandesired reliability.
Implications of the study
There were some theoretical efforts to link individual career orientations with preferences for career development interventions, though empirical evidence is lacking. The ﬁndings of this study can contribute to the validation of theoretical discussions on the association of individuals and organizational career development interventions. From a practical perspective, at the organizational level, the ﬁndings of this study imply that organizations may want to design their career mobility systems or performance incentive systems in accordance with employees’ career orientations. At the individual level, the study points out workers’ responsibility to know their personal needs, biases and motives. Knowledge of one’s own values and beliefs can serve as a basis for future career decisions, and for the development of appropriate career strategies (Aryee et al., 1994).
Recommendations for further research
Organizational perspectives on the career orientations of employees deserve examination. Determining which types of career orientation are preferred by organizations may lead to a new research question. This would necessitate the expansion of the data source to a broad set of organizations with different social backgrounds. Patterns of orientation in relation to preferred career development interventions may also be affected by organizational characteristics and cultures. References Arthur, M. B. and Rousseau, D. M. (eds) (1996), The boundaryless career: A new employment principle for a new organizational era. NY: Oxford University Press. Aryee, S., Chay, Y. W. and Tan, H. H. (1994), An examination of the antecedents of subjective career success among a managerial sample in Singapore. Human Relations, 47, 5, 487– 509. © Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005.
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