منافع حرفه ای و صفات پنج عامل بزرگ بعنوان پیش بینی کننده بی ثباتی شغلی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|34235||2010||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8808 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 76, Issue 3, June 2010, Pages 547–558
Although empirical research on this topic is scarce, personality traits and vocational interests have repeatedly been named as potential individual level predictors of job change. Using a long-term cohort study (N = 291), we examined RIASEC interest profiles and Big Five personality scores at the beginning of the professional career as predictors of subsequent job changes, both internal as well as external, over the next 15 years. Overall, results provide additional evidence for an individual difference perspective on job instability, although our findings vary across instability variables. Consistent with previous research, external job changes in particular related to individual differences. Specifically, scores on Investigative, Artistic, Enterprising and Conventional scales showed to be the most important interest related predictors. With regard to Big Five personality traits, strongest associations were found with Agreeableness and Openness. In addition, facet level analyses proved to be useful to further clarify linkages between personality and job instability.
Over the past decades, research on job change widened its focus and went through some interesting evolutions. First, there was a growing interest in patterns of job mobility over a period of time, expanding the study of single turnover behaviors. Consequently, the conceptualization of job change now surpasses mere turnover behavior and is frequently labeled as job mobility, or patterns of intra- and inter-organizational transitions over the course of a person’s work life (Hall, 1996 and Sullivan, 1999). In addition to this broader conceptualization, there was also a shift in the way job change was valued. Specifically, the notion of job changes being intrinsically inefficient was abandoned. At the macroeconomic level, economists pointed out that job stability is not necessarily always a good thing as it can disable companies to restructure their workforce in times of structural change. Moreover, at the individual level, job change can be an opportunity to accumulate different work experiences and accordingly increase personal performance and market value. In fact, a solid body of research has shown that job shopping early in the career can be highly beneficial, resulting in greater wage gains than staying put with one employer (Bartel & Borjas, 1981). Clearly, these evolutions in job stability research are the product of a number of factual changes in the labor market. Perhaps most perceptible are changes at the employer’s side. As organizational lay-offs and restructuring are becoming more and more common now (Littler, Wiesner, & Dunford, 2003), it is not surprising that employers today no longer promote the idea of lifelong job security as a realistic employment goal. Concurrently, longitudinal studies in American as well as European employees’ samples have shown that organizational commitment is declining over time (Bentein et al., 2005 and Vandenberg and Self, 1993) and career researchers have identified a transition from organizational to boundaryless or Protean careers. These labor market evolutions are further illustrated by evidence strongly suggesting that job instability has markedly increased over the past decades (Bernhardt et al., 1999 and White et al., 2004). As job instability is becoming a salient aspect in many employees’ work experiences, research on this topic is necessary to help us understand how individual careers unfold. The aim of present study is to gain further insight in possible individual level determinants of job instability. In previous research, job instability has been studied from very different viewpoints. In general, two main perspectives can be distinguished (Feldman & Ng, 2007). A structural perspective suggests structural factors in the labor market as the main determinants of employees’ mobility. Accordingly, job mobility is considered to be mainly vacancy-driven (e.g., DiPrete, De Graaf, Luijkx, Tahlin, & Blossfeld, 1997). Although important, it is not likely that these structural factors account for all variation in job mobility. After all, even in times of severe economic recession, when job vacancies are limited, employees can still be motivated to pursue job mobility options. It is clear that individuals have different preferences toward job mobility, and the possible risks or uncertainties that come with it. In an individual difference perspective, it is theorized that one’s career is, in part, governed by internal attributes like personality traits and vocational interests ( Ng, Sorensen, Eby, & Feldman, 2007). Although this perspective seems intuitively logical and although explicit hypotheses have been stated (e.g., Ng et al., 2007), empirical research on the relationships between these individual difference variables and job mobility is scarce and characterized by some important limitations. First, there has been much more research on intentions to move and attitudes toward moving than on actual change behavior ( Ng, Eby, Sorensen, & Feldman, 2005). Second, very few studies have examined individual differences in actual job moves over a longer period of time. Third, although theoretically considered relevant, no studies have empirically investigated longitudinal relationships between vocational interests and the frequency of actual job changes. The aim of this study is to further expand research on job instability considered from an individual difference perspective. Using a prospective longitudinal design, both vocational interests and personality traits measured at the beginning of the career are examined as potential predictors of job instability throughout the first 15 years of the professional career, further referred to as the first career stage. 1.1. Job instability, internal mobility, and external mobility To date, multiple types and taxonomies of job mobility exist (e.g., Nicholson & West, 1988). In this study, the focus is on the frequency of career transitions—both intra- and inter-organizational—during the first 15 years of a person’s work life. As such, job instability in this study refers to the aggregate of three different types of moving behaviors: (1) moving to a different job within the same company, (2) moving to the same type of job with a different organization, and (3) moving to a different type of job with a different organization. In addition, we also differentiated between internal and external mobility behaviors. Internal mobility refers to any substantial change in work responsibilities, hierarchical level, or title within an organization. This includes internal promotions, transfers and demotions. External mobility refers to any change in the employing firm. Finally, our conceptualization of job instability does not differentiate between voluntary and involuntary moving behaviors. The focus in this study is on the validity of vocational interests and personality traits in the prediction of job instability during the first 15 years of the professional career. The individual difference perspective primarily suggests that dispositional attributes affect a person’s preferences for and subsequent (voluntary) behaviors associated with job mobility. However, there is evidence that individual difference variables, like personality traits, can also affect vocational life indirectly or employer-driven rather than employee-driven (De Fruyt & Mervielde, 1999). In addition, it is often very hard to determine whether and to which extent job changes are entirely voluntary. For example, employees can anticipate employer dismissal decisions by means of job change. Furthermore, job changes are often the result of joint-decision making between employer and employee (e.g., internal job changes as part of career management programs) or between an employer and his/her partner (e.g., the decision to drop out of work to take care of the children). Probably, individual difference variables like personality traits and vocational interests affect these kinds of change decisions as well; processes which cannot be tapped when only unambiguous and clear-cut voluntary job change decisions are considered. 1.2. Vocational interests and job instability Since its origin, Holland’s RIASEC theory of vocational personalities has been widely applied to vocational life (Holland, 1997). In career research, the idea of ‘congruence’, which states that “people find environments reinforcing and satisfying when environmental patterns resemble their personality patterns” ( Holland, 1985, p. 53) has received most attention. Numerous studies (e.g., Assouline & Meir, 1987) have found congruence to be positively associated with job satisfaction, stability, and success. The aim of the present study is to investigate the validity of vocational interest profiles measured at the very beginning of the career for the prediction of job instability throughout the first career stage. Holland’s (1985) descriptions of the six vocational personalities do not explicitly deal with the frequency of job changes. However, these descriptions do contain some cues on the desirability and likelihood of job instability for each of the six interest types (see also Feldman & Ng, 2007). The Enterprising type prefers activities that entail the manipulation of others to attain organizational goals. This type values controlling others, the opportunity to be free of control, and being ambitious. (S)he would find holding a position of power most gratifying ( Holland, 1997). This ambition and need to control others could motivate Enterprising types to engage in job changes throughout the first career stage. The Investigative type prefers activities that entail the observational, symbolic, systematic, and creative investigation of physical, biological, and cultural phenomena. (S)he has a wide range of interests, is open to new ideas and experiences and dislikes repetitive activities ( Holland, 1997). In addition, as they show substantial similarities with individuals high on Openness to Experience, it can be expected that individuals with Investigative interests are also more likely to welcome job opportunities. Their curious and experiential nature could motivate Investigative types to engage in job change behaviors throughout the first career stage. The Artistic type prefers ambiguous, free, unsystematized activities that entail the manipulation of physical, verbal, or human materials to create art forms or products. (S)he values personal characteristics such as being imaginative and courageous but not being obedient, logical, or responsible ( Holland, 1997). Hence, their continuous pursuit of self-expression and perhaps impulsive nature could encourage them to engage in job change behaviors throughout the first career stage. Hypothesis 1. Individuals with higher Enterprising, Investigative and Artistic career interests at the beginning of their professional careers will experience more job instability throughout the first career stage. The Conventional type prefers activities that entail the explicit, ordered, systematic manipulation of data and has an aversion to ambiguous, free, exploratory, or unsystematized activities ( Holland, 1997). People scoring high on Conventional interests prefer working on familiar tasks and in familiar surroundings. So, the obedient, dutiful and conservative nature of Conventional workers may discourage them to engage in job change behaviors throughout the first career stage. Hypothesis 2. Individuals with higher Conventional career interests at the beginning of their professional careers will experience less job instability throughout the first career stage. The Social type prefers activities that entail the manipulation of others to inform, train, develop, cure, or enlighten. These individuals further dislike explicit, ordered, systematic activities involving materials, tools, or machines. Contrary to the Social type, the Realistic type prefers activities involving the manipulation of things (objects, tools, machines and animals) and has an aversion to educational or therapeutic activities ( Holland, 1997). For both vocational personality types, original descriptions of vocational preferences and adhered life goals and values do not provide explicit or implicit cues about the probability of job change behaviors. Therefore, no specific relations between Realistic and Social interest scores on the one hand and frequency of job changes on the other are expected here. Hypothesis 3. Scores on Realistic and Social interest scales at the beginning of a professional career will be unrelated to job instability experienced throughout the first career stage. Besides scores on the six interest scales, Holland’s (1985) theory also provides secondary constructs (i.e. congruence, identity, coherence, consistency, differentiation, and commonness) to further interpret a vocational interest profile. In the present study, we focus on consistency and differentiation of interest profiles measured at the beginning of the career as predictors of subsequent job instability. An interest profile is consistent in terms of RIASEC theory if the theoretical types most resembled are closely related or adjacent according to the hexagon (e.g., IA, SE). Although evidence is scarce and findings are mixed, high consistency is generally considered as positive and expected to be related to stability in work history (Holland, 1985 and Reardon and Lenz, 1998). Therefore, in our study, we expect people with higher levels of interest profile consistency at the beginning of the career to experience less job instability throughout the first career stage. The construct of differentiation is concerned with the range of scores in the whole interest profile and was originally created to capture what clinicians mean by a well-defined profile (Holland, 1985). A person who closely resembles one theoretical interest type and no other is highly differentiated, whereas a person who resembles all six RIASEC types to an equal degree is undifferentiated. Overall, the construct of differentiation has received less research attention compared to some of the theory’s other assumptions. With regard to career stability, existing research mainly focused on student samples (e.g., Holland, 1968 and Taylor et al., 1980) and generally showed that high differentiation groups of students made more stable vocational choices than those of the low differentiation groups. Based on these preliminary findings, we also expect people with higher levels of interest profile differentiation at the beginning of the career to experience less job instability throughout the first career stage. Hypothesis 4. Higher levels of interest profile consistency and differentiation at the beginning of a professional career are related to lower levels of job instability experienced throughout the first career stage. 1.3. Big Five traits and job instability Personality has a long tradition in the study of vocational behavior. The idea that personality is meaningfully related to the kinds of careers people choose and how they perform in those careers is essential in most person-environment fit approaches to career choice and adjustment (e.g., Dawis & Lofquist’s Theory of Work Adjustment, 1984). To date, the Five-Factor Model of personality (McCrae & Costa, 1987) can be considered as the most accepted personality taxonomy in the study of organizational behavior. Big Five personality measures have repeatedly been studied in relation to work and career related behaviors or outcomes (e.g., De Fruyt and Mervielde, 1999 and Seibert and Kraimer, 2001). Previous studies that examined Big Five traits in relation to job change behavior mainly focused on turnover only at one point in time (Barrick & Mount, 1996). To our knowledge, Van Vianen, Feij, Krausz, and Taris (2003) were the first to study Big Five personality traits in relation to job changes over a longer period of time. Contrary to their hypotheses, they did not find any evidence for the validity of Big Five traits in the prediction of voluntary job changes. In the present study, the focus is on job instability during the first 15 years of the professional career, with no differentiation between voluntary and involuntary change behaviors. Based on the conceptual meaning of the Big Five traits, specific hypotheses concerning their relation to job instability can be formulated. Agreeableness concerns the kinds of social interactions an individual prefers, from compassion to tough mindedness. People scoring low on this dimension typically value self-interest over getting along with others. Because of their egocentric and competitive nature, we expect people with lower levels of Agreeableness at the beginning of the career to experience more job instability throughout the first career stage. Hypothesis 5. Lower levels of Agreeableness at the beginning of a professional career are related to higher levels of job instability experienced throughout the first career stage. Extraversion can be summarized as the quantity and intensity of energy directed outwards into the social world. People scoring high on extraversion like to seek new experiences and excitement ( Watson & Clark, 1992). In addition, previous research ( Vinson, Connelly, & Ones, 2007) found some Extraversion related traits (an activity scale and an outgoing scale) to be positively related with organization switching. Therefore, we expect people with higher levels of Extraversion at the beginning of the career to experience more job instability throughout the first career stage. Openness to Experience refers to the active seeking and appreciation of experiences for personal benefit. As job changes allow one to seek more new experiences, we also expect people with higher levels of Openness at the beginning of the career to experience more job instability throughout the first career stage. Hypothesis 6. Higher levels of Extraversion and Openness to Experience at the beginning of a professional career are related to higher levels of job instability experienced throughout the first career stage. Conscientiousness is the degree of organization, persistence, control and motivation in goal directed behavior. Within this trait, a distinction is often made between two major dimensions, achievement orientation and dependability, which complicate potential relationships with job instability. On the one hand, Conscientiousness comprises features as Competence (C1) and Achievement Striving (C4), which could lead to increased desire and opportunities for (upward) mobility. Crockett (1962) for example found that people who reported a stronger achievement motive had greater upward mobility in their career. On the other hand, Conscientiousness also holds characteristics as Dutifulness (C3) and Deliberation (C6), which could be inhibiting factors for job changes. Because of these opposite facet level processes, which could neutralize each other at the domain level, we do not expect to find a significant relation between Conscientiousness at the beginning of the career and job instability throughout the first career stage. Emotional Stability deals with people’s susceptibility to psychological distress. As people low on Emotional Stability demonstrate nervousness and Anxiety (N1), they may not be seen as desirable candidates for (upward) mobility ( Ng et al., 2005). Similarly, high levels of Self-Consciousness or social anxiety (N4) could hinder people scoring low on Emotional Stability to consider or actively pursue job change opportunities. Conversely, high levels of Angry Hostility (N2) and/or Impulsiveness (N5) could increase the likelihood of job change. For example, Caspi, Elder, and Bem (1987) studied the lives of individuals over thirty years and found that ill-tempered adults, displaying hostility and moodiness, led more erratic work lives with a greater number of employers irrespective of their intelligence, socioeconomic status, and educational level. As for Conscientiousness, we expect opposite facet level processes to neutralize each other at the domain level, resulting in non significant relations between Emotional Stability at the beginning of the career and job instability throughout the first career stage. Hypothesis 7. Domain level scores on Conscientiousness and Emotional Stability at the beginning of a professional career are unrelated to job instability experienced throughout the first career stage. In personality psychology, divergent ideas exist on the question whether it is best to use broadly defined personality traits or narrowly defined traits for the prediction of certain outcomes. This has come to be referred as the ‘bandwidth-fidelity dilemma’. With regard to the Big Five dimensions of personality, it has been argued that these are characterized by great bandwidth (Briggs, 1989 and Hogan, 1995) and some researchers (e.g., Ackerman, 1990, Hough, 1992 and Tett et al., 1994) have used the bandwidth-fidelity dilemma to argue against the use of broad personality variables. Their criticism is that too much information is lost when data are aggregated to the level of the Big Five, and they argue for a greater focus on more specific traits in organizational behavior. Likewise, Judge, Klinger, Simon, and Yang (2008) note that specific traits like impulsivity and hostility have been extensively studied in psychology, except in organizational behavior research where they are virtually non-existent. Therefore, from an exploratory perspective, this study also examines facet level associations between Big Five traits and job instability during the first career stage.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Using a prospective longitudinal design, this study examined the predictive validity of personality and vocational interests, measured at the very beginning of the professional career, for subsequent job mobility behaviors over the next 15 years. Overall, we found additional empirical evidence for an individual difference perspective on job mobility. To our knowledge, this study was the first to empirically test the longitudinal predictive validity of vocational interests for job mobility behaviors over a long period of time. Indeed, our results show that RIASEC interest scores, measured at the beginning of the career, are to some extent related to subsequent job instability. Conversely, interest profile differentiation and consistency did not significantly predict the frequency of job changes over the next 15 years. With regard to the Big Five personality traits, our results are consistent with previous research showing only modest evidence for validity in the prediction of mobility behaviors. Interestingly, we found the strongest association between job instability and Agreeableness, which is often the ‘forgotten trait’ in the study of organizational behavior. In addition, the possibility to look at facet level relationships between personality and job change variables proved to be useful to ameliorate our understanding of certain domain level relations. Further, this facet level approach also illustrates how some Big Five traits (e.g., Emotional Stability and Conscientiousness) are perhaps too broad to study individual differences in job instability. Consistent with previous research, we also differentiated between internal and external moving behaviors. Overall, our research findings suggest that the individual difference perspective is less useful for the study of internal job mobility. Indeed it makes sense that other factors, like organizational characteristics, are more important in the prediction of internal job rotations than personality or vocational interests. Finally, the present study is not free of limitations. First, our dependent variables (job mobility, internal mobility, and external mobility) do not distinguish between voluntary or involuntary mobility behaviors. The psychological processes underlying these two types of job instability can be very different, meaning that our results could differ if voluntary and involuntary mobility were studied separately. However, the purpose of this study was to examine the broader picture of stability and change during the first 15 years of a professional career from an individual difference perspective. Often, it is far from clear whether or not job changes are voluntary or not as in many cases they are the result of a joint-decision making process. In addition, this distinction is further complicated by the fact that people can proactively anticipate employer decisions. Nevertheless, the results of our study demonstrate that individual difference variables, like vocational interests and personality traits measured at the beginning of the professional career, can to some extent predict subsequent job instability over the next 15 years. Second, we did not examine the direction of changing behaviors (upward, downward or lateral). Some researchers (e.g., Feldman & Ng, 2007) formulate specific hypotheses about personality traits, vocational interests, and direction of job change. However, we feel that—in present labor market characterized by less clear-cut jobs, more diffuse responsibilities, and hierarchical organizational structures fading away—the direction of job change in terms of ‘upward, downward or lateral’ is often obscure and in many cases actually irrelevant.