An industrial psychological study establishing the relationship between career self-management and job performance

Bredell, Deidre (2000-03)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Individuals in South Africa are constantly confronted with career related challenges. As a result of high unemployment, affirmative action, the outsourcing of work and other changes in the economy, only the very best employees with relevant skills and qualifications can survive in the contemporary work place. Career self-management therefore cannot be neglected or left to the employer, but should be undertaken by each individual on a continuous basis. An unavoidable question, with which any individual will be confronted at some stage during the process of career management, is: 'Will career management necessarily have a positive effect on job performance?" The essential question of this study is whether there is a statistically significant relation between career self-management and job performance. In an effort to investigate and understand this relation more efficiently, a literature study was first undertaken concerning both the independent variable, namely career self-management, and the dependent variable, namely job performance. This was followed by an empirical investigation. Career self-management may be defined as the process by which individuals take well considered, informed, suitable decisions about their working lives. The process of career self-management consists of different components, namely career exploration, career goal setting, the development of career strategies and career evaluation. Career exploration includes self-exploration as well as exploration of the environment. Self-knowledge focuses on the acquisition of knowledge regarding internal aspects such as values, personality, aptitude, interests, weak points and strong points. Environment exploration, on the other hand, includes the acquisition of knowledge and information about the working environment. Career goal setting is the second component in the career self-management process, and involves the setting of challenging but realistic career goals by the individual for the short, medium and long term. The individual develops career strategies in order to realise career goals. Various types of career strategies may be distinguished, such as competence in the current position, extended involvement at work, development of skills, participation in organisational politics and the utilisation of opportunities by, for example, the creation of networks, self-nomination and visibility. After sufficient time has elapsed for the implementation of the strategies, the individual has to compare the identified goals with achieved goals and adjust the original career plan accordingly. These adjustments will in turn require further career exploration and the process will be repeated. The dependent variable, namely individual job performance, may be defined as the way in which a job or task is executed by an individual, group or organisation. An individual's job performance mainly depends on two aspects, namely ability and motivation (attempt). Ability refers to the individual's potential to successfully complete a task or job. Motivation is an internal driving force which moves an individual and which directs his/her behaviour in such a way that goals may be achieved. The empirical part of the study investigated the statistical relationship between the two constructs on a test sample, consisting of 307 individuals from 5 different sectors (mining sector, real estate sector, health care sector, bank sector, and production sector). The career self-management of these individuals was tested by means of two questionnaires, namely the Career Exploration Survey and the Career Strategies Inventory. Their job performance was measured by the Job Performance Questionnaire, which were handed to their managers/supervisors to complete. Statistical analyses showed that no statistically significant relationship exists between career self-management and job performance. Further statistical analyses also showed that there is no relation between any of the components of career self-management (career exploration, career goal setting, and development of career strategies) and job performance. The research results suggest that career self-management does not necessarily lead to improved job performance, even though an individual may manage his/her career constructively.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Individue in Suid-Afrika word gereeld gekonfronteer met loopbaanverwante uitdagings. Die hoë werkloosheidssyfer, regstellende aksie, uitkontraktering en ander veranderinge in die ekonomie veroorsaak dat slegs die heel beste werknemers met relevante vaardighede en kwalifikasies in vandag se werkplek kan oorleef. Loopbaan-selfbestuur kan dus nie agterweë gelaat word of oorgelaat word aan die organisasie nie, maar behoort deur elke individu op 'n deurlopende basis gedoen te word. 'n Onvermydelike vraag waarmee enige individu op een of ander stadium tydens die loopbaanbestuursproses gekonfronteer sal word, is: "Sal loopbaanbestuur noodwendig 'n positiewe effek op werksprestasie hê?" Hierdie vraag het die essensie van die studie gevorm, naamlik of daar 'n statisties beduidende verband bestaan tussen loopbaan-selfbestuur en werksprestasie. Ten einde hierdie verband beter te kon ondersoek en verstaan, is 'n literatuurstudie eerstens oor beide die onafhanklike veranderlike, loopbaan-selfbestuur, en die afhanklike veranderlike, werksprestasie, gedoen, waarna die empiriese gedeelte van die navorsing gevolg het. Loopbaan-selfbestuur kan gedefinieer word as die proses waartydens individue weldeurdagte, ingeligte, geskikte besluite neem aangaande hulle werksiewens. Die proses van loopbaan-selfbestuur bestaan uit verskeie komponente, naamlik loopbaanverkenning, loopbaandoelwitstelling, die ontwikkeling van loopbaanstrategieë en loopbaanbeoordeling. Loopbaanverkenning sluit self-verkenning sowel as verkenning van die omgewing in. Selfkennis fokus op die verkryging van kennis met betrekking tot interne aspekte soos waardes, persoonlikheid, aanleg, belangstellings, swakpunte en sterkpunte, terwylomgewingsverkenning die verkryging van kennis en informasie oor die werksomgewing insluit. Loopbaandoelwitstelling is die tweede komponent in die loopbaan-selfbestuursproses en behels dat die individu uitdagende, dog realistiese loopbaandoelwitte stel - vir die korttermyn, mediumtermyn sowel as die langtermyn. Ten einde loopbaandoelwitte te laat realiseer, ontwikkel die individu loopbaanstrategieë. Verskeie tipes loopbaanstrategieë kan onderskei word, soos byvoorbeeld bevoegdheid in die huidige pos, uitgebreide werksbetrokkenheid, vaardigheidsontwikkeling, deelname aan organisasiepolitiek en die benutting van geleenthede deur onder andere die vorming van netwerke, selfnominering en sigbaarheid. Nadat voldoende tyd verloop het waartydens die strategieë geïmplementeer kon word, moet die individu die gestelde doelwitte met behaalde doelwitte vergelyk en op grond daarvan aanpassings maak ten opsigte van die aanvanklike loopbaanplan. Hierdie aanpassings sal weer verdere loopbaanverkenning verg en die proses word herhaal. Die afhanklike veranderlike, naamlik individuele werksprestasie, kan gedefinieer word as die wyse waarop In werk of taak gedoen word deur In individu, groep of organisasie. In Individu se werksprestasie is hoofsaaklik afhanklik van twee aspekte, naamlik vermoë en motivering (poging). Vermoë verwys na die individu se potensiaal om In taak of werk suksesvol af te handel. Motivering is In interne dryfkrag wat In individu beweeg en sy/haar gedrag rig sodat doelwitte behaal kan word. Die empiriese gedeelte van die studie het die statistiese verband tussen die twee konstrukte op In steekproef, bestaande uit 307 individue afkomstig van vyf verskillende sektore (mynsektor, eiendomsektor, gesondheidsorgsektor, banksektor, vervaardigingsektor), ondersoek. Hierdie individue se loopbaanselfbestuur is bepaal deur middel van twee vraelyste, naamlik die "Career Exploration Survey" en die "Career Strategies Inventory". Hul werksprestasie is gemeet deur middel van die "Job Performance Questionnaire", wat aan hul bestuurders / toesighouers gegee is om te voltooi. Statistiese analises het getoon dat daar geen statisties beduidende verband bestaan tussen loopbaan-selfbestuur en werksprestasie nie. Verdere statistiese ontledings het ook getoon dat daar geen verband tussen enige van die komponente van loopbaan-selfbestuur (loopbaanverkenning, loopbaandoelwitstelling en ontwikkeling van loopbaanstrategieë) en werksprestasie bestaan nie. Die gevolgtrekking wat op grond van die navorsingsresultate gemaak kan word, is dat, alhoewel 'n individu sy/haar loopbaan konstruktief mag bestuur, dit nie noodwendig tot verbeterde werksprestasie sal lei nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51601
This item appears in the following collections: