A Grounded Theory Study of the Meaning of Career Success
1 online resource (140 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The purpose of this research was to examine the concept of career success as discussed by career actors and to develop theory about the construct of career success. I used grounded theory methodology with constant comparative analysis (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) to achieve these aims. Data consisted of qualitative interviews with 44 career actors across various career stages and occupations; participants were asked to define and evaluate career success from multiple perspectives. I found that participants had idiosyncratic personal definitions of career success, yet they believed that "most people" share a common definition, namely that career success comprises money and status. I also found that the evaluation of career success differs from the work outcomes (e.g., salary, satisfaction, etc.) that determine it. I use these findings to develop a new construct called self-evaluated career success, which I propose to be related to work motivation, intentions to leave an occupation or employer, and personal definitions of career success. This study contributes to existing research by showing that common academic conceptualizations of career success do not reflect how career actors define career success for themselves. This research also contributes to management and organizations by identifying a potential predictor of employee work motivation and intentions to quit.
CareerCareer SuccessConstruct DevelopmentGrounded TheorySelf-Evaluated Career SuccessTheory Development
Rubin, BethScott, CliftonWoehr, David
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2014.
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