Orientation and Conflict in Career

Orientation and Conflict in Career

Orientation and Conflict in Career

Orientation and Conflict in Career

Excerpt

In today's knowledge-oriented organizations, it is commonplace for the trained specialist -- whether he be engineer, scientist, operations researcher, lawyer, teacher, or physician -- to confront the choice of continuing a career as a specialist or shifting into a managerial career. For some, the choice is clear-cut. For others the choice may be difficult and, once made, a source of continuing ambivalence. For these latter individuals, career conflict can be an important aspect of their adult lives. And for the organizations in which they work, career conflict has potentially important costs.

Both behavioral scientists and the managers of knowledge- oriented organizations have reason for attaining a better comprehension of the origins of career conflict, its consequences for the individual and the organization, and constructive ways for coping with it. This volume contributes to that understanding.

Professors Zaleznik, Dalton, and Barnes studied approximately 170 professional scientists and engineers employed in a large firm's Development Center, which linked the basic research unit and the firm's product divisions. The Center had instituted a two-route career structure. After a professional reached a given level on the technical ladder he was expected to announce his job aspirations, choosing either a technical or a managerial route.

Two measures were used to place the subjects into four basic career types. One measure was the subject's statement of the area (technical versus managerial) in which he expected to achieve his career goals. The other was a measure of his latent interests on two scales on the Allport-Vernon- Lindzey Study of Values , i.e., theoretic and economic values. Theoretic values were assumed to be consistent with a technical career declaration, and high economic value scores consistent with a management choice.

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