Academic journal article Journal of International Business Research

Organizational and Individual Determinants of Career Success of MBA Students

Academic journal article Journal of International Business Research

Organizational and Individual Determinants of Career Success of MBA Students

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

A career is a sequence of jobs an individual holds during one's work history (Feldman, 1996). While success in one's career is a natural expectation of individuals, the nature of that success depends on what one expects from it. Indeed individuals have different definitions of career success based on their assessment of their career prospects (Ebadan & Winstanley, 1997). Career success includes both the psychological and work-related outcomes from work role changes (London & Stumpf, 1982). Thus career success has been operationalized by objective and subjective measures.

Objective measures of career success pertain to those that can be observed and verified by others (Judge et al., 1995). Several researchers have studied career success using objective measures such as total compensation (Pfeffer & Davis-Blake, 1987; Seibert, Kraimer & Liden, 2001; Whitely, Dougherty & Dreher, 1991; Whitely & Coetsier, 1993; Kirchmeyer, 1998), number of promotions (Wayne et al., 1999; Whitely, Dougherty & Dreher, 1991; Whitely & Coetsier, 1993), current pay grade (Daley, 1996), and size of most recent merit increase (Lobel & St. Clair, 1992).

Subjective measures of career success (Judge et al., 1995) pertain to the individuals' own judgment of their career attainment. Studies on subjective career success used measures such as career satisfaction (Martins, Eddleston & Veiga, 2002; Seibert, Kraimer & Liden, 2001; Poole, Langan-Fox & Omodei, 1993), job satisfaction (Judge et al., 1995; Burke, 2001), advancement satisfaction (Martins, Eddleston & Veiga, 2002), and perceived career success (Turban & Dougherty, 1994), among others.

While objective measures of success are important, they may not be the only measures an individual wants to achieve. Inasmuch as individuals define career success based on their assessment of career prospects (Ebadan & Winstanley, 1997), individuals expect a lot more from their careers other than compensation, promotion, and other objective measures. Individuals also expect to learn new skills, challenge, and work life balance, among others (Gattiker & Larwood, 1988; Heslin, 2005). Several authors have also pointed out that when relationship between objective and subjective career success is found (Judge & Bretz, 1994), it is influenced by different factors (Ng et al., 2005)--e.g., relationship may be found in males but not in females (Mayrhofer et al., 2008)--or that objective and subjective career success may not be related at all (Hall, 2002; Breland et al., 2007).

Studies on career success in the Philippines have evolved from using managers' attribution of career success (Supangco, 1985; Supangco 1988; Hoffart, 1990) to statistically identifying the factors of career success (Supangco, 2001; Supangco 2010). Supangco (2001), looked at the influences of human capital and demographic factors on objective career success while Supangco (2010) looked at the separate influences of human capital and stable personality characteristics on the one hand, and of organizational sponsorship of the other, on both objective and subjective career success.

This study further explores the dynamics of career success in the Philippine setting by specifically looking at the influences of both organizational and individual characteristics on subjective and objective measures of career success among MBA students of the University of the Philippines. Results of analyses will be explained using various theoretical perspectives.

Research on career success is very important to both the individual and organization. For individuals spending about a third of their time at work, career success is a logical expectation. On the other hand, to organizations, employees' attainment of career success implies that employees have achieved organizational goals and thus may be leveraged for sustained competitive advantage. …

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