Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effects of Culture on Psychological Mobility: Comparative Analyses of Turkish and Canadian Academicians*

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effects of Culture on Psychological Mobility: Comparative Analyses of Turkish and Canadian Academicians*

Article excerpt


The present study comparatively examines the effects of culture on psychological mobility of academicians in Turkey and Canada. Questionnaires were completed by 382 respondents, of them 277 Turkish and 105 Canadian. Data were collected using INDCOL for measuring the four cultural dimensions. Psychological mobility that consisted of boundaryless mindset and organizational mobility preference was measured using the Boundaryless Career Attitude Scale. Findings of the study revealed that there were differences between Turkish and Canadian academicians in terms of four cultural dimensions and psychological mobility. It was also found that culture has influence on psychological mobility. Turkish academicians were more collectivist and had higher organizational mobility preference than Canadian counterparts.

Key Words

Career, Career Mobility, Psychological Mobility, Culture, Psychological Mobility of Academicians.

Over the last decade, two new career perspectives have emerged and become popular: The protean career and the boundaryless career (Briscoe, Hall, & DeMuth, 2006). In this study boundaryless career perspective is preferred to examine career mobility. The boundaryless career can be defined as "a sequence of job opportunities that goes beyond the boundaries of any single employment setting" (DeFilippi & Arthur, 1994, p. 307). The most typical distinction between traditional career and boundaryless career is high level of mobility between different organizational boundaries (Arthur, 1994; Briscoe & Hall, 2006; Arthur & Rousseau, 1996; Garavan & Coolahan, 1996; Lazarova & Taylor, 2009; Miner & Robinson, 1994; Yamashita & Uenoyama, 2006).

Employability is one of the key concepts of boundaryless career. It helps adaptation to business life (Brown et al., 2002). In knowledge economy employability shifted power to employees (Drucker, 1993). Knowledge economy and knowledge workers posed boundaryless careers (Donnelly, 2009; Zhao, Li, & Yu, 2007). Knowledge workers produce value using their mental skills instead of physical skills (Horibe, 1999). Social and human capital provide job opportunites (McArdle et al., 2007). Individuals invest their competencies to be employable (DeFlippi et al., 2003; Inkson & Arthur, 2001; Fugate et al., 2004). Since employability is a psycho-social structure, it is also affected by culture (Noordin, Williams, & Zimmer, 2002).

The boundaryless career was criticized that it was valid for only qualified workers and jobs in technology or knowledge intensive sectors (Pringle & Mallon, 2003; Van Buren III, 2003). Furthermore, some researchers have also argued that it consists of excessively individualistic features and it is common in some developed countries such as USA and Canada (Briscoe et al., 2006; Pringle & Mallon, 2003; Rodrigues & Guest, 2009; Thomas & Inkson, 2007). There was no enough empirically tested finding about the idea "valid for specific groups or cultures." Therefore testing the validity of boundaryless career in non - western context will be a contribution to the field.

Hofstede (1984; 2001) classified cultures as individualist and collectivist. After Hofstede, some researchers studied the components of individualism and collectivism such as values, autonomy, responsibility and self-concept (Brewer & Chen, 2007; Ho & Chiu, 1994). Traditional conceptualization of individualism/collectivism as a simple dichotomy and analyzing culture at country level were criticised (Singelis, Triandis, Bhawuk, & Gelfand, 1995; Wasti & Erdil, 2007). Later culture was examined in four dimensions: Horizontal individualism, vertical individualism, horizontal collectivism and vertical collectivism (Singelis et al., 1995). It is argued that the cultural dimensions are not repugnant to each other; instead they could be available in a person simultaneously (Basabe & Ros, 2005; De Guzman & Carlo, 2004; Göregenli, 1995; Triandis, 1989). …

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