Designing and Testing a Model of some Antecedents of Subjective Career Success

Document Type : Original Article


1 MA student Depatment of I⁄O Psychology, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz

2 Associate Professor, Department of Industrial & Organizational Psychology, Faculty of Education & Psychology, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran

3 Professor, Depatment of I⁄O Psychology, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz


The purpose of this study was designing and testing a model of some antecedents of subjective career success. The participants of this study consisted of 230 employees of Khuzestan Water and Power Organization, who were selected by stratified random sampling method. The instruments used in the study were Work Climate Questionnaire, Perceived Competence Scale, Basic Need Satisfaction at Work Scale, Work Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation Scale, Career Satisfaction Scale, Perceived P-V Fit Scale, & Career commitment Scale. Structural equation modeling (SEM) through AMOS-21 was used for data analysis. Bootstrapping procedure also used to determine the significance of the indirect effects.  The results showed that the proposed model fitted the data properly. Findings showed that work autonomy support and work competency support had significant direct effects on need satisfaction, self-determined motivation, and career success (career commitment, career satisfaction, and perceived p-v fit). Results also supported the meditating role of need satisfaction and self-determined motivation in these relationships. Based on our findings, SDT is a useful framework for predicting subjective career success in the form of career satisfaction, career commitment, and perceived p-v fit.


Main Subjects

Armstrong-Stassen, M., & Ursel, N. D. (2009). Perceived organizational support, career satisfaction, and the retention of older workers. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 82, 201-220.
Baard, P. P., Deci, E. L., & Rayan, R. M. (2004). Intrinsic need satisfaction: A motivational basis of performance and well-being in two works in two work settings. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34, 204-2068.
Berg, J. M., Wrzesniewski, A., & Dutton, J. E. (2010). Perceiving and responding to challenges in job crafting at different ranks: When proactivity requires adaptivity. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31(2-3), 158-186.
Blais, M. R., Lachance, L., Vallerand, R. J., Briere, N. M., & Riddle, A. S. (1993). The Blais inventory of work motivation [French]. Revue Quebecoise de Psychologies, 14, 185-215.
Blau, G. (1985). The measurement and prediction of career commitment. Journal of Occupational Psychology, 58, 277-288.
Chen, Y. (2011). Chinese knowledge employees’ career value, perceived organizational support and career success. IBusiness, 3(3), 274-282.
Colakoglu, S. N. (2011). The impact of career boundarylessness on subjective career success: The role of career competencies, career autonomy, and career insecurity. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 79(1), 47-59.
Dahling, J. J., & Librizzi, U. A. (2015). Integrating the theory of work adjustment and attachment theory to predict job turnover intentions. Journal of Career Development, 42, 215-228.
Dahling, J. J., & Thompson, M. N. (2013). Detrimental relations of maximization with academic and career attitudes. Journal of Career Assessment, 21, 278-294.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2012). Self-determination theory. In P. A. M. Van Lange, A. W. Kruglanski & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of theories of social psychology (pp. 416-437). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Deci, E. L., Rayan, R. M., Gagne, M., Leone, D. R., Usunov, J., & Kornazheva, B. P. (2001). Need satisfaction, motivation, and well-being in the work organizations of a former Eastern Bloc country: A cross-cultural study of self-determination. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 930-942.
Deci, E., & Ryan, R. (2000). The what and why of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 4, 227-268.
Deris, N., Pepermans, R., & Carlir, O. (2008). Career success: constructing a multi-dimensional model. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 73, 254-267.
Dolan, S. L., Bejarano, A., & Tzafrir, S. (2011). Exploring the moderating effect of gender in the relationship between individual’s aspirations and career success among engineers in Peru. The International Journal of Human Research Management, 22(15), 3146-3167.
Donohue, R. (2007). Examining career persistence and career change intent using the career attitudes and strategies inventory. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 70, 259-276.
Eddleston, K. A. (2009). The effects of social comparisons on managerial career satisfaction and turnover intentions. Career Development International, 14, 87-110.
Fay, D., & Frese, M. (2000). Self-starting behavior at work: Toward a theory of personal initiative. In J. Hechhausen (Ed.), Motivational Psychology of Human Development (pp. 307-324). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Fernet, C., Austin, S., & Vallerand, R. J. (2012). The effects of work motivation on employee exhaustion and commitment: An extension of the JD-R model. Work & Stress, 26, 213-229.
Fu, J. (2010). IS Information Technology career unique? Exploring differences in career commitment and its determinants among it and non-it employees. International Journal of Electronic Business Management, 8(3), 263-271.
Gagne´, M., & Deci, E. L. (2005). Self-determination theory and work motivation. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26, 331-362.

Gillet, N., Gagné, M., Sauvagère, S., & Fouquereau, E. (2013). The role of supervisor autonomy support, organizational support, and autonomous and controlled motivation in predicting employees' satisfaction and turnover intentions. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 22(4), 450-460.

Grant, A. M., Fried, Y., Parker, S. K., & Frese, M. (2010). Putting job design in context: Introduction to the special issue. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31, 145-157.
Greenhaus, J. H., Parasuraman, S., & Wormley, W. (1990). Effects of race on organizational experiences, job performance evaluations, and career Outcomes. Academy of Management Journal, 33, 64-86
Greguras, G. J., & Diefendorff, J. M. (2009). Different fits satisfy different needs: Linking person-environment fit to employee commitment and performance using self-determination theory. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 465-477.
Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1976). Motivation through the design of work: Test of a theory. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 16, 250-279.
Hall, D. T. (1996). Protean careers of the 21st century. The Academy of Management Executive, 10, 8-16.
Hall, D. T., & Las Heras, M. (2010). Reintegrating job design and career theory: Creating not just good jobs, but smart jobs. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31, 448–462.
Judge, T. A., Cable, D. M., Boudreau, J. W., & Bretz, R. D. (1995). An empirical investigation of the predictors of executive career success. Personnel Psychology, 48, 485-519.
Judge, T. A., Higgins, C. A., Thoresen, C. J., & Barrick, M. R. (1999). The big five personality traits, general mental ability, and career success across the lifespan. Personnel Psychology, 52, 621-652.
Karavardar, G. (2014). Career commitment, subjective career success and career satisfaction in the context of hazelnut processing industry in Turkey. International Journal of Business and Management, 9(6), 98-105.

Kauffeld, S., Jonas, E., & Frey, D. (2004). Effects of a flexible work-time design on employees and company-related aims. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 13(1), 79-100.

Kline, R. B. (2011). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (3rd ed.). New York, NY: GuilfordPress.
Kong, H., Cheung, C., & Song, H. (2012). From hotel career management to employeesَ career satisfaction: the mediating effect of career competency. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 31(3), 76-85.
Lam, C. F., & Gurland, S. T. (2008). Self-determined work motivation predicts job outcomes, but what predicts self-determined work motivation?Journal of Research in Personality, 42(4), 1109-1115.
Latham, G. P. (2013). Work Motivation: History, Research, and Practice (2nd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Littler, C. R., Wiesner, r., & Dunford, R. (2003). The dynamics of delayering: Changing management structures in three countries. Journal of Management Studies, 40(2), 225-256.

McArdle, S., Waters, L., Briscoe, J. P., & Hall, D. T. (2007) Employability during unemployment: Adaptability, career identity, and human and social capital. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 71(2), 247-264.

Meyer, J. P., & Gagne, M. (2008). Employee engagement from a self-determination theory perspective. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 1, 60-62.
Meyer, J. P., & Maltin, E. R. (2010). Employee commitment and well-being: A critical review, theoretical framework and research agenda. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 77, 323-337.
Nahrgang, J. D., Morgeson, F. P., & Hofmann, D. A. (2011). Safety at work: A meta-analytical investigation of the link between job demands, job resources, burnout, engagement, and safety outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96, 71-94.
Nauta, A., Van Vianen, A., Van Der Heijden, B., Van Dam, K., & Willemsen, M. (2009). Understanding the factors that promote employability orientation: The impact of employability culture, career satisfaction, and role breadth self-efficacy. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 82, 233-251.
Ng, T. W. H., & Feldman, D. C. (2014). The moderating effects of age in the relationships of job autonomy to work outcomes. Work, Aging and Retirement, 1-15.
Ng, T. W. H., Eby, L. T., Sorensen, K. L., & Feldman, D. C. (2005). Predictors of objective and subjective career success: A meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 58(2), 367-408.
Parker, S. K. (2014). Beyond motivation: Job and work for development, health, ambidexterity, and more. Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 661-691.
Rasdi, R. M., Ismail, M., & Garavan, T. N. (2011). Predicting Malaysian managers’ objective and subjective career success. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 22(17), 3528-3549.
Rayan, R. M., & Connell, J. P. (1989). Perceived locus of causality and internalization: Examining reasons for acting in two domains. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 749-761.
Rayan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 54–67.
Seibert, S. E., & Kraimer, M. L., & Crant, J. M. (2001). What do proactive people do? A longitudinal model linking proactive personality and success. Personal Psychology, 54, 845-874.
Seibert, S. E., Crant, J. M., & Kraimer, M. L. (1999). Proactive personality and career success. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84, 416-427.
Sheldon, K. M., Turban, D. B., Brown, K. G., Barrick, M. R., & Judge, T. A. (2003). Applying self-determination theory to organizational research. Research and Human Resources Management, 22, 357-393.
Sheldon, K. M., Turban, D. B., Brown, K. G., Barrick, M. R., & Judge, T. A. (2003). Applying Self-Determination Theory to Organizational Research, in (ed.), Research in personnel and human resources management (pp.357-393). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Simon, M., Mu¨ller, B. H., & Hasselhorn, H. M. (2010). Leaving the organization or the profession-A multilevel analysis of nurses’ intentions. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66, 616-626.
Sturges, J. (2002). What it means to succeed: personal conceptions of career success held by male and female managers at different ages. British Journal of Management, 10(3), 239-252.
Sullivan, S. E., & Baruch, Y. (2009). Advances in career theory and research: A critical review and agenda for future exploration. Journal of Management, 35, 1542-1571.
Tims, M., Bakker, A. B., & Derks D. (2012). Development and validation of the job crafting scale. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80, 173-186.
Tremblay, M. A., Blanchard, C. M., Taylor, S., Pelletier, L. G., & Villeneuve, M. (2009). Work extrinsic and intrinsic motivation scale: Its value for organizational psychology research. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, 41, 213-226.
Vallerand, R. J. (1997). Toward a hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (pp. 271-360). Waltham, MA: Academic Press.
Vansteenkiste, M., & Ryan, R. M. (2013). On psychological growth and vulnerability: Basic psychological need satisfaction and need frustration as a unifying principle. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 23, 263-280.
Vogel, R. M., & Feldman, D. C. (2009). Integrating the levels of person-environment fit: The roles of vocational fit and group fit. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 75, 68–81.
Williams, G. C., & Deci, E. L. (1996). Internalization of biopsychosocial values by medical student: A test of self-determination theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 767-779.
Williams, G. C., Freedman, Z. R., & Deci, E. L. (1998). Supporting autonomy to motivate glucose control in patients with diabetes. Diabetes Care, 21, 1644-1651.
Wrzesniewski, A., & Dutton, J. E. (2001). Crafting a job: Revisioning employees as active crafters of their work. Academy of Management Review, 26, 179-201.