The Role of Circumstances, Individual Differences and Social Support in Determining the Difficulty of a Job Change or Career Transition
Master's Thesis from the year 2007 in the subject Psychology - Work, Business, Organisational and Economic Psychology, grade: 80% - A - 1, University of Manchester, 147 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Traditional career patterns have changed as employees are increasingly forced to jump between jobs and careers in order to obtain advancement (Smith, 2007). While research suggests that a job change can have a positive outcome for the mental well-being of the employee, studies investigating the transition process indicate the period of transition can be a difficult time for individuals. Previous research by Delargy (2004) and Tonks (2006) suggests that transition difficulty varies depending on the combination of individual differences and situational factors involved. Furthermore, research indicates that social variables, in particular social support, may influence difficulty of job transition (e.g. Moyles and Parkes, 1999). Although various conceptualisations of transitions exist (e.g. Nicholson and West, 1988; Kübler-Ross, 1969; Schlossberg, 1984), they do not adequately explain individual differences in the experience of job transitions. The present study aimed to address this gap in the career literature by investigating the role of individual, situational and social variables within an interpretative framework of transition-stress. In a questionnaire-based study, subject matter experts (N=64) rated the likely difficulty of various fictitious transition scenarios, in which the difficulty of individual and situational variable combinations was systematically manipulated. The role of social support was also assessed through scenario ratings. The results showed an additive, rather than interactive, influence of situational and individual difficulty on overall transition difficulty. Social support was also found to be a significant influence on transition difficulty. Results also indicated that social support interacts with the individual, but not the situation, in determining transition difficulty. The results are discussed in relation to current career and stress literature. The present research emphasises the importance of interactive approaches to the investigation of factors involved in the career transition process. Finally, practical implications for individuals, career professionals and organisations are discussed and suggestions for future research are made.
Weiterlesen weniger lesen