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Applying Career Competencies in Career Management.

By Sandra Haase


The thesis critically examines the use of competencies in career management, and introduces career competencies as an approach to sustainable career management. An 87-item measure of career competency (CC) was tested on a sample of 632 individuals from different backgrounds. From this, the Career Competencies Indicator (CCI) was developed. The CCI comprises 43 items, measuring seven subscales: goal setting and career planning, self-knowledge, job-related performance\ud effectiveness, career-related skills, knowledge of (office) politics, networking and mentoring and feedback-seeking and self-presentation. Sub-scale alphas were of acceptable level and the factor structure was replicated with two other samples. The impact of CCs on objective career success (OCS) and subjective career success (SCS) was explored, administering the CCI to a sample of 269 police\ud officers and 110 university employees. SCS was measured using Gattiker and Larwood’s (1986) five SCS scales and Greenhaus, Parasuraman and Wormley’s (1990) career satisfaction scale. OCS was assessed as income and number of\ud promotions. The control variables included personality (Saucier, 1994), career salience (Allen & Ortlepp, 2002) and demographics. Discriminant validity was demonstrated between most of the CCI sub-scales and the personality variables. Above-chance similarity between the CCI sub-scales indicated convergent validity. The CCs contributed to SCS and OCS. For four of the SCS variables, this\ud contribution added to the contribution of the control variables. The CCs further mediated the relationship between career salience and career outcomes. To\ud generalise these results, future work should focus on a longitudinal approach considering a range of organisations.\ud The CCI was used as a framework for informal career discussions with twenty-one police officers. The intervention was highly valued by participants. Behavioural\ud changes were reported three months after the intervention. A pre-post approach found no significant differences in the increase of CCs, SCS and OCS between the control and the intervention group, apart from life success which was reportedly higher for the intervention group. However, the interaction plots showed an increase in CCs, SCS and OCS from time1 to time2 for the intervention group, which reached significance for the OCS and some of the SCS variables. The thesis considers the implications of the present findings and suggests avenues for future work. The role of CCs in dealing with the requirements of the new career realities and different ways of promoting CCs are also considered

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