Career-Anchor Model Fit Evaluated In the Context of a Variety of Populations

By Mengfei Cai, Jared R. Chapman and Bruce Brown.

Published by Organizational Cultures: An International Journal

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In 1996, Feldman and Bolino suggested that career anchors can be complementary or mutually exclusive. In other words, if a person has more than one career anchor, the natural properties of career anchors would make some combinations more likely (complementarity) or less likely (mutually exclusive). They then suggested that an underlying factor structure exists that governs the relationships between career anchors and proposed a non-empirical, intuitive based model to describe them. Several studies have been conducted since then to try to either confirm Feldman and Bolino’s model or propose a competing career anchor structure (Chapman and Brown 2014; Bristow 2004; and Wils, Wils, and Tremblay 2010.) However, none of these studies have converged on a universal career anchor model. This study investigates the question of whether or not a universal model is possible by examining how well five proposed models fit nine different data sets including young male participants, young female participants, older participants, and six archival studies. It is proposed that career anchor factor structure is mediated by population specific characteristics that prevent the construction of a universal model. Using a confirmatory factor analysis test of goodness of fit, we find no evidence for one best model. That is, the five competing theoretical models each seem to be “best” in some populations or situations.

Keywords: Career Anchor, Model Fit

Organizational Cultures: An International Journal, Volume 16, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.21-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.449MB).

Mengfei Cai

Assistant Professor, Psychology Department, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, West Virginia, USA

Jared R. Chapman

Assistant Professor, Organizational Leadership and Human Resource Management, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah, USA

Bruce Brown

Professor, Psychology Department, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA