Within the vast literature on the antecedents of career success, the success criterion has generally been operationalized in a rather deficient manner. Several avenues for improving the conceptualization and measurement of both objective and subjective career success are identified. Paramount among these is the need for greater sensitivity to the criteria that study participants, in different contexts, use to construe and judge their career success. This paper illustrates that contextual and individual factors are likely to be associated with the relative salience of objective and subjective criteria of career success. Drawing on social comparison theory, propositions are also offered about when self‐ and other‐referent success criteria are likely to be most salient. A broader research agenda addresses career success referent choice, organizational interventions, and potential cultural differences. This article maps out how future research can be more sensitive to how people actually do conceptualize and evaluate their own career success. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Organizational Behavior – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 2005
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