Graduation Year

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Walter C. Borman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tammy D. Allen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael T. Brannick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Judith B. Bryant, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Walter R. Nord, Ph.D.

Keywords

career success, extrinsic work values, intrinsic work values, latent profile analysis, lawyers, self-determination theory

Abstract

Work values, defined as the end states people desire and expect to realize through work, appear to play a role in career success, but the small number of past studies have reported conflicting results, some of which may be attributed to research methodology. Using a person-centered approach to model the conjoint effects of intrinsic and extrinsic work values, the present study inductively investigated the association between work-value profile and career success using a three-panel longitudinal dataset consisting of 905 lawyers from the After the Juris Doctorate (AJD) study. Latent profile analysis identified five work-value profiles: (i) Neither Intrinsic nor Extrinsic (NIE); (ii) Moderately Intrinsic and Extrinsic (MIE); (iii) Highly Intrinsic (HI); (iv) Highly Intrinsic, also Extrinsic (HI[E]); and (v) Highly Extrinsic, also Intrinsic (HE[I]). Measurement invariance was established across gender, but gender was an antecedent to profile assignment, with males being more likely to belong to the NIE, MIE, or HE[I] profiles compared to the HI profile. The work-value profile construct displayed intuitive and meaningful relationships with objective and subjective career success indicators over time. The results exposed the inadequacies of methods that examine the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic work values separately. The two sets of values appeared to interact in a non-linear fashion in their associations with career variables, such that modelling them simultaneously, but only linearly, might also be misleading. Contrary to claims made by studies based on the self-determination theory, the HI profile was not positively associated with subjective career success. Generally, the more successful lawyers from early to mid-career also tended to report high intrinsic and high extrinsic work values i.e., those with the HI[E] and HE[I] profiles; the former enjoyed higher subjective career success while the latter exhibited the highest objective career success. The absence of the highly extrinsic profile among this sample of lawyers reinforced past calls to restructure the transactional rewards systems in large law firms.

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