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Protean and boundaryless careers: A study on potential motivators

by Jesse Segers, Ilke Inceoglu, Daniël Vloeberghs, Dave Bartram, Erik Henderickx
Journal of Vocational Behavior ()


This paper conceptually links hypothesized scales of the Motivation Questionnaire (SHL (1992). Motivation questionnaire: Manual and users' guide. Thames Ditton: SHL) to the underlying dimensions of the protean (values-driven and self-directedness) and boundaryless career (physical and psychological mobility) attitudes. Results of regression-analyses (N = 13,000) confirmed most of the hypotheses in terms of the influence of gender, age, education, and managerial experience on motivators linked to the underlying dimensions. A cluster analysis that was conducted to explore how many profiles can be observed when matching work motives to the protean and boundaryless careers, resulted in four motivational groups (Protean career architects, Trapped/lost, Hired/hired hand, and Curious/wanderer). The clusters are discussed in light of the current career literature and provide empirical support for the latest theorizing about the protean and boundaryless career models. Managerial implications and directions for future research are offered. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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