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Predictors of CEO career success in a transition economy – evidence from Vietnam

Predictors of CEO career success in a transition economy – evidence from Vietnam
Predictors of CEO career success in a transition economy – evidence from Vietnam
Reasons for the study. This thesis was motivated by the controversial associations which reflect the characteristics of career success stipulated by numerous sets of predictors, whereby career success may be evaluated either subjectively and objectively, or by a combination of the two aspects. Originating from recommendations made by influencial scholars, a customised set of moderators was selected to investigate the associations. Moreover, the author has established a population in a novel context, focusing on chief executive officers (CEOs) of listed firms in a Southeast Asian transition economy. All of these factors facilitated the testing of hypotheses partly developed from related theories, namely, psychological success model, human capital theory, political skill framework, five-factor model of personality, protean career theory, managerial power theory and Judge et al.’s (1995) model.

Purpose. The research aimed to empirically examine the controversial associations characterised by the relationships between the sets of predictors and two popular aspects of career success, as well as between these aspects themselves. The research covered the important sets of predictors, namely, human capital, political skill, protean career orientation, managerial power and objective-vs-subjective career success. Additionally, the study investigated the various effects of moderators on the important relationships, which included the effects of firm size and ownership structure on political skill - career success and protean career orientation-career success, as well as the effect of the employment sector on personality traits - career success relationships.

Design/methodology/approach. The study design employed the correlational research approach and the cross-sectional survey method, while the database was constructed from two main sources: the quota sampling survey of the 179 CEOs of the 179 firms publicly listed in the two stock exchange markets in Vietnam, and the archival hand-collected data extracted from the Vietnamese General Department of Taxation, gleaned from annual reports, boards’ reports, financial reports and websites of the 179 firms, as well from trustworthy websites, namely, www.cafef.vn and www.finance.vietstock.vn. The SPSS Statistics 22 program was employed for carrying out data-preparation-and-screening, in order to justify the erroneous-and-missing data, the outliers, the common method variance, the sample size, to calibrate the assumptions, to validate the unidimensionality and reliability, as well as to confirm the validity. Moreover, the Mplus 7.0 program was utilised for conducting the structural equation modelling (SEM) in order to evaluate the direct relationships. The program was also employed to carry out the latent moderated structural equation analysis to determine the latent variable interactions. This program was beneficial in providing the multi-group SEM analysis for reflecting an interaction between a continuous predictor and a dichotomous moderator.

Findings. Particularly interesting were the findings that the measure of objective career success was positively associated with the two measures pertaining to the subjective one. Another finding was that human capital, political skill, protean career orientation and managerial power sets of predictors resulted in a highly reliable characterisation of career success, where it was suggested that the variables leading to objective career success were not different from those linked to subjective career success. Additionally, the results partly confirmed that there were slight moderating effects of firm size and ownership structure on the political skill - career success relationship and on the protean career orientation – career success relationship, and of the employment sector on the personality traits – career success relationship. As a result, contextual factors, namely, firm size, ownership structure and the employment sector, may play a crucial role in the relationships between career success and its related predictors.

Originality/value. In addition to extending the original work of Judge et al. (1995), this study makes original contributions to the field of career success research by not only testing existing theories, but also by building new theories. The study has grounded predictions with the relevant existing theories, conceptual arguments and references to past findings. Further, this study has examined a previously unexplored relationship between CEO managerial power and his career success. Additionally, the study has introduced, as well as empirically tested, the three new moderators of existing relationships, including firm size, employment sector and ownership structure. In addition, this study have constructed a holistic and novel context for demonstrating how to characterise transitional economies in South East Asia, where our novel approach invoking multiple disciplines has been applied.
University of Southampton
Nguyen, Kien Duc
15519295-2bc5-4d13-8ed2-e123e534a192
Nguyen, Kien Duc
15519295-2bc5-4d13-8ed2-e123e534a192
Baruch, Yehuda
bf627173-1a0a-4709-8676-476d6a719e1c

Nguyen, Kien Duc (2018) Predictors of CEO career success in a transition economy – evidence from Vietnam. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 319pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Reasons for the study. This thesis was motivated by the controversial associations which reflect the characteristics of career success stipulated by numerous sets of predictors, whereby career success may be evaluated either subjectively and objectively, or by a combination of the two aspects. Originating from recommendations made by influencial scholars, a customised set of moderators was selected to investigate the associations. Moreover, the author has established a population in a novel context, focusing on chief executive officers (CEOs) of listed firms in a Southeast Asian transition economy. All of these factors facilitated the testing of hypotheses partly developed from related theories, namely, psychological success model, human capital theory, political skill framework, five-factor model of personality, protean career theory, managerial power theory and Judge et al.’s (1995) model.

Purpose. The research aimed to empirically examine the controversial associations characterised by the relationships between the sets of predictors and two popular aspects of career success, as well as between these aspects themselves. The research covered the important sets of predictors, namely, human capital, political skill, protean career orientation, managerial power and objective-vs-subjective career success. Additionally, the study investigated the various effects of moderators on the important relationships, which included the effects of firm size and ownership structure on political skill - career success and protean career orientation-career success, as well as the effect of the employment sector on personality traits - career success relationships.

Design/methodology/approach. The study design employed the correlational research approach and the cross-sectional survey method, while the database was constructed from two main sources: the quota sampling survey of the 179 CEOs of the 179 firms publicly listed in the two stock exchange markets in Vietnam, and the archival hand-collected data extracted from the Vietnamese General Department of Taxation, gleaned from annual reports, boards’ reports, financial reports and websites of the 179 firms, as well from trustworthy websites, namely, www.cafef.vn and www.finance.vietstock.vn. The SPSS Statistics 22 program was employed for carrying out data-preparation-and-screening, in order to justify the erroneous-and-missing data, the outliers, the common method variance, the sample size, to calibrate the assumptions, to validate the unidimensionality and reliability, as well as to confirm the validity. Moreover, the Mplus 7.0 program was utilised for conducting the structural equation modelling (SEM) in order to evaluate the direct relationships. The program was also employed to carry out the latent moderated structural equation analysis to determine the latent variable interactions. This program was beneficial in providing the multi-group SEM analysis for reflecting an interaction between a continuous predictor and a dichotomous moderator.

Findings. Particularly interesting were the findings that the measure of objective career success was positively associated with the two measures pertaining to the subjective one. Another finding was that human capital, political skill, protean career orientation and managerial power sets of predictors resulted in a highly reliable characterisation of career success, where it was suggested that the variables leading to objective career success were not different from those linked to subjective career success. Additionally, the results partly confirmed that there were slight moderating effects of firm size and ownership structure on the political skill - career success relationship and on the protean career orientation – career success relationship, and of the employment sector on the personality traits – career success relationship. As a result, contextual factors, namely, firm size, ownership structure and the employment sector, may play a crucial role in the relationships between career success and its related predictors.

Originality/value. In addition to extending the original work of Judge et al. (1995), this study makes original contributions to the field of career success research by not only testing existing theories, but also by building new theories. The study has grounded predictions with the relevant existing theories, conceptual arguments and references to past findings. Further, this study has examined a previously unexplored relationship between CEO managerial power and his career success. Additionally, the study has introduced, as well as empirically tested, the three new moderators of existing relationships, including firm size, employment sector and ownership structure. In addition, this study have constructed a holistic and novel context for demonstrating how to characterise transitional economies in South East Asia, where our novel approach invoking multiple disciplines has been applied.

Text
Final thesis - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only until 22 October 2021.
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.

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Published date: September 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 425872
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/425872
PURE UUID: a15a923e-1b6d-4606-a0b3-4db0a22b2356

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Date deposited: 05 Nov 2018 17:30
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 17:56

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Contributors

Author: Kien Duc Nguyen
Thesis advisor: Yehuda Baruch

University divisions

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