The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Playing to win: biological imperatives, self-regulation, and trade-offs in the game of career success

Playing to win: biological imperatives, self-regulation, and trade-offs in the game of career success
Playing to win: biological imperatives, self-regulation, and trade-offs in the game of career success
The article applies evolutionary theory to the concept of career success, to argue the primacy of objective outcomes, utilities such as status and wealth, and to analyze why the relationship with subjective career success is not stronger. Although there are grounds for expecting subjective evaluations to be sympathetic secondary accompaniments of objective success and failure, there are substantial numbers of paradoxically happy losers and unhappy winners in the career game. These are explored theoretically as adaptive outcomes of self-regulation and sense-making processes. The nature of that game is then explored by a closer examination of the interrelations and decay functions of the major objective success outcomes. This is undertaken as a theoretical exercise, and also by reference to the evidence in the literature. Both approaches support the existence of close linkages among most of these outcomes, though empirical data reveal variations that highlight the importance for careerists to be aware of trade-offs and risks in career strategies. Context mediates these relationships, especially key contingencies such as individual differences, gender, career stage, culture, and business sector. The implications are discussed; in particular the role of careers theory and research in helping to cut through some of the ideological aspects of subjective careers in order to help raise the awareness of actors in the labor market about objective career realities
0894-3796
137-154
Nicholson, Nigel
d8a7ef13-a728-4c12-a9ca-92400ad49e8f
Waal-Andrews de, Wendy
deaaf110-9320-4e17-9000-ac3bea69d4f4
Nicholson, Nigel
d8a7ef13-a728-4c12-a9ca-92400ad49e8f
Waal-Andrews de, Wendy
deaaf110-9320-4e17-9000-ac3bea69d4f4

Nicholson, Nigel and Waal-Andrews de, Wendy (2005) Playing to win: biological imperatives, self-regulation, and trade-offs in the game of career success. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26 (2), 137-154. (doi:10.1002/job.295).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The article applies evolutionary theory to the concept of career success, to argue the primacy of objective outcomes, utilities such as status and wealth, and to analyze why the relationship with subjective career success is not stronger. Although there are grounds for expecting subjective evaluations to be sympathetic secondary accompaniments of objective success and failure, there are substantial numbers of paradoxically happy losers and unhappy winners in the career game. These are explored theoretically as adaptive outcomes of self-regulation and sense-making processes. The nature of that game is then explored by a closer examination of the interrelations and decay functions of the major objective success outcomes. This is undertaken as a theoretical exercise, and also by reference to the evidence in the literature. Both approaches support the existence of close linkages among most of these outcomes, though empirical data reveal variations that highlight the importance for careerists to be aware of trade-offs and risks in career strategies. Context mediates these relationships, especially key contingencies such as individual differences, gender, career stage, culture, and business sector. The implications are discussed; in particular the role of careers theory and research in helping to cut through some of the ideological aspects of subjective careers in order to help raise the awareness of actors in the labor market about objective career realities

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2005

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 45137
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/45137
ISSN: 0894-3796
PURE UUID: c337af4a-291d-46d3-94d8-2db92e8fa37c

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Mar 2007
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 21:06

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Nigel Nicholson
Author: Wendy Waal-Andrews de

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×