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Journal of Vocational Behavior 70 (2007) 259276

www.elsevier.com/locate/jvb

Examining career persistence and career


change intent using the career attitudes
and strategies inventory
Ross Donohue *

Department of Management, Monash University, P.O. Box 197, Cauleld East, Vic. 3145, Australia

Received 3 April 2006


Available online 21 December 2006

Abstract

This is the rst study to examine Holland and Gottfredsons [Holland, J. L., & Gottfredson,
G. D. (1994). Career Attitudes and Strategies Inventory: An inventory for understanding adult careers.
Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.] assertion that the Career Attitudes and Strategies
Inventory (CASI) is a useful instrument for dierentiating career persisters and career changers.
Based on Hollands (1996; Holland and Gottfredson) [Holland, J. L. (1996). Exploring careers with
a typology: What we have learned and some new directions. American Psychologist, 51, 397406.]
expectations and empirical evidence it was hypothesized that persisters (expressed intent to remain
in current career) would score higher than changers (expressed intent to change career) on the
Job Satisfaction, Work Involvement, Skill Development, and Geographical Barriers scales compris-
ing the CASI. Conversely, it was hypothesized that changers would score higher than persisters on
the CASI scales measuring Dominant Style, Career Worries, Interpersonal Abuse, Family Commit-
ment, and Risk-Taking Style. To test these hypotheses, 249 career persisters and 200 career changers
completed the CASI. Results indicated that changers were more likely to take risks and were more
motivated towards skill development, while persisters were more satised in their jobs and reported
greater career concerns.
 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords: CASI; Career change; Career persistence

*
Fax: +61 3 9903 2718.
E-mail address: ross.donohue@buseco.monash.edu.au

0001-8791/$ - see front matter  2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2006.12.002
260 R. Donohue / Journal of Vocational Behavior 70 (2007) 259276

1. Introduction

The Career Attitudes and Strategies Inventory (CASI), developed by Holland and
Gottfredson (1994), contains nine scales: Job Satisfaction, Work Involvement, Skill
Development, Dominant Style, Career Worries, Interpersonal Abuse, Family Commit-
ment, Risk-Taking Style, and Geographical Barriers. Holland and Gottfredson stated
in the CASI manual that the instrument provides an assessment of the likelihood of
job stability or change (p. 1), but they did not present explicit hypotheses detailing
how career changers and career persisters are expected to dier on each scale. How-
ever, they did make various statements indicating some of the expected dierences.
Holland (1996, p. 402) stated that people with stable work histories (i.e., remaining
in the same career or changing to careers with the same, or very similar occupational
classication codes) would be likely to have high scores on the Job Satisfaction,
Work Involvement, and Skill Development scales, and low scores on the Career Wor-
ries and Interpersonal Abuse scales. Additionally, in a case example in the CASI
manual of a geologist with a marked potential for career change, Holland and Gott-
fredson stated that the potential for change is supported by a high Risk-Taking Style
and few Geographical Barriers (p.13); in another, they stated that the respondents
low score on the Dominant Style scale implies that he may have diculty taking
the initiative to make the needed job change (p. 16). Holland and Gottfredson also
stated that scores on the Family Commitment scale were positively related to career
search activities.
Based on these statements, it is argued that career persisters are expected to score high-
er than career changers on the Job Satisfaction, Work Involvement, Skill Development,
and Geographical Barriers scales. Conversely, career changers are expected to score high-
er than career persisters on the Career Worries, Interpersonal Abuse, Risk-Taking Style,
Family Commitment, and Dominant Style scales contained in the CASI. The CASI is a
valuable instrument in the career counselors armamentarium of tools for predicting
career change/career persistence. Indeed, Holland (1996) has argued that by questioning
respondents about their beliefs, strategies, and activities, the CASI provides an assessment
that is more direct and closer to the phenomena (career persistence/career change) than
many existing measures (e.g., measures based on Hollands typology). Additionally,
because of the breadth of coverage of constructs provided by the CASI (9 scales examin-
ing a range of career related variables) career counselors are able to obtain a comprehen-
sive assessment of the predictors of career change and career persistence. Based on
Holland and Gottfredsons validation studies (1994), it appears that the CASI is a reliable
measure that has demonstrated evidence of convergent validity (e.g., the Job Satisfaction
scale was strongly related to Hoppocks, 1935, measure of Job Satisfaction). However, no
prior studies have evaluated the criterion validity of the CASI scales in relation to career
change and persistence; therefore, the purpose of the current study is to redress this
oversight.

2. Empirical evidence

While no prior study has assessed the CASI scales in terms of predicting career change
or persistence, several studies have examined the inuence of these constructs using alter-
native scales.
R. Donohue / Journal of Vocational Behavior 70 (2007) 259276 261

2.1. Job satisfaction and work involvement

As the majority of studies have simultaneously examined the inuence of both job sat-
isfaction and work involvement in terms of career change, the research evidence relating to
these two predictors will be discussed here concurrently. In terms of job satisfaction, evi-
dence indicates that this variable is inversely related to career change. Specically, Alexan-
der, Lichtenstein, Joo Oh, and Ullman (1998) surveyed 1106 nursing personnel and found
that job satisfaction was negatively related to career change intent (r = .33, p < .001).
Similarly, Smart and Peterson (1994) sampled 498 professional women and found that
job satisfaction was positively correlated with persistence (r = .20, p < .05).
Allen, Drevs, and Ruhe (1999) assessed 476 female college alumni and identied a posi-
tive relationship between work involvement (commitment) and job satisfaction (r = .58,
p < .001). These variables, in turn, were positively correlated with a reduced intention to
leave the organization. Blau and Luntz (1998), in a longitudinal study examining 133 full
time bank tellers, found an inverse relationship (r = .15, p < .05) between work involve-
ment and career change. Recently, Brennan (2004) found that both job satisfaction and
work involvement (a composite comprised of job involvement, organizational commit-
ment, and occupational commitment) were inversely related to intention to change career.
Some studies have obtained mixed ndings concerning both job satisfaction and work
involvement in relation to career change. van der Velde and Feil (1995) in a longitudinal
study found a positive relationship between work involvement and job satisfaction for
those persisting in their career (r = .39, p < .001). This study also identied a positive,
but much lower, correlation between these variables for those electing to change their
career (r = .08, p < .05). Nevertheless, the study indicated that both work involvement
and job satisfaction were nonsignicant in the prediction of career change. However, Tett
and Meyer (1993) in their meta-analysis found that job satisfaction (r = .25, p < .05) and
work involvement (r = .33, p < .05) were both negatively related to intent to change
career. Based on the ndings of the majority of studies and Hollands (1996) statements
regarding the CASI Job Satisfaction and Work Involvement scales, Hypotheses 1a and
1b state (respectively) that: Career persisters will score higher on the Job Satisfaction scale
than Career changers; Career persisters will score higher on the Work Involvement scale than
career changers.

2.2. Skill development

In accord with Hollands (1996) expectation, Aryee and Tan (1992) found that motiva-
tion towards skill development (r = .24, p < .01) was negatively related to intent to
change career with a sample of 510 teachers and nurses in Singapore. In a New Zealand
study examining turnover and retention, Boxall, Macky, and Rasmussen (2003) asked
respondents to indicate the extent to which they had gained or lost in terms of their skills
and knowledge, by either changing or staying with their employer. They found that per-
sisters were signicantly more likely to report gains in skill development as a result of their
decision, when compared with changers. However, Rose (2003) found that once employees
had developed mastery of the skills required of their work, their satisfaction decreased,
and their desire for greater skill development opportunities provided the impetus for
career change. Despite these mixed ndings, consistent with Hollands statement Hypoth-
262 R. Donohue / Journal of Vocational Behavior 70 (2007) 259276

esis 1c states that:Career persisters will score higher on the Skill Development scale than
career changers.

2.3. Career worries

Review of the research revealed some support for Hollands (1996) assertion that indi-
viduals who experience high levels of career concerns (i.e., work related stress and anxiety
about their job security) are more likely to change career than those with few career con-
cerns. Lucas (1999) assessed clients seeking assistance in changing career via a career coun-
seling program and found that anxiety regarding the security of their current career and
burnout were important antecedents in this process. Tivendell and Bourbonnais (2000)
found that job insecurity was positively related to career change intent following the
downsizing of a civil service department. Given these ndings and Hollands statement
regarding career worries in relation to career change and persistence, Hypothesis 1d states
that: Career changers will score higher on the Career Worries scale than career persisters.

2.4. Geographical barriers

The extent to which an individual is willing to relocate from his or her current geo-
graphical region also appears to be an inuential factor in the decision to persist in, or
change, career. Clarke and Withers (1999) found that desire to remain in their present geo-
graphic location was an important consideration for some of the participants in their study
who decided to persist in their current jobs or careers. Similarly, Noe, Stey, and Barber
(1988) identied an inverse relationship between the length of employee tenure within a
community and willingness to accept a job change involving relocation. In a study involv-
ing 545 employees of Fortune 100 companies, Ostro and Clark (2001) found that willing-
ness to sever community ties and relocate was a signicant determinant in the decision to
change, or persist in, ones career. These ndings align with research examining intra-com-
pany transfers, which found that approximately 65% of the companies surveyed reported
employee resistance to geographic moves (Employee Relocation Council, 1993). Consis-
tent with these ndings and Holland and Gottfredsons (1994) expectation regarding geo-
graphical barriers in terms of career change and persistence, Hypothesis 1e states that:
Career persisters will score higher on the Geographical Barriers scale than career changers.

2.5. Family commitment

Holland and Gottfredson (1994) found that family commitment was positively related
(r = .31, p < .01) to career search activities (e.g., revising a resume, searching for job open-
ings). However, research by Greenhaus, Collins, Singh, and Parasuraman (1997) involving
428 public accountants indicated that employees level of family commitment was nega-
tively related to career change (r = .32, p < .01). Similarly, Hite and McDonald (2003)
interviewed 26 females employed in non-managerial positions and found that, for a num-
ber of respondents, family responsibilities had mitigated against pursuing career change
and had caused them to decline oers to move to more challenging occupations. Chusid
and Cochran (1989) reported similar ndings in their qualitative case studies involving
10 families. Clearly the results of these studies are contrary to the nding of Holland
and Gottfredson. Nonetheless, Hypothesis 1f, consistent with Holland and Gottfredsons
R. Donohue / Journal of Vocational Behavior 70 (2007) 259276 263

nding that family commitment is positively related to career search activities, tentatively
states that: Career changers will score higher on the Family Commitment scale than career
persisters.

2.6. Interpersonal abuse

The extent of organizational bullying or interpersonal abuse in the workplace has also
been identied as a correlate of career change. Tepper (2000) examined the eects and con-
sequences of interpersonal abuse within the work environment and found that level of
abuse was positively related to career change intent (r = .14, p < .05). A survey of National
Health Service (NHS) employees in the United Kingdom also found that victims of work-
place bullying scored signicantly higher in terms of their intention to leave the NHS when
compared with their colleagues who had not reported being bullied (Quine, 1999). Similar-
ly, research which examined the coping strategies utilized by individuals who had experi-
enced workplace interpersonal abuse found that one-third of those interviewed reported
that they had left their jobs as a result of bullying (OMoore, Seigne, McGuire, & Smith,
1998). Based on these ndings and Hollands (1996; Holland and Gottfredson, 1994)
expectation, Hypothesis 1g states that: Career changers will score higher on the Interperson-
al Abuse scale than career persisters.

2.7. Risk-taking style

Research also suggests that risk-taking style may inuence career change decisions.
Boxall et al. (2003) found that undertaking a career transition was an uncertain process
and successful negotiation required a capacity to take considerable risks. Ingram (1999)
identied that a predisposition towards taking risks was an important personality factor
in initiating and managing the career transition process. Level of reported risk-taking
was also predictive of career change in a large sample of students and executives who
attended company-specic training programs (Nicholson, Soane, Fenton-OCreevy, &
Willman, 2005). Given these ndings and Holland and Gottfredsons (1994) statement
regarding risk-taking style and career change and persistence, Hypothesis 1h states that:
Career changers will score higher on the Risk-Taking Style scale than career persisters.

2.8. Dominant style

According to Holland and Gottfredson (1994), the Dominant Style scale captures the
extent to which individuals are likely to take on leadership roles at work and to behave
independently, agentically, ambitiously, and decisively. While no studies have explicitly
examined dominant style, some studies have assessed the indicators of this construct in
relation to career change and career persistence. For example, Kanchier and Unruh
(1989) found that career changers scored signicantly higher in terms of their levels of
independence, supervisory ability, and achievement motivation than career persisters. Sim-
ilarly, Roth (2003) found that achievement motivation was positively related to willingness
to change career. Additionally, studies examining managing career transitions have found
that self-determination, an internal locus of control (Vardi, 2001), and behaving proactive-
ly (Ebberwein, 2001) were predictive of successfully negotiating this process. In light of
the empirical evidence regarding the indicators of dominant style and Holland and
264 R. Donohue / Journal of Vocational Behavior 70 (2007) 259276

Gottfredsons (1994) expectation concerning this construct in terms of career change and
persistence, Hypothesis 1i states: Career changers will score higher on the Dominant Style
scale than career persisters.

2.9. Summary

While the aforementioned studies did not actually utilize the CASI scales, it appears
there is some support that the constructs assessed by this inventory are predictive of career
change and persistence in the directions expected by Holland (1996; Holland and Gott-
fredson, 1994). As the CASI is used to assist clients and employees in making important
decisions in career counseling and human resource management and no study has exam-
ined its criterion validity, research of this nature is clearly required.

3. Method

3.1. Sample

The sample comprised 249 career persisters and 200 career changers, employed in a
range of full time occupations in Australia. Participants ranged in age from 23 to 57 years,
with a mean age of 37.83 years and 261 (58.1%) were female, while 188 (41.9%) were male.
With regard to highest level of education, 54.5% had completed undergraduate or post-
graduate degree qualications, 18% had diplomas or associate diploma qualications,
and 27.5% held high school level qualications. The average career tenure for the total
sample was 6.8 years.

3.2. Measures

3.2.1. Participant information


Participants completed a research questionnaire which assessed biographic, demo-
graphic, and work history information.

3.2.2. Career attitudes and strategies inventory


The CASI provides an assessment of an individuals views and strategies concerning his
or her career. Specically, it focuses upon aspects of both work and non-work environ-
ments, which inuence career change, performance, and job satisfaction. This inventory
consists of 130 items that are presented as declarative statements, to which respondents
are required to indicate whether each is false (1), mostly false (2), mostly true (3), or true
(4). The items contained in the CASI coalesce into nine scales, which assess various aspects
of career adaptation.
Job satisfaction. The Job Satisfaction scale contains 21 items which assess contentment
with ones current occupation. Scores on this scale range from 21 to 84, with higher scores
being indicative of satisfaction and lower scores being indicative of dissatisfaction. With
regard to reliability, the Job Satisfaction scale is quite homogenous as an a coecient
of .92 was obtained in a sample of 564 employed adults (Holland & Gottfredson, 1994).
This scale was found to be relatively stable (rXX = .80) in a test-retest (mean inter-
val = 13.2 days) study involving a sample (N = 40) of working adults. In terms of conver-
gent validity, the scale was highly correlated (r = .84, p < .01) with Hoppocks (1935) Job
R. Donohue / Journal of Vocational Behavior 70 (2007) 259276 265

Satisfaction Blank and moderately correlated (r = .42, p < .05) with a two-item index of
general happiness. Scores on the Job Satisfaction scale were positively correlated with
vocational identity (r = .70, p < .01) and negatively correlated with the number of career
search activities undertaken (r = 38, p < .05). Holland and Gottfredson (1994) found
that this scale was positively related to both the Emotional Stability (r = .37, p < .05)
and Agreeableness (r = .31, p < .05) scales contained in the Revised NEO Personality
Inventory (NEO PI-R; Costa & McCrae, 1992).
Work involvement. The Work Involvement scale consists of 12 items, which assess an
employees level of devotion to his or her career. Scores on the Work Involvement scale
range from 12 to 48, with higher scores reecting greater work commitment. In terms
of internal consistency, Holland and Gottfredson (1994) reported a Cronbachs a of .77
for this scale with a large adult sample. Additionally, the scale would appear to be mod-
erately stable as a test-retest reliability coecient of .68 was obtained in the standardiza-
tion sample (mean interval = 13.2 days).
Skill development. The Skill Development scale measures the extent to which an
employee attempts to improve his or her performance and ability levels. This is a 12-item
scale, in which scores may vary from 12 to 48, with higher scores reecting greater moti-
vation towards skill development. In terms of reliability, Holland and Gottfredson (1994)
found that the Skill Development scale was internally consistent (a = .91) and temporally
stable (rXX = .80).
Dominant style. The Dominant Style scale assesses the extent to which an employee
demonstrates leadership behavior and his or her proclivity to take charge when tasks need
to be accomplished within the work environment. The scale consists of 11 items and scores
range from 11 to 44, with higher scores being indicative of a desire to inuence others.
With regard to reliability, this scale appears to be moderately homogenous as an a coef-
cient of .70 was reported in the standardization sample. The Dominant Style scale was
determined to be reasonably stable (rXX = .77) in a test-retest study (mean interval = 13.2
days). In terms of convergent validity, this scale was negatively related (r = .29, p < .05)
to the NEO PI-R Neuroticism scale (Holland & Gottfredson, 1994).
Career worries. The Career Worries scale provides a measure of the level of anxiety and
extent of concern that an employee experiences in relation to his or her career. This is a 22-
item scale, in which scores may vary from 22 to 88, with higher scores being indicative of
greater levels of career concerns. The scale was found to be quite high in terms of internal
consistency, as an a coecient of .89 was obtained with a diversely employed adult sample.
In terms of stability over time, a test-retest reliability coecient of .85 has been reported
for the Career Worries scale over a 6- to 21-day interval (Holland & Gottfredson, 1994).
Additionally, Holland and Gottfredson cite the fact that the Career Worries scale was pos-
itively related (r = .39, p < .05) to the NEO PI-R Neuroticism scale, and number of career
search activities undertaken (r = .39, p < .05), as evidence of its convergent and criterion
validity.
Interpersonal abuse. The Interpersonal Abuse scale provides an estimate of the level of
oensive behavior and mistreatment experienced by an employee in the workplace. This is
a 17-item scale and scores range from 17 to 68, with higher scores reecting greater prev-
alence of interpersonal abuse at work. Quite a high level of internal consistency has been
reported for the Interpersonal Abuse scale (a = .92) following administration to 584
employed adults. The test-retest reliability coecient obtained for this scale (rXX = .84)
with a sample of 40 diversely employed adults was impressive. In terms of convergent
266 R. Donohue / Journal of Vocational Behavior 70 (2007) 259276

validity, the Interpersonal Abuse scale was found to be negatively related (r = .27,
p < .05) to the NEO PI-R Emotional Stability scale (Holland & Gottfredson, 1994).
Family commitment. The Family Commitment scale, contained in the CASI, measures
the degree to which a respondent has to coordinate and balance the dual role responsibil-
ities of family and career. This scale consists of 10 items and scores may vary from 10 to
40, with higher scores denoting greater tension between work and family obligations. The
mean of the item-total correlations for the Family Commitment scale was .85 in the stan-
dardization sample, indicating quite a robust level of internal consistency. In terms of sta-
bility, a test-retest reliability coecient of .84 was attained over a 6- to 21-day interval.
While psychometric data on this scale is limited, Holland and Gottfredson (1994) have
suggested that the fact that the Family Commitment scale was found to be negatively
related to the NEO PI-R Emotional Stability scale (r = .20, p < .05) provided support
for its convergent validity.
Risk-taking style. The Risk-Taking Style scale provides an indication of the extent to
which a respondent is willing to make non-conservative and speculative decisions in rela-
tion to his or her career. This scale consists of 14 items (scores range from 14 to 56) and
higher scores are indicative of risk seeking in career decisions, while lower scores reect
risk aversion in career decision-making. With regard to reliability, the Risk-Taking Style
scale appears to be adequate in terms of internal consistency, with an a coecient of .77
reported in the standardization sample. Similarly, the temporal stability of this scale would
seem to be moderately high, as a test-retest reliability coecient of .80 was obtained in a
sample of employed adults (mean interval = 13.2 days). Correlations between the Risk-
Taking Style scale and a number of scales contained the NEO PI-R were in the expected
directions, thus providing support for its convergent validity. Specically, the Risk-Taking
Style scale was positively related to Extroversion (r = .40, p < .05) and Openness to Expe-
rience (r = .45, p < .05), though negatively related to Conscientiousness (r = .24, p < .05)
(Holland & Gottfredson, 1994).
Geographical barriers. The Geographical Barriers scale provides a measure of the extent
to which an employee is conned to his or her current location. This is an 11-item scale
and scores range from 11 to 44, with higher scores indicating restriction in terms of capac-
ity to relocate in order to pursue career options. The internal consistency of the Geograph-
ical Barriers scale was found to be quite high in the normative sample (a = .80) and it
would appear that scores on this scale are stable as a test-retest reliability coecient of
.92 was obtained over a 6- to 21-day interval (Holland & Gottfredson, 1994).

3.2.3. Control variables


There is some evidence to suggest that age, gender, and education may be covariates
of career change/career persistence as well as covariates of some of the constructs
assessed by the CASI scales. For example, older employees are less likely to undertake
career change (Cotton & Tuttle, 1986; Markey & Parks, 1989) and score higher in terms
of their job satisfaction (Rhodes, 1983) than younger employees. Additionally, females
tend to be more satised in their jobs (Clark, 1996; Sloane & Williams, 1996) and are
less likely to take risks compared to males (Nicholson et al., 2005). Finally, Holland
and Gottfredson (1994) stated that younger and less educated employees are more likely
to score highly on the Interpersonal Abuse scale than their older more educated coun-
terparts. Given these ndings, age, gender, and education were treated as control vari-
ables in the current study.
R. Donohue / Journal of Vocational Behavior 70 (2007) 259276 267

3.2.4. Career change/career persistence intent


Career change versus career persistence intent was determined on the basis of four cri-
teria. First, participants were required to respond to a dichotomous question asking
whether they intended to change, or remain in, their current career. Second, those who
indicated that they were intending to change career were asked to specify their intended
career. Participants who indicated that they intended to only change occupational level
or change organization while remaining in the same career were included in the career per-
sister group. Third, participants who indicated intent to change career were asked to
report whether they had undertaken any activities to activate the career change and were
requested to list these activities. In order to meet this criterion for inclusion in the career
changer group participants were required to have demonstrated agency in terms of under-
taking career change activity (e.g., undertaking part-time study relevant to their intended
career). A nal condition required for inclusion in the career changer group was that,
when classied using the Dictionary of Hollands Occupational Codes (DHOC; Gottfred-
son & Holland, 1996), the 3-letter code of a participants intended career could not be
identical to that of their current career. The reason for including this nal criterion was
that in a number of Holland (1996; Holland and Gottfredson, 1994) stated expectations
regarding the CASI scales he used the terms stable work histories and unstable work
histories (in other instances he used the terms career change and career stability
when stating the expectations).
According to Holland, people with stable work histories not only refers to those
remaining in their current career, but also to those changing to careers with the same occu-
pational classication codes. Therefore, it was decided that participants who indicated an
intent to change to careers with identical DHOC codes as their current career should not
be included in the career changers group, given that their expected similarity to career per-
sisters on the CASI scale could confound the ndings. Also, as the focus of this study was
not the superordinate variable, stable work history, but rather the subordinate variable,
career persistence, it was clearly inappropriate to include those individuals who intended
to change to careers with identical DHOC codes in the career persisters group. Thus, these
individuals were excluded from the study. Participants who indicated they were not
intending to change career, or had not engaged in any career change activity, or had indi-
cated merely changing occupational level, or reported changing organizations while
remaining in the same career, were classied as career persisters.

3.3. Procedure

Initially, the researcher contacted individuals, employed in a range of occupations, by


utilizing academic and consultancy referrals. These individuals were asked to act as
research representatives in their organizations. Research representatives were provided
with packages containing a covering letter, the questionnaires, and a reply-paid envelope,
which they then distributed to work colleagues in their organizations. The covering letter
explained the purpose of the study and assured potential respondents that participation
was voluntary and that responses would remain condential. Participants completed the
questionnaires anonymously and returned them to the researcher using the reply paid
envelopes. A total of 500 questionnaires were returned; however, 51 cases were excluded
from the sample as these respondents either indicated intent to change career, but had
not undertaken any career change activity; or intended to change to careers with 3-letter
268 R. Donohue / Journal of Vocational Behavior 70 (2007) 259276

DHOC codes identical to their current career. This resulted in a usable sample of 449
cases; however, as the research representatives distributed the questionnaires in their
respective organizations using a convenience sampling procedure, it was not possible to
systematically identify the refusal rate, nor the reasons for not participating.

4. Results

The means, standard deviations, a coecients, and correlations between the study vari-
ables are presented in Table 1. Examination of Table 1 indicates that a number of the
CASI scales were signicantly correlated with each other; however, none of the coecients
exceeded the .7 criterion for multicollinearity suggested by Hair, Anderson, Tatham, and
Black (1998). Additionally, tolerance levels were determined by conducting a series of OLS
multiple regression analyses where each standardized independent variable and control
was the sole predictor, in turn, of all other standardized independent variables and con-
trols (i.e., each independent variable and control became the dependent variable in the
regression analyses). Each resulting R2 value was subtracted from 1 to provide the relevant
tolerance level. All tolerance levels were found to be above the .10 threshold recommended
by Tabachnick and Fidell (2001). The Pearsons correlation coecients in Table 1 indicate
that job satisfaction, work involvement, dominant style, and geographical barriers were
negatively related to the dichotomous dependent variable (career persisters coded as 0;
career changers coded as 1), while skill development and risk-taking style were positively
related to the criterion.
Review of the a coecients suggested that each CASI scale demonstrated adequate
internal consistency. Missing data were dealt with in accordance with the CASI manual
instructions; that is, for each unmarked item, 2.5 was added to the scale score. To test
the hypotheses presented in the current study, logistic regression analysis was utilized with
age, gender, education, and standardized scores (z-score transformations) on the CASI
scales entered simultaneously as predictor variables, while the decision to persist in ones
current career or change career served as the dichotomous criterion. This procedure aor-
ded examination of the relative strength and direction of each predictor, adjusting for the
eects of other predictors and controls in the model. A series of logistic regression analyses
were also undertaken where standardized scores for each CASI scale were entered as the
sole predictor of the decision to persist in, or change, career. These analyses provided
information on the unique (unadjusted) relationships between each CASI scale and the
dependent variable. In terms of goodness of t, the log-likelihood test of the model
was signicant, v2(12) = 211.89, p < .001, with a deviance value of 405.2. While this is
indicative of the overall signicance of the model, it is necessary to inspect the standard-
ized eect coecients (see Table 2) to determine the inuence of each predictor (results
relating to age, gender, and education are not shown in Table 2 as they were controls).
Review of Table 2 indicated that job satisfaction was signicant and was clearly the
strongest predictor with regard to relative eect strength (badj = 1.86). The negative stan-
dardized eect coecient for job satisfaction indicated that higher scores on this variable
were predictive of intended career persistence (arbitrarily coded as 0) and lower scores
were associated with intended career change (arbitrarily coded as 1). The adjusted odds
ratio (ORadj) for this predictor (.16) indicated that the odds of intended career change
decreased by a factor of .16 for each one standard deviation increase in job satisfaction.
R. Donohue / Journal of Vocational Behavior 70 (2007) 259276
Table 1
Means, standard deviations, a coecients, and correlations between CASI scales
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 M SD a
Job Satisfaction (1) .17** .27** .07 .26** .25** .15** .04 .02 .06 .00 .12** .46** 61.19 11.22 0.96
Work Involvement (2) .13** .16** .20** .12** .22** .04 .07 .08 .16** .08 .13** 26.69 5.80 0.79
Skill Development (3) .47** .31** .05 .03 .20** .22** .03 .12** .23** .12* 38.17 5.88 0.92
Dominant Style (4) .40** .00 .06 .41** .31** .14** .05 .17** .08 30.11 5.51 0.85
Career Worries (5) .38** .38** .32** .26** .22** .14** .23** .11* 41.01 11.17 0.86
Interpersonal Abuse (6) .19** .00 .01 .02 .03 .13** .01 25.74 9.38 0.91
Family Commitment (7) .05 .05 .156** .09 .02 .03 21.42 6.96 0.85
Risk-Taking Style (8) .37** .09 .01 .28** .20** 34.50 5.82 0.76
Geographical Barriers (9) .13** .04 .29** .10* 27.27 6.43 0.81
Age (10) .12** .13** .13** 37.83 8.55
Gender (11) .14** .23** 1.58 .49
Education (12) .17** 5.46 2.38
Career Change/Persistence .45 .50
Intent (13)
*
p < .05.
**
p < .01, two tailed.

269
270 R. Donohue / Journal of Vocational Behavior 70 (2007) 259276

Table 2
Unadjusted and adjusted logit coecients, odds ratios, and condence intervals for odds ratios for CASI scales
Variable Unadjusted Adjusted
b OR 95% CI b OR 95% CI
a,** a,**
Job Satisfaction 1.14 .32 .25.41 1.86 .16 .11.23
Work Involvement .26** .77 .64.93 .01 1.01 .761.33
Skill Development .24* 1.27 1.051.53 .70** 2.01 1.472.73
Dominant Style .17 1.19 .981.43 .33* .72 .52.99
Career Worries .23* .79 .66.96 .41* .66 .46.96
Interpersonal Abuse .01 1.01 .84 1.22 .13 .88 .661.17
Family Commitment .06 .94 .781.14 .26 .77 .581.02
Risk-Taking Style .43** 1.53 1.251.87 .42** 1.53 1.142.05
Geographic Barriers .20* .82 .68.99 .12 1.13 .861.48
Constant .36 .70
a
It is not uncommon to obtain standardized logit coecients greater in magnitude than +1 or 1, when
partially standardized coecients are utilized (Menard, 2004). The relevant checks indicated that collinearity did
not account for the adjusted coecient exceeding 1.
*
p < .05.
**
p < .01, two tailed.

Thus as a logical extension, each standard deviation increase on the Job Satisfaction scale
decreased the odds of intent to change career by 84% (1 .16 100).
Skill development was also signicant and ranked second in terms of relative eect size,
with a standardized logit coecient of .70. The positive direction of the standardized coef-
cient indicated that higher levels of skill development were associated with career change,
while lower levels were related to career persistence. The adjusted odds ratio for skill devel-
opment, with the eects of the other scales partialled out, was 2.01 which indicated that the
odds of intent to change career increased by a factor of 2.01 for each additional standard
deviation increase on the Skill Development scale. Consequently, the odds of career
change intent increased by 101% (2.011 100) for each single standard deviation increase
on the Skill Development scale.
Examination of Table 2 revealed that risk-taking style was also signicant and ranked
third highest in terms of relative eect strength (badj = .42). The adjusted odds ratio for
risk-taking style, while controlling for the other predictors in the model, was 1.53. As
career change intent was coded as 1 and the odds ratio was greater than 1, it can be con-
cluded that, with each one standard deviation increase on the Risk-Taking Style scale, the
odds of intent to change career increased by a factor of 1.53. This amounted to an increase
in the odds of career change by approximately 53% for each additional single standard
deviation increase on the Risk-Taking Style scale.
Career worries also emerged as a signicant variable in the model and ranked fourth in
terms of its eect size, relative to the other predictors (badj = .41). The negative standard-
ized coecient indicated that participants with high scores on the Career Worries scale
were more likely to intend to persist in their career, while those with low scores on this
predictor were more likely to desire to change career. The adjusted odds ratio for career
worries (ORadj = .66) suggested that the odds of career change decreased by 34% for each
one standard deviation increase on the Career Worries scale.
Finally, dominant style was also signicant and was ranked last in terms of order of
importance (badj = .33). The standardized logit coecient for this variable was negative,
R. Donohue / Journal of Vocational Behavior 70 (2007) 259276 271

which indicated that higher levels of dominant style (i.e., inuence and assertiveness) were
associated with intent to persist in career, while lower levels were predictive of career
change intent. The odds ratio for dominant style (.72) revealed that the odds of career
change intent decreased by a factor of .72 for each additional single standard deviation
increase on the Dominant Style scale.
There was a reasonably high degree of concordance between the observed outcomes
and those predicted by the model, with a percentage of accuracy in classication of 80.4
being attained. The model was also more successful in assigning career persisters (85.1%
correctly classied) than in correctly predicting career changers (74.5% correctly classi-
ed). The Kappa statistic was .52, which demonstrated moderate to good agreement
between observed and predicted classications.

5. Discussion

Despite the fact that Holland (1996) has stated that the CASI assesses a persons atti-
tudes and strategies about careers, including both the work and nonwork environments
that impinge on career-changing (p. 402), no prior studies have examined this issue.
Based on Holland (1996; Holland and Gottfredson, 1994) statements, it was expected that
career persisters would be more likely than career changers to score higher on the Job Sat-
isfaction, Skill Development, Work Involvement, and Geographical Barriers scales of the
CASI. It was also expected that career changers would be more likely to obtain higher
scores than career persisters on the Career Worries, Dominant Style, Interpersonal Abuse,
Family Commitment, and Risk-Taking Style scales.
Logistic regression analysis revealed that job satisfaction was the strongest predictor,
with higher scores being associated with intent to persist in career and lower scores being
indicative of intent to change career. This nding suggests that dissatisfaction with the
work environment is a contributing factor in the decision to change career, while job
satisfaction appears to promote career persistence. This nding is consistent with Hol-
land (1996; Holland and Gottfredson, 1994) expectation and has been supported else-
where in the organizational behavior literature (Allen et al., 1999; van der Velde &
Feil, 1995).
Skill development was ranked second in terms of predictive ability, with career changers
scoring signicantly higher than career persisters. Individuals with high motivation to
develop their skills were signicantly more likely to intend to change career, compared
to those with low motivation towards skill development. This nding contradicts Holland
(1996; Holland and Gottfredson, 1994) expectation and research by Aryee and Tan (1992),
which found that skill development was negatively related to intent to change career.
However, the obverse nding of the current study may be interpreted as indicating that
individuals who intend to change career do so because of the opportunity career change
provides to acquire new skills and extend their repertoire. Moreover, career change often
involves further education or training, which are clearly activities indicative of a motiva-
tion towards skill development. Conversely, it would also logically follow that individuals
who lack the desire to engage in further education or training (i.e., those with low moti-
vation towards skill development) are more likely to consider remaining in their current
careers. This interpretation is consistent with the nding of a study examining the career
choice barriers of technical college students, as excessive educational requirements was
identied as a constraint by some respondents (Lent et al., 2002).
272 R. Donohue / Journal of Vocational Behavior 70 (2007) 259276

Career worries was also found to be signicant in the current study and was ranked
third in order of importance of prediction. Specically, career persisters scored higher than
career changers in terms of the extent of their career worries. This nding conicts with
Holland (1996; Holland and Gottfredson, 1994) expectation, which holds that the oppo-
site should be the case. A plausible interpretation of this result is that, while career persist-
ers may be satised in their jobs, they are also concerned about the security of their current
career and the prospect of change. This would seem a reasonable assumption, given that
these individuals have made the decision to persist in their careers and therefore have a
high level of investment in its continuity. It would also be logical to assume that those
intending to change career may have disengaged somewhat from their current career
and, as a consequence, were not anxious about issues such as job security or future change.
This interpretation is strengthened by the fact that the Career Worries scale was positively
related to the Introversion scale and negatively related to the Openness to Experience scale
contained in the NEO PI-R (Holland & Gottfredson, 1994). It makes intuitive sense to
expect that reservedness and an aversion to engage in new experiences characterize some
individuals who are committed to stability in their careers.
The results of the logistic regression analysis indicated that risk-taking style was also a
signicant predictor, with higher scores on this variable being related to career change and
lower scores being associated with career persistence. This nding is consistent with Hol-
land (1996; Holland and Gottfredson, 1994) expectation and previous empirical research
(Boxall et al., 2003; Ingram, 1999; Nicholson et al., 2005). It would seem reasonable to
assume that individuals who are risk seeking would be more likely to contemplate chang-
ing career, while those who are risk averse would be more likely to adopt the conservative
option of remaining in their current careers. Indeed, Holland and Gottfredson (1994)
found that the Risk-Taking Style scale was positively related to extraversion and openness
to experience, though negatively related to conscientiousness.
Finally, dominant style was also found to be a signicant predictor of career change
and persistence in the logistic regression analysis. However, when the CASI scales were
analyzed using discriminant analysis, this variable was nonsignicant. It should also be
noted that, while signicant in the logistic regression, dominant style was ranked last in
terms of relative importance and was nonsignicant at the univariate level of analysis.
The failure of dominant style to consistently emerge as signicant in both analyses pre-
cludes denitive conclusions relating to this variable.
The logistic regression analysis indicated that work involvement, interpersonal abuse,
family commitment, and geographical barriers were not signicant in terms of predicting
career change or persistence. These ndings conict with Holland (1996; Holland and
Gottfredson, 1994) expectations, which state that high levels of work involvement and
geographical barriers are associated with career persistence, while high levels of interper-
sonal abuse in the workplace and family commitment are related to career change.
Although this was the rst attempt to examine the CASI scales in terms of intended career
change and persistence, other, more general, studies have examined the predictive value of
these constructs using alternative instruments.
Some studies (Allen et al., 1999; Blau & Luntz, 1998; Tett & Meyer, 1993) have indicat-
ed that high levels of work involvement (commitment) are positively related to career sta-
bility. However, consistent with the ndings of the current study, van der Velde and Feil
(1995) found that work involvement was not a signicant predictor of career persistence. It
would appear that the weight of research evidence supports the notion that work involve-
R. Donohue / Journal of Vocational Behavior 70 (2007) 259276 273

ment is related to career stability. Interestingly, in the current study work involvement was
found to be a signicant predictor when the eects of the other variables were not held
constant (higher scores on the Work Involvement scale were predictive of intent to persist
in career). However, this construct was a nonsignicant predictor when the eects of the
controls and other CASI scales were partialled out of the equation (adjusted). Thus, it may
be the case that one of the other CASI scales or one of the controls mediates the relation-
ship between work involvement and career persistence/career change intent. Further
research examining the predictive value of this scale is clearly required.
Additionally, in contrast to the current study, Greenhaus et al. (1997) found a negative
relationship between level of family commitment and intent to change career. Again, the
nonsignicant nding in the current study may have resulted from a lack of precision in
the scale; however, there is insucient evidence to state unequivocally that family commit-
ment is a signicant predictor of career persistence and career change. Indeed, it may be
the case that, for many individuals, family commitments do not gure prominently in the
decision to persist in, or change, career. Given the recent increase in the percentage of dual
income families in Australia (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2004), this may well be a
plausible interpretation of the nding. When considering career change in this circum-
stance, an individual may be relatively free from concerns regarding family commitments,
secure in the knowledge that the income of his or her spouse will provide the necessary
nancial security.
Tepper (2000) found that those who experienced workplace interpersonal abuse were
more likely to change career than those who did not. The nonsignicant nding in the cur-
rent study may be due to a low base rate of interpersonal abuse reported in the sample.
Based on the norms outlined in the CASI Manual, 80% of participants in the current study
were classied as only experiencing rare, or occasional, instances of interpersonal
abuse at work. Holland and Gottfredson (1994) found that younger workers, employed
in unskilled jobs, were signicantly more likely to experience interpersonal abuse in the
workplace, than older workers, employed in skilled jobs. All participants in the current
study were aged above 23 years and most were employed in skilled occupations.
There are a number of practical implications that can be drawn from these ndings. In
terms of informing human resource management practice, the results suggest that job sat-
isfaction is an important variable in terms of engendering career stability in workers. As a
consequence, organizations should attempt to focus on eorts to improve the quality of
work life of their employees, in order to increase their career tenure. The results also sug-
gest that organizations should provide opportunities for employees to improve their level
of skill development, thus allowing those individuals wishing to acquire new skills to do so
without having to leave the organization. Additionally, rms that place a premium on con-
tinuity within particular positions may utilize instruments, such as the Risk-Taking Style
scale, in the selection process to identify candidates with a proclivity towards career
change.
The ndings also have implications for career counseling practice as they suggest that
career counselors should utilize the CASI Job Satisfaction scale, when attempting to pre-
dict the probability of a client persisting in, or changing, career. Indeed, it was found that
for each standard deviation increase on the Job Satisfaction scale, the odds of career
change decreased by 84%. The ndings also indicate that career counselors should employ
the Skill Development scale in this context, as it was found that the odds of career change
increased by 101%, with each standard deviation increase on this scale. Similarly, the
274 R. Donohue / Journal of Vocational Behavior 70 (2007) 259276

results suggest that the Career Worries scale may be a useful tool in predicting the prob-
able outcome of career decisions as, in the current study, the likelihood of career change
decreased by 34% with each additional single standard deviation increase on this scale.
Finally, it would seem that the administration of the Risk-Taking Style scale may also
improve predictions of this nature, as it was found that for each standard deviation
increase on this measure, the likelihood of career change increased by 53%. Indeed, Hol-
land (1997, p.140) in a discussion of future research directions highlighted the practical
benets that may accrue from predicting career change and stability and stated:
The importance of understanding stability and change in behavior cannot be over-
estimated. If we develop a good working knowledge of stability and change, a host
of practical and potential applications become possible. They include how to design
more eective guidance devices and systems, how to foster more satised vocational
decisions, how to redesign jobs for greater personal fulllment, and how to manip-
ulate others for a variety of socially desirable purposes.
A limitation of the current study was that those classied as career changers were only
in the nascent stages of the process (expressed intent and initial activity to activate change)
and therefore there is no guarantee that they would successfully complete their career
change. The rationale for not focusing on individuals who had already changed career
related to issues of retrospectivity, variations in the duration since the career change,
the fact that these variables are more salient during the change process, and potential con-
tamination from the new work environment.
This study is the rst attempt to examine the validity of the CASI scales in terms of
career change and career persistence. Consistent with Holland (1996; Holland and Gott-
fredson, 1994) expectations persisters were more satised in their jobs and more risk averse
than changers. Contrary to Hollands expectations persisters reported greater career con-
cerns and were less motivated to develop their skills than changers. No dierences were
found between the two groups in terms of work involvement, interpersonal abuse, family
commitment, geographical barriers, and dominant style. Despite the lack of support for
some of Hollands expectations, the fact that four of the CASI scales were signicant pre-
dictors of career change and persistence suggests that these may be useful in career coun-
seling and human resource management practice. In terms of future research, subsequent
studies should utilize longitudinal, rather than contemporaneous, designs to more rigor-
ously assess the predictive validity of the CASI scales in relation to career change and
career persistence.

Acknowledgment

The author would like to thank Brian Cooper for his advice during an earlier draft of
this article.

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