Title page for ETD etd-07092012-113657

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Cilliers, Elnette
URN etd-07092012-113657
Document Title The use of psychological career resources and graduateness in a self-development program of student leaders
Degree MCom
Department Human Resource Management
Advisor Name Title
Prof J S Basson Committee Chair
  • boundaryless career
  • career
  • career drivers
  • career enablers
  • career harmonizers
  • career preference
  • career values
  • employability
  • graduate attributes
  • graduate employability
  • graduateness
  • protean career
  • psychological career resources
  • psychological contract
  • discipline-specific skills
  • graduate attributes
  • graduate employability
  • generic skills
  • psychological career resources
Date 2012-09-07
Availability restricted
The changes occurring in the external environment have forced organizations to rethink the structure, processes and management of its assets and overall organization. The rapid changes in technology, accompanied by globalisation, restructuring and job losses have led to changes in the world of work and the careers of individuals. The 21st century workplace will require individuals to possess a different set of skills and competencies if they wish to remain employable. The latter has great implications for higher education institutions as they have played one of the major roles in supplying employers with the skills they demand. Employers are now expecting higher education institutions to not only supply academically qualified individuals, but also graduates who are able to use specific skills and attributes to make a meaningful contribution to the workplace and overall society. Consequently, the concept of graduateness becomes quite significant as it provides an indication of what a student is expected to develop during their stay at an university. In addition, higher education institutions may have leadership development programs aimed at further developing high-potential students. Graduateness may then become especially relevant as it may be used in these programs to ensure full development of students. One may expect that these high-potential individuals should display a higher level of the skills and competencies required by employers as they already show high potential. The latter may lead to the expectation that their employability prospects should supersede that of the ‘regular’ student.

Graduate employability has received significant attention over the last decade and researchers have attempted to compile models illustrating the concept. The psychological career resources model proposed by Coetzee (2007) will also be addressed as part of the graduate employability models as it provides an alternative approach to the factors that may influence the employability of individuals. Although some of the models mention underlying dispositions and background factors as a factor of graduate employability little research is available on the proposed relationship of these factors and graduateness and graduate employability. The main purpose of this study is to identify and describe the graduateness and psychological career resources of student leaders at a higher education institution. A theoretical model was developed proposing the potential relationship between graduateness and psychological career resources. A survey was used to collect the necessary data from specific leadership groups from the University of Pretoria. These leadership groups included Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), SRC and mentors. The 94 useable questionnaires were used to provide descriptive, correlational and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the graduateness and psychological career resources of the student leaders. Pearson product correlations, multiple regression analysis and analysis of variance were used to investigate the relationship between graduateness and psychological career resources. Analysis of variance was calculated to determine whether significant differences exist between the socio-demographic variables, graduateness and psychological career resources.

The findings of the empirical study confirmed the theoretical model proposed in the literature review and confirmed the existence of a relationship between graduateness and psychological career resources. The study furthermore found significant differences between gender, status of employment and field of study groups. The findings of the study provided promising results for the student leaders as they scored above-average in all the dimensions of graduateness and psychological career resources. This study has the potential to provide valuable information to students, specifically those in leadership positions. Universities may consider incorporating these two questionnaires into their leadership development program as it may enhance the development of those skills and attributes needed to become employable and meet the employers’ requirements. The university may therefore be in a better position to provide employers with satisfactory graduates who are able to make a meaningful and valuable contribution to the workplace, community and society.

© 2012 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Cilliers, E 2012, The use of psychological career resources and graduateness in a self-development program of student leaders , MCom dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-07092012-113657/ >


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