Title page for ETD etd-10082011-133535

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Bezuidenhout, Mareli
URN etd-10082011-133535
Document Title The development and evaluation of a measure of graduate employability in the context of the new world of work
Degree MCom
Department Human Resource Management
Advisor Name Title
Prof J S Basson Supervisor
  • locus of control
  • self-efficacy
  • emotional literacy
  • career-related core self-evaluations
  • openness to change
  • proactivity
  • entrepreneurial orientation
  • cultural competence
  • sociability
  • career resilience
  • career self-management drive
  • proactive adaptability
  • career success
  • attributes
  • employability
  • graduate employability
  • career management
  • selfesteem
Date 2011-09-14
Availability unrestricted
Rapid forces for change in the post-modern society have left their mark on the labour market, creating a metamorphosis in the nature of work and the way in which careers should be approached. This has resulted in the need for individuals to possess a combination of attributes that will enable them to take an adaptive, proactive approach to their careers, which involves managing their employability. Employability is especially relevant to graduates, who are expected to acquire more than academic capabilities to ‘hit the ground running’ in their transition from higher education to the workplace. Despite the significance of the topic, it remains conceptually ambiguous with few empirical studies that explain its foundation, and fewer still that have constructed a measure explicitly gauging employability, particularly in South Africa. The main purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a measure of graduate employability in the context of the new world of work. A theoretical model of graduate employability was developed based on an extensive review of the literature and the Graduate Employability Measure (GEM) was subsequently constructed. A cross-sectional survey was utilised to collect data from a random sample of final-year undergraduates and postgraduates from the College of Economic and Management Sciences at a higher distance learning institution in South Africa. The 272 useable questionnaires returned were subjected to exploratory factor analysis, which revealed a reliable three-factor model consisting of the dimensions of career self-management drive, career resilience and cultural competence, and explaining 36.42%, 3.5% and 2.97% of the variance respectively. Analysis of variance was used to determine whether there were any significant differences between the biographical variables of the sample and the GEM factors. It was found that females and final-year undergraduates obtained significantly higher means on all the GEM dimensions than males and postgraduates respectively. The findings inform the conceptualisation of the employability construct, the elements it consists of, and how it can be measured in a valid and reliable manner. The GEM has the potential to be useful to students in a career guidance context, to employers that desire to select and develop highly adaptable employees, and to higher education, which can incorporate these important employability attributes in the curriculum to deliver highly employable graduates.

© 2011 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:

Bezuidenhout, M 2011, The development and evaluation of a measure of graduate employability in the context of the new world of work, MCom dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10082011-133535/ >


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