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Toward an integrated model of intrinsic motivation and career self‐management

Narda R. Quigley (Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA)
Walter G. Tymon Jr (Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 1 October 2006




The purpose of this paper is to develop an integrative process model that explains the mechanisms through which intrinsic motivation can influence career self‐management and subsequent subjective and objective career success.


Research on career self‐management can benefit by incorporating an intrinsic motivation perspective. The paper proposes a model that depicts how four components of intrinsic motivation – meaningfulness, competence, choice, and progress – can contribute to career self‐management.


Because the manuscript is conceptual and theoretical in nature, there are no empirical findings to discuss. The paper does, however, advance six testable research propositions linking components of intrinsic motivation to career self‐management and career success.

Research limitations/implications

The model is most applicable for individuals who have some level of control over their own career choices and mobility. Also, we focus on intrinsic, rather than extrinsic, motivation, and we consider psychological and sense‐making aspects of motivation rather than structural and task‐based aspects. Propositions are advanced to be tested in future research; future research can use the model as a platform from which to study the connection between intrinsic motivation and career self‐management.

Practical implications

The paper describes how the model can be applied to help individuals navigate the realities and challenges of their careers.


Prior research has not specified the exact mechanisms through which intrinsic motivation may guide career self‐management. This paper provides an integrated process model addressing this need with relevance to researchers, career management professionals, and individuals.



Quigley, N.R. and Tymon, W.G. (2006), "Toward an integrated model of intrinsic motivation and career self‐management", Career Development International, Vol. 11 No. 6, pp. 522-543.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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