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Building motivational capital through career concept and culture fit: The strategic value of developing motivation and retention

Rikard Larsson (Lund University, Lund, Sweden)
Kenneth R. Brousseau (Decision Dynamics, Thousand Oaks, California, USA)
Katarina Kling (Decision Dynamics, Lund, Sweden)
Patrick L. Sweet (Decision Dynamics, Stockholm, Sweden)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 10 July 2007




The purpose of the present paper is to offer a career concept and culture framework for measuring and managing the alignment between people, strategy and culture and especially the motivational capital as the fit between people's motives and the organization's reward and appraisal systems.


A survey of 312 respondents in a multinational manufacturing firm using two questionnaires about their individual career concepts, motives, and their views about the organizational strategy and culture.


The results suggest that the career‐ and culture‐based motivational capital is positively associated with how effective the people view the strategy, how well‐functioning the structure is experienced, how relevant the performance appraisal is considered, how satisfied the people feel, and how long they stay in the organization.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should add more multi‐item‐dependent variables, use more translated questionnaires into the respondents' own languages, and study more organizations in different industries to make further use of the career concept and culture model's ability to capture the fit between different persons and their organizations and the importance of this alignment.

Practical implications

Career and organizational development can improve the fit between individual career concepts and motives as well as organizational career culture and thereby contribute in several ways to higher performance, such as greater motivation, more positive views of the organization, and higher retention.


The paper provides a unique approach to understand and manage the alignment of different persons, HR systems, and organizational culture with greater precision.



Larsson, R., Brousseau, K.R., Kling, K. and Sweet, P.L. (2007), "Building motivational capital through career concept and culture fit: The strategic value of developing motivation and retention", Career Development International, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 361-381.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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