Young and going strong?

Jos Akkermans (Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Veerle Brenninkmeijer (Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Seth N.J. van den Bossche (Department of Work and Employment, TNO, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands)
Roland W.B. Blonk (Department of Work and Employment, TNO, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands)
Wilmar B. Schaufeli (Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Publication date: 9 August 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify job characteristics that determine young employees' wellbeing, health, and performance, and to compare educational groups.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the job demands‐resources (JD‐R) model and 2‐wave longitudinal data (n=1,284), the paper compares employees with a lower educational level with employees with a high educational level.

Findings

Young employees with lower educational level reported fewer job resources (autonomy and social support), more physical demands, less dedication, more emotional exhaustion, and poorer health and performance compared with the highly educated group. Differences were also found between educational groups in the relationships in the JD‐R model, most notably a reciprocal association between dedication and performance, and between emotional exhaustion and performance in the group with lower levels of education.

Research limitations/implications

The results support the main processes of the JD‐R model, supporting its generalizability. However, differences were found between educational groups, implying that the motivational and health impairment processes differ across educational levels.

Practical implications

HR consultants and career counselors may focus especially on increasing job resources and motivation for young employees with lower educational level. Performing well is also important for these young workers to become more dedicated and less exhausted.

Social implications

It is important to recognize and intervene on unique characteristics of different educational groups with regard to wellbeing, health, and performance in order to maintain a healthy and productive young workforce.

Originality/value

For the first time, predictions of the JD‐R model are tested among young employees with different educational backgrounds.

Keywords

Citation

Jos Akkermans, Veerle Brenninkmeijer, Seth N.J. van den Bossche, Roland W.B. Blonk and Wilmar B. Schaufeli (2013) "Young and going strong?", Career Development International, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 416-435

Download as .RIS

DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-02-2013-0024

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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