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Self‐directed career attitude and retirement intentions

Ans De Vos (Antwerp Management School, Antwerp, Belgium)
Jesse Segers (University of Antwerp/Antwerp Management School, Antwerp, Belgium)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 17 May 2013




Career self‐directedness is a concept that has gained widespread attention in the literature on new careers and managerial thinking about contemporary career development. In a related sense, the topic of employee retirement has become popular in both the academic and managerial literature. However, to date, career self‐directedness has not been studied in relationship with older workers' retirement intentions. The purpose of this study is to test a model of the relationship between career self‐directedness and retirement intentions, mediated by career self‐management behaviors and engagement.


A survey was completed by 271 employees older than 45 working in five organizations. The average age was 53, and 59 percent were female. Participants had been with their current employer for an average of 16 years, and 58 percent of them worked fulltime. The survey included measures of self‐directed career attitude, career self‐management behaviors, engagement and retirement intention.


Results indicate that engagement and career self‐management behaviors fully mediated the relationship between self‐directed career attitude and retirement intention.


This is the first study to address career self‐directedness in relationship with retirement intentions, thereby considering the mediating role of career self‐management behaviors and engagement. As a result, this study contributes to insights in the validity of career self‐directedness as a predictor of career development using a sample of employees different from the main body of studies using samples of employees in their early career stages. Moreover, it sheds further light on the retirement process by including an individual career attitude and intermediating variables viewed as important to understand contemporary organizational behavior.



De Vos, A. and Segers, J. (2013), "Self‐directed career attitude and retirement intentions", Career Development International, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 155-172.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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