The protean and boundaryless career concepts have dominated recent career research. Demographic groups are posited to differ on these “new career orientations,” with implications for career development and social equity. The purpose of this paper is to test these hypotheses by systematically reviewing research on demographic differences in new career orientations.
This paper meta-analyzes demographic differences in protean, boundaryless, and proactive career orientations using data from 29,605 individuals (74 samples).
Demographic differences in new career orientations are generally negligible to small, with organizational mobility preferences showing the largest differences across demographic characteristics. Age showed curvilinear relations with new career orientations. National economic development moderated new career orientation-educational level relations.
Results support the construct validity of “proactive career orientation” as a unifying construct encompassing protean and psychological mobility boundaryless orientations (cf. Wiernik and Kostal, 2017). Future research should continue to explore career development in diverse economic/cultural contexts.
Small demographic differences suggest that potential benefits of new career orientations are not limited to members of particular groups. Age and education relations were large enough to indicate that large population segments may benefit from additional interventions to support career mobility and development.
This paper uses meta-analytic techniques to investigate demographic differences in career orientations with larger samples than possible in a single primary study. The meta-analytic design permitted investigation of a variety of methodological and cultural/economic moderators not previously considered in career orientation research.
Kostal, J. and Wiernik, B. (2017), "A meta-analytic investigation of demographic differences in protean, boundaryless, and proactive career orientations", Career Development International, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 520-545. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-08-2017-0139Download as .RIS
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