Comparative Effects of Personal and Situational Influences on Job Outcomes of New Professionals

Stephen M. Colarelli, Roger A. Dean, Constantine Konstans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigated the relative and combined effects of personal and situational variables on job out- comes of new professionals. The personal variables were cognitive ability, socioeconomic status, and career goals; the situational variables were job feedback, autonomy, and job context. Data were collected at two times from 280 newly hired, entry-level accountants at "Big Eight" firms. Both personal and situational variables predict job outcomes, but their relative influence depends on the outcome measure. Situational variables account for the most variance in job performance, job satis- faction, and organizational commitment; personal variables account for the most variance in pro- motability, internal work motivation, and turnover. The findings indicate that job performance does not take care of itself by selecting bright people, but requires constant vigilance and effective systems. The results also suggest that a given result can be achieved through a variety of behavioral science interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-566
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume72
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1987

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