Business Definition for: Career Anchor

a guiding force that influences people's career choices, based on self-perception of their own skills, motivation, and values. The term was coined by Edgar Schein in Career Anchors: Discovering Your Real Values, published in 1985. He believed that people develop one underlying anchor, perhaps subconsciously, that they are unwilling to give up when faced with different pressures. Schein distinguishes several career anchor groups such as technical/functional competence, managerial competence, creativity, security or stability, and autonomy.

The effect of career anchors on job characteristics & organizational citizenship behavior relationsh
Last updated: 6 January 2004

Ms Sonali Kumar is currently working as a Human Resource Consultant in New Delhi. As a Consultant, Ms Kumar has worked with organizations across diverse industry sectors such as Manufacturing, Fertilizers, Oil & Gas, Steel, FMCG, ITES and on a variety of solution areas such as Performance Management, Organization Structuring, Competencies, Manpower Optimization, Job Evaluation, Balanced Scorecard, HR Strategy and Employer Branding. Ms Kumar has an MBA in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations from Xavier Labor Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur. She also has a Bachelor's degree in Economics from St. Xavier’s College. She has been an outstanding student throughout her academic career and won various scholarships and awards for academic excellence. Sonali Kumar Finalist, Mercer Award Asia 2003 Among her various achievements is her dissertation, titled “ The Effect of Career Anchors on the Relationship between Job Characteristics and Organizational Citizenship Behavior”, under the guidance of Dr. R.K. Premarajan at XLRI. This research was presented at the Business and Economics Society International Seminar at San Francisco in July 2003.

Good organizational citizens are employees whose actions contribute to the effective functioning of the organization, and are not explicitly required (discretionary) nor formally rewarded (with incentives). Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) is beneficial to both individuals and organizations. It is therefore important to understand what causes this behavior and how this behavior can be encouraged and promoted in organizations. Research has shown that job characteristics - to the extent that they arouse intrinsic motivation- directly influence OCB. This may happen because of two plausible reasons: The requisite job characteristics for an intrinsically motivating job would create a sense of responsibility - the individual would experience a sense of personal accountability for important work outcomes, regardless of whether the formal job

to identify with a professional discipline. most effort should be made to develop those employees with potential to add most value to the organization. 6. 2. Investments in people must be related to organizational strategy.the enhanced meaning in the task would enable the person to see the contextual importance of the job and appreciate the linkages among individuals in terms of interdependence.no pattern necessary.dedication to worthwhile causes ranging from the environment to poverty. 4. and perspectives of other contributors in the larger picture of organizational functioning. we need to first understand what motivates employees on their jobs. parts of a machine. Pure challenge . not a specialist.useful with today's contracting out.wanting to remain with one employer for life . 8.a premium wherever innovation drives competitiveness. General management . Service .not so likely any more. which affect work and career satisfaction and provide a way of understanding these motivators of career decisions. They are strong nonmonetary factors.  Intrinsically motivating job characteristics are also assumed to render the work more psychologically meaningful (Hackman and Oldham. forcing your stars up the ladder is self defeating Human Resource Management • • • • • Human Resource Management is a strategic function. Autonomy/independence . Research indicates that career anchors are career motivators that make employees hold on to their jobs. 7. Presumably the person would also more readily imagine the needs. For example.disinclination to sacrifice life style solely for career advancement. but there should be one at the top of your list By analyzing employee needs. 3. In order to identify job characteristics that arouse intrinsic motivation. career planners can channel them appropriately instead of assuming that they all want to move up the managerial hierarchy If innovation is essential in your business. overview. Entrepreneurial creativity . 1980). . facilitating role. Technical/functional competence . The purpose of this study is therefore to see whether career anchors moderate the relation between job characteristics and OCB or not.having a broad. Security/stability .descriptions require the person to take those steps. 5. problems. Many approaches to HR in the past have regarded people a bit mechanistically .just solving difficult problems . Life style . Edgar Schein developed the idea of career anchors . There must be a measurable return for every HR initiative. Career anchors determine the intrinsic motivation present in a job to the extent that the characteristics of the job match the jobholder’s career anchors. You may combine a few of these career anchors.wanting to be self reliant .as resources.what people most want out of a career He came up with 8 career anchors --1.

not just suppliers of services. but not the most emotionally intelligent response. Yes. but it is also caused by this feeling of having little say in the matter. we paint an overly rosy picture to ourselves of greener pastures while blinding ourselves to any redeeming features of our current employer. business is a war of ideas. The most critical role for HR today is to foster talent management.• • • As more leadership and entrepreneurial action is demanded of all employees. • Selling yourself Changing employers • The retirement career Your CV / Résumé The formal job market The informal job market New: Career management . Managing your career . This is OK rationalization. But many feel powerless to do so short of leaving for greener pastures. The interview . In a knowledge driven age. you can do your best in your present job and hope to get promoted.free Networking article. In building ourselves up to go elsewhere. Obtaining Career Satisfactions • • • • • • • • • Career management What are your goals? • Job search counselling Promoting yourself.a leadership approach to advancing your career . So it's as much resentment as frustration.an entrepreneurial approach • • • • • • • • • • We're told that it's up to us to manage our own careers. Many think it is up to ''them'' to come along and tap me on the shoulder. At this stage. We find it easy to leave when our resentment reaches a stage we won't tolerate. so it is all about the people. HR professionals can best show leadership by championing new initiatives to help their organizations make better use of its talent. more than ever. almost anything seems more attractive than where we are. A lot of career frustration seems to be based on not moving fast enough. HR professionals can be leaders. the more HR must play an enabling role rather than a controlling one.

Otherwise. quality and service . Talent management depends on effective career management. restaurants. The first step is to take stock of your own industry patterns. so become a chameleon! All work is becoming nothing but short term projects for knowledge workers. These visions of tomorrow apply well to the most media-hyped industries. construction. But. public sector. Effective career management is a sound talent management strategy. employees need to be entrepreneurial about their careers and take equal ownership for advancing themselves. Organizations need a cafeteria approach to careers to accommodate differing strategies and varying needs of people.see organizational renewal Managerial careers will be available where complex tasks need efficient execution. power or more money. High tech industries where fast innovation drives continuous change. Edgar Schein's career anchor concept is a way to take stock of employee needs. Managing careers is a strategic initiative to position an organization for competitive advantage. highly qualified knowledge workers will go elsewhere. Career planning matches organizational needs with those of employees. The concept of the fixed "job" is obsolete. regarding the organization as an internal market. Employees will continue to want career development whether it be increased professional status. greater responsibility. never mind lifetime employment.oil. Not all industries change fast . if they cannot advance? Flexibility is the key to career success. Some compete on cost. airlines. . personal development.Career Management • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Careers are in chaos! Progress is no longer up so employees are moving on! How can careers be managed if the traditional ladder has been kicked to one side? How can you retain your stars.