Self-Regulation During Job-Search: The Opposing Effects of Employment Self-Efficacy and Job Search Behavior Self-Efficacy
Journal of Applied Psychology, 2014, Vol. 99, No. 6, 1159-1172
14 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2015
Date Written: November 2014
Adopting a self-regulatory perspective, the current study examined the within-person relationships among job search cognitions, job search behaviors, and job search success (i.e., number of job offers received). Specifically, conceptualizing job search behaviors as guided by a hierarchy of means-end (i.e., job search behavior-employment) goal structure, we differentiated employment self-efficacy from job search behavior self-efficacy. Our results showed that higher levels of perceived job search progress could lead to more frequent job search behaviors through enhancing job search behavior self-efficacy. However, higher levels of perceived job search progress could also lead to less frequent job search behaviors through elevating employment self-efficacy. In addition, the relationships between perceived job search progress and efficacy beliefs were moderated by job seekers’ level of internal attribution of their progress. Finally, we found that at the within-person level, frequency of job search behaviors was positively related to number of job offers received. These findings were discussed in terms of their theoretical and practical implications.
Keywords: job search, employment self-efficacy, job search behavior self-efficacy, internal attribution, goal hierarchy
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