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

See all articles by Songqi Liu

Songqi Liu

Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Mo Wang

University of Florida - Department of Management

Hui Liao

University of Maryland

Junqi Shi

Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) - Lingnan (University) College

Date Written: November 2014

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Liu, Songqi and Wang, Mo and Liao, Hui and Shi, Junqi, Self-Regulation During Job-Search: The Opposing Effects of Employment Self-Efficacy and Job Search Behavior Self-Efficacy (November 2014). Journal of Applied Psychology, 2014, Vol. 99, No. 6, 1159-1172. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2632307

Songqi Liu

Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 4050
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Mo Wang (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Department of Management ( email )

United States

Hui Liao

University of Maryland ( email )

College Park
College Park, MD 20742
United States

Junqi Shi

Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) - Lingnan (University) College ( email )

135 Xingang Xi Road
Guangzhou, Guangdong 510275
China

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