Understanding students’ motivation towards proactive career behaviours through goal-setting theory and the job demands–resources model


The graduate labour market is highly competitive but little is known about why students vary in their development of employability. This study contributes to the literature by applying goal-setting theory and the job demands–resources model to investigate how motivational processes influence students’ proactive career behaviours. We tested four hypotheses using structural equation modelling and moderation/mediation analysis using a nested model approach; 432 undergraduates from 21 UK universities participated in this cross-sectional study. The results showed that students higher in mastery approach had greater perceived employability mediated by two proactive career behaviours (skill development and network building). Students’ career goal commitment was associated with all four proactive career behaviours (career planning, skill development, career consultation and network building). Students’ academic and employment workloads did not negatively impact their proactive career behaviours. University tutors and career services should therefore encourage students to set challenging career goals that reflect mastery approach.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2017.1326022
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Work & Organisational Psychology
Additional Information: © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis GroupThis is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided theoriginal work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Publication ISSN: 1470-174X
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2024 08:19
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2023 13:50
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Related URLs: https://www.tan ... 79.2017.1326022 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2018-11
Published Online Date: 2017-05-16
Authors: Clements, Andrew James (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-0265-0376)
Kamau, Caroline

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