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Running the penultimate lap of the race: A multimethod analysis of growth, generativity, career orientation, and personality amongst men in mid/late career

Clark, Mike; Arnold, John; Clark, Michael

Authors

Mike Clark

John Arnold



Abstract

© 2015 The British Psychological Society. The dynamics of development in mid/late career are relatively uncharted territory in empirical research and represent a point of intersection between work/organizational psychology and lifespan developmental psychology. Using multimethod data from a study of 41 men aged between 45 and 55, we investigated the correlates and compatibility of two key developmental phenomena at this career stage: personal growth and generativity. We found that a forward momentum career orientation (not necessarily in the form of hierarchical advancement) was positively associated with personal growth and generativity, whereas a preoccupation with career maintenance had strong negative relationships with both. However, men's orientation towards their career did not uniquely predict growth or generativity when these variables were also regressed on the personality traits of ego resiliency and ego development, suggesting that personality more than subjective career stage is the root of a positive experience of mid/late career. We also conclude that the importance of personal growth is not confined to the first half of career and that contributing to others (i.e., generativity) is compatible with the ostensibly self-focused concerns of growth. Differences between findings from self-report questionnaire and coded interview narratives suggest that method matters in the investigation of these constructs.

Citation

Clark, M., Arnold, J., & Clark, M. (2016). Running the penultimate lap of the race: A multimethod analysis of growth, generativity, career orientation, and personality amongst men in mid/late career. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 89(2), 308-329. https://doi.org/10.1111/joop.12125

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 1, 2015
Publication Date Jun 1, 2016
Journal Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Print ISSN 0963-1798
Electronic ISSN 2044-8325
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 89
Issue 2
Pages 308-329
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/joop.12125
Keywords mid-career, late career, career stage, personality, career orientation, personal growth, generativity, ego development, ego-resiliency, workplace
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/1433907
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joop.12125
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Arnold, J. and Clark, M. (2016) Running the penultimate lap of the race: A multi-method analysis of growth, generativity, career orientation and personality amongst men in mid/late career. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. ISSN 2044-8325, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joop.12125. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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