Optimism and the Boundaryless Career: The Role of Developmental Relationships

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Optimism and the Boundaryless Career: The Role of Developmental Relationships

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Title: Optimism and the Boundaryless Career: The Role of Developmental Relationships
Author: Higgins, Monica C.; Dobrow, Shasa; Roloff, Kate

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Citation: Higgins, Monica C., Shasa Dobrow, and Kate Roloff. 2010. Optimism and the boundaryless career: The role of developmental relationships. New Directions for Boundaryless Careers. Special Issue. Journal of Organizational Behavior 31(5): 749–769.
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Abstract: This research explores an important psychological capacity in the current boundaryless career environment—optimism. Optimism has been associated with flexibility and adaptability amidst stressful situations (Shifren & Hooker, 1995), which, we argue here may be particularly useful in the current unpredictable career environment. We explore the relationship between optimism and the structure and quality of individuals‘ developmental networks in a sample of young adults. Analyses are based upon a 10-year longitudinal study (1996-2006) of a cohort of 136 individuals who graduated from business school in 1996. Cross-sectional analyses show that the amount of psychosocial support received by individuals, but not career support, is positively associated with optimism. Then, considering the longer-term nature of help-giving, longitudinal relational data suggest that the greater one‘s early-career psychosocial and career support, the greater one‘s optimism many years hence. In addition, we examined how the rate of change in developmental network support over time is associated with optimism. Findings show that increasing amounts of career and psychosocial support over time were associated with greater optimism later in career. Implications for future research on the boundaryless career, optimism, and developmental relationships are discussed.
Published Version: doi:10.1002/job.693
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:5372958
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