Vol. 8 No. 4 (2020): Business & Management Studies: An International Journal


Res. Asisst. Dr., Kırşehir Ahi Evran University

Published 2020-12-10


  • İş Özerkliği, Çok Yönlü Kariyer Tutumu, Öz Belirleme Kuramı, Yapısal Eşitlik Modeli
  • Job Autonomy Protean Career Attitude Self-Determination Theory Structural Equality Model

How to Cite

KORKMAZ, F. (2020). A FIELD STUDY TO DETERMINE THE IMPACT OF JOB AUTONOMY ON PROTEAN CAREER ATTITUDE. Business & Management Studies: An International Journal, 8(4), 367–386. https://doi.org/10.15295/bmij.v8i4.1720



The flexible, dynamic and permeable business world has changed employee mobility and career definitions today. Uncertainty of working life and mobility of careers have led to the emergence of new career attitudes (Gubler, Arnold and Coombs, 2014). One of the contemporary career approaches that emerged with the effect of globalization is the protean career attitude. Protean career attitude is the subject of many studies in the field as a concept that is usually studied together with unlimited career attitude, but with a different meaning.  A protean career attitude refers to a person’s proactive orientation of their career through their subjective assessments and personal values (Waters, Briscoe, Hall, and Wang, 2014). Looking at the determinants of protean career attitude, a protean career attitude needs to be studied together with individual variables.

From this point of view, it was thought that job autonomy, which refers to the individual’s determination of the method, process and other business dimensions of work in the workplace could have an impact on their protean career attitude. Like a protean career attitude, job autonomy is also based on the satisfaction of the individual’s need for autonomy and self-determination. Autonomy refers to the practices of organizations that will increase the role of the employee in the decision-making process in areas where he or she is responsible by increasing the autonomy of the employee’s work (Leach, Wall and Jackson, 2003). Within the framework of self-determination theory, it is claimed that individuals with autonomy are more identified with the job and have more positive attitudes (Deci and Ryan, 1985b). Because work autonomy meets the psychological needs of individuals based on psychological development theories, it can contribute to their development by shaping individuals’ self-determination behaviours (Zhou, Li and Gong, 2019; Deci and Ryan, 2000). With this study, it was thought that when individuals have job autonomy within the framework of self-determination theory, and if the values and orientation of the individual are supported, a protean career attitude will be formed.


The population of the research consists of teachers working within the Provincial Directorate of National Education in Sinop. The sample of the study is 382 teachers who can be accessed from the research population. The results of the survey data collected by entering online data in the Google drive application with the face to face survey method were analyzed using SPSS 22.0 and AMOS 24.0 package programs. The hypothesis of the research model created within the framework of the theoretical background of the research is that “the levels of employee job autonomy have a positive impact on protean career attitudes”.

The autonomy scale developed by Ilardi, Leone, Kasser and Ryan (1993) was used to measure employees’ levels of job autonomy. The unlimited and protean career attitude scale, developed by Briscoe et al. (2006), adapted to Turkish by Çakmak and Otluoğlu (2012), was used to measure protean career attitude. The Job Autonomy Scale consists of 2 sub-dimensions and seven items as “Feeling Independent and Valuable” and “Being under Pressure”.  The Protean Career Attitude Scale consists of 14 items and two sub-dimensions as “Value-Oriented Career Management” and “Self-Directing Your Career”.

Measurement models established to validate structures belonging to the scales of independent and dependent variables of the study were tested by confirmatory factor analysis, and reliability values were also analyzed. During the confirmatory factor analysis, the first and second Articles of the job autonomy scale and the thirteenth and fourth articles of the protean career attitude scale were removed from the scale structures because they had too many modification loads.


According to the results of the correlation analysis conducted to determine the relationship between job autonomy, which is the independent variable, and the protean career attitude, which is the dependent variable, a high level, a significant positive relationship was observed between job autonomy and protean career attitude at a significance level of 1% (R=0.695). Based on this, it is possible to say that it is appropriate to establish a structural equation model to test the effect of variables on each other.

Within the scope of the findings obtained according to the structural equation model that shows the effect of job autonomy on protean career attitude, it is possible to say that job autonomy has a statistically significant and positive high-level effect on protean career attitude, and 86% of protean career attitude can be explained by job autonomy (Standardized β=0.927, R2=0.859, p≤0.05). Therefore, the structural equality model established to test the research model has been confirmed. There are similar studies in the literature that are compatible with the results of this research, and it has been pointed out that job autonomy is the determinant of variable career attitude (Deci and Ryan, 2000; Houston, 2000; Hall, 2002; Seymen, 2004; Buelens and Van den Broeck, 2007; Segers, İnceoğlu, Vloeberghs, Bartram and Henderickx, 2008; Çankaya, 2009; Seçer and Çınar, 2011).


In the framework of self-determination theory, it is possible to say that the research model and hypothesis are supported by the analysis results of the research hypothesis that teachers’ perceptions of autonomy will meet their psychological needs, autonomy, growth and development needs, and increase their versatile career attitudes. The student-centred education emphasis of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Ministry of National Education shows that teachers cannot be instrumental in the development of students today with the traditional education method.  From this point of view, the self-improvement of teachers both increases the quality of education and allows them to meet their psychological needs within the framework of self-determination theory. The autonomy that teachers will need for self-realization in a way makes structural support necessary. Job autonomy to be given to teachers with specific qualifications and high awareness of the vision, mission and goals of the institution can increase the contribution of teachers.

Research constraints include that the study is conducted by collecting data only from the province of Sinop, with a specific group of samples and with certain variables. From this point of view, researchers can be suggested to test this structure, which is confirmed in different sectors and larger samples, to work on different variables that can mediate job autonomy and multi-directional career attitude and determine the multi-faceted career attitude for future research in terms of contribution to the literature and future practices.




Download data is not yet available.


  1. Balfour, D. L. ve Wechsler, B. (1996). Organizational commitment: antecedents and outcomes in public organizations. Public Productivity and Management Review, 19, 256–277.
  2. Bridgstock, R. S. (2007). Success in the protean career: A predictive study of Professional artists and tertiary arts graduates. (PhD thesis), Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.
  3. Briscoe, J. P. ve Hall, D. T. (2006). The interplay of boundaryless and protean careers: Combinations and implications. Journal of vocational behavior, 69(1), 4-18.
  4. Briscoe, J. P., Hall, D. T. ve DeMuth, R. L. F. (2006). Protean and boundaryless careers: An empirical exploration. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 69, 30- 47.
  5. Budak, S. (2000). Psikoloji sözlüğü. Ankara: Bilim ve Sanat Yayınları.
  6. Buelens, M. ve Van den Broeck, H. (2007). An analysis of differences in work motivation between public and private sector organizations. Public Administration Review, 67(1), 65–74.
  7. Çakmak-Otluoğlu, K. Ö. (2012). Protean and boundryless career attitudes and organizational commitment: The effects of perceived supervisor support. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80, 638-646.
  8. Çankaya, Z. C. (2009). Özerklik desteği, temel psikolojik ihtiyaçların doyumu ve öznel iyi olma: Öz-belirleme kuramı. Türk Psikolojik Danışma ve Rehberlik Dergisi, 4(31), 23-31.
  9. Çolak, İ. ve Altınkurt, Y. (2017). Okul iklimi ile öğretmenlerin özerklik davranışları arasındaki ilişki, Kuram ve Uygulamada Eğitim Yönetimi, 23(1), 33-71.
  10. Deci, E. ve Ryan, R. (1985a). The general causality orientations scale: Self determination in personality. Journal of Research in Personality, 19, 109-134.
  11. Deci, E. L. ve Ryan, R. M. (1985b). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior; plenum. New york: NY, USA.
  12. Deci, E. L. ve Ryan, R. M. (2000). The “what” and “why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychol. Inq. 11, 227–268.
  13. Deci, E. L., Ryan, R. M., Gagne, M, Lronr, D., Usunov, J. ve Kornazheva, B. (2001). Need satisfaction, motivation and well-being in the work organizasions of a former esatern bloc country: A cross-cultural study of self determination. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27(8), 930-942.
  14. Deci, E. L. ve Ryan, R. M. (2002). Handbook of self-determination research. Rochester: The University of Rochester Press.
  15. Eby, L. T. ve Buch, K. (1995). Job loss as career growth: Responses to involuntary career transitions. The Career Development Quarterly, 44(1), 26-42.
  16. Grimland, S., Vigoda-Gadot, E. ve Baruch, Y. (2012). Career attitudes and success of managers: The impact of chance event, protean, and traditional careers. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(6), 1074-1094.
  17. Grolnick, W. S., Deci, E. L., ve Ryan, R. M. (1997). Internalization within the family: The self- determination theory perspective. In J. E. Grusec & L. Kuczynski (Eds.), Parenting and children’s internalization of values: A handbook of contemporary theory (135-161). New York: Wiley.
  18. Gubler, M., Arnold, J. ve Coombs, C. (2014). Reassessing the protean career concept: Empirical findings, conceptual components, and measurement. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35(1), 23-40.
  19. Hall, D. T. (1976). Careers in organizations. Goodyear Pub. Co..
  20. Hall, D. T. (2002). Careers in and out of organizations (1st ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc.
  21. Hackman, J. R. ve Oldham, G. R. (1974). The job diagnostic survey: An instrument for the diagnosis of jobs and the evaluation of job redesign projects. JSAS Cat. Sel. Doc. Psychol., 148.
  22. Hackman, J. R. ve Oldham, G. R. (1975). Development of the job diagnostic survey. J. Appl. Psychol., 60, 159–170.
  23. Herzberg, F., Mausner, B. ve Snyderman, B. (1969). The motivation to work. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
  24. Houston, D. J. (2000). Public service motivation: A multivariate test. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 10(4), 713-727.
  25. Humphrey, S. E., Nahrgang, J. D. ve Morgeson, F. P. (2007). Integrating motivational, social, and contextual work design features: A meta-analytic summary and theoretical extension of the work design literature. J. Appl. Psychol., 92, 1332–1356.
  26. Ilardi, B. C., Leone, D., Kasser, T. ve Ryan, R. M. (1993). Employee and supervisor ratings of motivation: Main effects and discrepancies associated with job satisfaction and adjustment in a factory setting. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 23(21), 1789-1805.
  27. Kanter, R. M. (1997) Men and women of the Corporation. New York: Basic Books.
  28. Kanfer, R., Wanberg, C. ve Kantrowitz, T. (2001). Job search and employment: A personality-motivational analysis and meta-analytic review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(5), 837-855.
  29. Kasser, T., Davey, J. ve Ryan, R. M. (1992). Motivation and employee-supervisor discrepancies in a psychiatric vocational rehabilitation setting. Rehabilitation Psychology, 37(3), 175.
  30. Leach, D. J., Wall, T. D. ve Jackson, P. R. (2003). The effect of empowerment on job knowledge: An empirical test involving operators of complex technology. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 76, 27-52.
  31. Ryan, R. M. ve Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68-78.
  32. Seçer, B. ve Çınar, E. (2011). Bireycilik ve yeni kariyer yönelimleri. Yönetim ve Ekonomi: Celal Bayar Üniversitesi İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Fakültesi Dergisi, 18(2), 49-62.
  33. Segers, J., Inceoglu, I., Vloeberghs, D., Bartram, D. ve Henderickx, E. (2008). Protean and boundaryless careers: A study on potential motivators. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 73(2), 212-230.
  34. Seymen, O. A. (2004). Geleneksel kariyerden, sınırsız ve dinamik/değişken kariyere geçiş: nedenleri ve sonuçları üzerine yazınsal bir inceleme. Uludağ Üniversiesi, İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Fakültesi Dergisi, XXIII(1), 79-114.
  35. Suvacı, B. ve Baş, D. (2018). Banka çalışanlarının çok yönlü kariyer ve sınırsız kariyer tutumları. Çankırı Karatekin Üniversitesi, İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Fakültesi Dergisi, 8(1), 113-140.
  36. Volmer, J. ve Spurk, D. (2011). Protean and boundaryless career attitudes: Relationships with subjective and objective career success. Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung, 43(3), 207-218.
  37. Waters, L., Briscoe, J. P., Hall, D. T. ve Wang, L. (2014). Protean career attitudes during unemployment and reemployment: A longitudinal perspective. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 84(3), 405-419.
  38. Waters, L. ve Moore, K. (2001). Coping with economic deprivation during unemployment. Journal of Economic Psychology, 22(4), 461-482.
  39. Williams, G., Frankel, B., Campbell, D. ve Deci, E. L. (2000). Research on relationship-centered care and healthcare outcomes from the rochester biopsychosocial program: A self-determination theory integration. The Journal of Collaborative Family Healthcare, 18(1), 79-91.
  40. Zhou, Q., Li, Q. ve Gong, S. (2019). How job autonomy promotes employee’s sustainable development? A moderated mediation model. Sustainability, 11(22), 6445.