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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

On-line version ISSN 2071-0763
Print version ISSN 0258-5200


KOEKEMOER, Eileen. An explorative study on factors influencing the career success of management employees. SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2014, vol.40, n.2, pp.1-10. ISSN 2071-0763.

ORIENTATION: South African organisations are increasingly recognising the importance of attracting, developing and retaining top talent, especially management employees. RESEARCH PURPOSE: In an attempt to help organisations with retaining talent, this study focused on career success and identified specific factors that influence the career success of managers in the South African work environment. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Organisations need to establish favourable organisational conditions and human resource practices to retain their management employees. By identifying influential factors for the career success of managers, this research may help organisations to focus more accurately on their retention strategies for management employees. RESEARCH APPROACH, DESIGN AND METHOD: The present study used a qualitative research design that followed an exploratory approach. A non-probability purposive sample of 24 senior management employees was selected from two financial institutions in South Africa. Qualitative data was collected by means of semi-structured interviews and the verbatim transcriptions were analysed by content analysis. MAIN FINDINGS: Managers identified various factors that impact on their career success. One can distinguish 'external' factors (e.g. political and economic climate and business environment) from 'internal' factors (e.g. individuals' personal attributes, skills and education). PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Individuals should focus on the internal contributing factors, whilst organisations should manage the external contributing factors more effectively. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: Specific South African factors that influence the career success of managers should be included in future retention strategies. From the findings it is suggested that both the individuals and organisations can implement strategies to ensure career success and thereby help retain the top talent in organisations

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