Still Relevant? An Updated Meta-Analysis of Classic Career Success Predictors

Activity: Talk or presentationScience to science


A highly influential meta-analysis by Ng, Eby, Sorensen, and Feldman (2005) examined the prediction of objective and subjective career outcomes by a host of human capital, organizational sponsorship, sociodemographic status, and stable individual difference variables, based on articles published during or before 2003. In light of the steady flow of reports regarding how much the nature of work and careers is changing and sustained scholarly interest in the antecedents of career success, we meta-analyze the relevant evidence published between Jan 2004 and June 2018. Results that broadly replicate Ng et al. include the findings that as a group, organizational sponsorship and stable individual differences displayed stronger relationships with subjective (i.e. career satisfaction) than objective (i.e., pay and promotions) career success. On the other hand, although the influence on promotions and subjective career success of socio-demographic predictors as a whole has remained virtually unchanged, socio-demographics have become less predictive of income. Also, the modest extent to which human capital predictors were more predictive of objective than subjective success appears to have further diminished. A host of other differences emerged on the level of individual predictors. We discuss limitations, implications for future research, and applications by career scholars, those enacting their career, and others (i.e. career educators and coaches) who may utilize up-to-date information regarding the most robust predictors of objective and subjective career success.
Period9 Aug 201913 Aug 2019
Event title79th Academy of Management Meeting
Event typeUnknown
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 506009 Organisation theory
  • 502026 Human resource management
  • 102015 Information systems
  • 504030 Economic sociology