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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Perceptions of Career Advancement: A Mixed Methods Case Study in a Business Office Supporting a Public University System
by Pennington, Robyn Lyn, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2019, 154; 22619895
Abstract (Summary)

This mixed methods case study examined career advancement at a business office supporting a public university system to understand the meaning of career advancement, what workplace factors are perceived to support or hinder opportunities for career advancement, and if perceptions of career advancement differ by certain demographic characteristics. Self-Determination Theory (SDT), a motivational theory developed by Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan was used to consider employee motivation and analyze aspects of literature related to career advancement. SDT emphasizes the satisfaction of three psychological needs consisting of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, that are essential for self-motivation and personal growth.

This study explored perceptions of career advancement through in-depth qualitative interviews with participants and through analysis of quantitative survey data. Key findings from qualitative data analysis revealed participants made meaning of career advancement with four themes that included climbing up the organizational hierarchy, receiving increases pay, developing competencies and skills, and having interesting work. Workplace factors perceived to help or hinder opportunities for career advancement included organizational characteristics, supervisor influence, and practices that promote employee happiness.

Quantitative analysis of data from two survey questions related to organizational and supervisor support for career advancement using independent samples t-test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) compared the means for independent groups to determine if results differ by demographic characteristics. Statistically significant differences for groups were found in a few instances. Based on the findings, 10 recommendations for policy or practice and three suggestions for further research are presented.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: O’Brien, Jonathan
Commitee: Priede Schubert, Alejandra, Quillian, Benjamin F
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 81/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership
Publication Number: 22619895
ISBN: 9781687962966
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