Information system personnel career anchor changes leading to career changes

Christina Ling Hsing Chang, Victor Chen, Gary Klein, James J. Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Career anchors represent personal desires of employees that must be satisfied in order for organizations to attract and retain good workers. Career stages represent advancements along the paths of employment that an individual can take through an organization or chain of organizations that represent professional growth and increased value to an organization. Though research is prevalent on career anchors and career stage models, works that look at changes in one as the other changes are missing from the literature. Due to that lack, it is usually concluded that anchors reflect changes in careers as Information systems (IS) employees advance through their career stages. However, expectancy-value theory leads us to expect that the causality may be reversed, that career anchors change leading employees to value alternative positions more highly. Drawing on the career changes of 10 IS employees, we examine the changes in anchors through progressive career stages. While technical competence and security anchors are important at all stages of an IS career, managerial competence, geographic security, and autonomy become more important in the latter stages and are often adjusted prior to career movement. Management should account for these changes while designing jobs and incentives, while further research is required to confirm dominant patterns of change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-117
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Information Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences


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