Measurement of adult career decision motivation based on Self-Determination Theory and Classification of motivation profiles

Main Article Content

YoungJu Lee
HaeYoun Choi


The purpose of this study was to validate the adult’s career decision motivation scale based on the self-determination theory, and examine the relation of motivation factors through cluster analysis. In Study 1, a sample of adults who have made career transitions participated, and scale items were selected based on interviews regarding their career decision making processes. In Study 2, selected items were rearranged into four motivation factors (external regulation, introjected regulation, identified regulation, intrinsic motivation) and the constructed scale was conducted on a sample of 240 adults with career transition experience. Data analyzed reported good validity and reliability of the 24-item model consisting of four motivational factors for each of the six behavioral items. Study 3 reports the results of a cluster analysis using the adult career decision motivations scale. Four meaningful clusters were identified and career decision motivation types were classified as ‘control motivated’, ‘poorly motivated’, ‘self-determined’, and ‘strongly motivated’. The strongly motivated cluster showed high levels of career adaptability(CA) and career satisfaction(CS), and the poorly motivated cluster showed low levels of CA and CS. The self-determined cluster had high CA, but there was no significant difference in CS from other clusters. Finally, how controlled motivation and autonomous motiavation could coexist and bring positive results in the cuareer decision making process of adults was discussed.


Metrics Loading ...

Article Details

How to Cite
Lee, Y., & Choi, H. (2020). Measurement of adult career decision motivation based on Self-Determination Theory and Classification of motivation profiles. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 33(4), 431–459.
Empirical Articles


Ahn, J., Lee, J., Hwang, S., Nam, G., & Park, E. (2018). In-depth study of 2018 College graduates career path survey. Retrieved from

Arthur, M. B. (1994). The boundaryless career: A new perspective for organizational inquiry. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 15, 295- 306. DOI:

Bandalos, D. L. (2002). The effects of item parceling on goodness-of-fit and parameter estimate bias in structural equation modeling. Structural equation modeling, 9(1), 78-102. DOI:

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological review, 84(2), 191. DOI:

Betz, N. E., & Voyten, K. K. (1997). Efficacy and outcome expectations influence career exploration and decidedness. The Career Development Quarterly, 46(2), 179-189. DOI:

Chang, J. Y., & Choi, H. B. (2007). The mediating effect of autonomous motivation on the relationship between psychological empowerment and organizational commitment. The Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 20(2), 113-133. DOI:

Chemolli, E., & Gagné, M. (2014). Evidence against the continuum structure underlying motivation measures derived from self-determination theory. Psychological assessment, 26(2), 575. DOI:

Cho, S. Y., & Hong, J. Y. (2010). The relationship among demographical variances, career decision making self-efficacy, and career adaptability of adult learners. Korea Journal of Counseling, 11(3), 1099-1115. DOI:

Cho, Y. A., & Jyung, C. Y. (2015). The development and validation of the career management behavior scale. Journal of Career Education Reserch, 28(4), 157-178. Retrieved from

Choi, Y. J., & Ku, B. J. (2010). A differential diagnosis on career decision high and low group through career decision-making autonomy four factors. Korean Journal of Counseling, 11(4), 1675-1690. DOI:

Choi, Y. K., & Kim, S. H. (2012). Development and validation of the career preparation behavior scale for university students. Korean Journal of Counseling, 13(5), 2085-2097. Retrieved from DOI:

Dahling, J. J., & Lauricella, T. K. (2017). Linking job design to subjective career success: A test of self-determination theory. Journal of Career Assessment, 25(3), 371-388. DOI:

da Motta Veiga, S. P., & Gabriel, A. S. (2016). The role of self-determined motivation in job search: A dynamic approach. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101(3), 350. DOI:

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2008). Facilitating optimal motivation and psychological well-being across life’s domains. Canadian Psychology, 49, 14-23. DOI:

Dik, B. J., Sargent, A. M., & Steger, M. F.(2008). Career Development Strivings: Assessing Goals and Motivation in Career Decision-Making and Planning. Journal of Career Development, 35(1), 23-41. DOI:

Eisenberger, R., Rhoades, L., & Cameron, J. (1999). Does pay for performance increase or decrease perceived self-determination and intrinsic motivation?. Journal of personality and social psychology, 77(5), 1026. DOI:

Fernet, C., Morin, A. J., Austin, S., Gagné, M., Litalien, D., Lavoie-Tremblay, M., &Forest, J. (2020). Self-determination trajectories at work: A growth mixture analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 103473. DOI:

Gagné M., & Deci, E. L. (2005). Self- determination theory and work motivation. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26, 331-362. DOI:

Gagné, M., Forest, J., Gilbert, M. H., Aubé, C., Morin, E., & Malorni, A. (2010). The motivation at work scale: Validation evidence in two languages. Educational and psychological measurement, 70(4), 628-646. DOI:

Gagné, M., Forest, J., Vansteenkiste, M., Crevier-Braud, L., Van den Broeck, A., Aspeli, A. K., Bellerose, J., Benabou, C., Chemolli, E., Güntert, S. M., Halvari, H., Indiyastuti, D. L., P. A. Johnson, Molstad, M. H., Naudin, M., Ndao, A., Olafsen, A. H., Roussel, P., Wang, Z., & Westbye, C. (2015). The Multidimensional Work Motivation Scale: Validation evidence in seven languages and nine countries. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 24(2), 178-196 . DOI:

Gillet, N., Gagné, M., Sauvagère, S., & Fouquereau, E. (2013). The role of supervisor autonomy support, organizational support, and autonomous and controlled motivation in predicting employees’ satisfaction and turnover intentions. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 22(4), 450-460. DOI:

Greenhaus, J. H., Parasuraman, S., & Wormley, W. M. (1990). Effects of race on organizational experiences, job performance evaluations, and career outcomes. Academy of management Journal, 33(1), 64-86. DOI:

Guay, F. (2005). Motivations underlying career decision-making activities: the career decisionmaking autonomy scale (CDMAS). Journal of Career Assessment, 13(1), 77-97. DOI:

Guay, F., Senécal, C., Gauthier, L., & Fernet, C. (2003). Predicting career indecision: A selfdetermination theory perspective. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 50, 165-177. DOI:

Hair, J, F., & Black, W. C. (2000). Cluster analysis. In L. G. Grimm & P. R. Yamold(Eds.), Reading and understanding more multivariate statistics(pp. 147-205). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Han, J. (2004). Verification of mediating effect of career decision efficacy in the relationship between college students’ self-determination level and career decision. (Graduate School of Ewha Womans University). Retrieved from

Han, H., Kwak, M., & Han, H. (2016). Influence of Job Choice Motivation on Korean Early- Career Employees Job Satisfaction Change Patterns. The Journal of Career Education Research 29(3), 2016.9, 47-68. Retrieved from

Howard, J., Gagné, M., Morin, A. J., & Van den Broeck, A. (2016). Motivation profiles at work: A self-determination theory approach. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 95, 74-89. DOI:

Howard, J. L., Gagné, M., & Bureau, J. S. (2017). Testing a continuum structure of self-determined motivation: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 143(12), 1346. DOI:

Howard, J. L., Gagné, M., Van den Broeck, A., Guay, F., Chatzisarantis, N., Ntoumanis, N., &Pelletier, L. G. (2020). A review and empirical comparison of motivation scoring methods: An application to self-determination theory. Motivation and Emotion, 1-15. DOI:

Hull, D. T. (1996). Protean career of the 21st century. Academy of Management Executive, 10(4), 8-16. DOI:

Jang, W. (2015). Human Resource Development Theory and Practice. Seoul: Hakjisa. ISBN: 9788999707513

Kang, Y. & Chang, W. (2017). A Narrative Inquiry on Career Development and Voluntary Turnover of Knowledge Workers. The Journal of Vocational Education Research, 36(6), 1-26. Retrieved from DOI:

Koen, J., van Vianen, A. E., van Hooft, E. A., & Klehe, U. C. (2016). How experienced autonomy can improve job seekers’ motivation, job search, and chance of finding reemployment. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 95, 31-44. DOI:

Kim, H., Kim, S., Choi, M. (2008). Analysis of the labor market effect of workplace mobility. Korea Labor Institute. Retrieved from

Kim, K., Park, J., & Park, J. (2018). A Study on the Measurement Tools Development and Validation of New Police Officer’s Entry Motive. Korean Association of Public Safety and Criminal Justice, 27(3), 9-40. DOI:

Kim, N. (2018) The Effects of Career-Interrupted Women’s Self-Esteem, Self-Determination and Social Network on Career Adaptability. (Graduate School of Soongsil University). Retrieved from

Kim, R. & Moon, H. (2019). The influence of Career Decision-Making Autonomy, Social Suport on Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy among Prospective Infant Teachers. The Journal of Child Education, 28(2), 67-82. DOI:

Kim, S. (2016). Fundamentals and extensions of structural equation modeling with MPLUS examples. Seoul: Hakjisa. ISBN: 978-89- 997- 0967-8

Kim, T. (2013). A Causal Relationship among Commitment to a Career Choice, Family Support, Career Decision Autonomy, Career Decision Self-Efficacy, From Undergraduate Students. (Graduate school of Seoul National University). Retrieved from

Kim, T. & Jyung, C. (2019). The Moderating Effect of Autonomous Motivation on the Relationship between Employment Anxiety and Career Exploration Behavior of Undergraduate Students. Journal of Agricultural Education and Human Resource Development, 51(2), 73-95. DOI:

Kim, T. & Tak, J. (2007). A Longitudinal study on antecedents and outcomes of reemployment quality. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 20(1), 57-80. DOI:

Korea Employment Information Service. (2015). Current status and implications of labor mobility for college graduates. Employment Trends Brief (May 2015). Retrieved from

Korea Enterprises Federation. (2017). 2017 new employee recruitment survey. Retrieved from

Krumboltz, J. D. (2009). The happenstance learning theory. Journal of career assessment, 17(2), 135-154. DOI:

Lee, H. (2004). Influence of individuals’ background, work value, and work motivational orientation on work choice certainty. The Korean Journal of Educational Psychology 18(2), 17-33. Retrieved from

Lee, H. J., & Won, H. T. (1995). Self-concepts and paranoid tendency. Psychological science, 4(2), 15-29. Retrieved from

Lee, H. & Yu, G (2013). Work-Life Balance of Generation Y: The Meaning and the Role in View of Generational Work Value. Quarterly Journal of Labor Policy 13(4), 1-31. Retrieved from

Lee, J., Lee, S., Park, S., Lee, J. (2011). Motivation Scales of Career Decision Making as a Counselor. Korea Journal of Counseling, 12(6), 2145-2161. Riss. DOI:

Lee, J., Shin, K., Baeck, S., & Heo, C. (2014). The effectiveness of job embeddedness in turnover studies. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizationalf Psychology, 27(4), 743-779. DOI:

Lee, J. W., Song, B. R., Lee, J. Y., Lee, J. H., & Lee, K. H. (2014). A Concept Mapping Study on Career Adaptability Tasks across the Adult Life Cycle. The Korean Journal of Counseling and Psychotherapy, 26(4), 1073-1108. Retrieved from

Lee, S. M., Nam, S., Park, H., & Kim, D. (2007). The construct validity of the career decision self-efficacy scale-short form (CDSE-SF): A revisit. The Korea Journal of Counselling, 8(3), 1047-1062. DOI:

Lee, Y., & Lee, K. (2010). The relationship between the cluster type and career preparation behavior according to the level of career motivation: based on the theory of self-determination. Vocational Education Research, 29(2), 267-287.

Lim, B. (2001). Differences in career-related variables according to employment type and job type. Seoul: Kwangwoon University Master’s Thesis.

Lopez-Kidwell, V., Grosser, T. J., Dineen, B. R., &Borgatti, S. P. (2013). What matters when: A multistage model and empirical examination of job search effort. Academy of Management Journal, 56(6), 1655-1678. DOI:

McDonald, K., & Hite, L. (2019). Career development: A human resource development perspective. (Translated by Park) Seoul: PYMATE. (The original text was published in 2015) ISBN: 9791190151979

Ministry of Employment and Labor, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of the Interior and Safety, Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ministry for Health and Welfare, Ministry of Gender Equality & Family, Small and Medium Business Administration (2017). The 3rd basic plan for employment promotion for the elderly (2017-2021). Retrieved from

Moran, C. M., Diefendorff, J. M., Kim, T., & Liu, Z. (2012). A profile approach to self-determination theory motivations at work. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 81, 354-363. DOI:

Oh, H., Lee, K., & Kim, H. (2019). Motivation Profiles from Self-Determination Theory: Using Latent Profile Analysis in term of A Person-Centered Approach. Korean Journal of Resources Development 22(3), 177-208. Retrieved from DOI:

Paixão, O., & Gamboa, V. (2017). Motivational profiles and career decision making of high school students. The Career Development Quarterly, 65(3), 207-221. DOI:

Park, D & Yeom, S. (2001).The Validity of Mobley’s Model of Employee Turnover and Its Variants. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 14(2), 1-22.

Park, J., & Chang, J. (2016). Exploration of work motivation structure and profiles based on self-determination theory among Korean employees. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 29(1), 27-60. DOI:

Park, S., Jung, Y., Kim, J., & Kang, O. (2009). A Study on Successful Turnover and Re- employment. Korea Employment Information Service. Retrieved from

Park, S. & Kim, S. (2015). Organization and human relationships. Seoul: Parkyoungsa. ISBN: 9791130301884

Pryor, R. G., & Bright, J. E. (2006). Counseling chaos: Techniques for practitioners. Journal of Employment counseling, 43(1), 9-17. DOI:

Reeve, J. (2018). Understanding Motivation and Emotion, 6th Edition. (Translated by Kim) Seoul: Parkhaksa. (The original text was published in 2015) ISBN: 9788998521653

Rosenberg, A. (1985). The structure of biological science. Cambridge University Press. DOI:

Ryan, R. M., & Connell, J. P. (1989). Perceived locus of causality and internalization: Examining reasons for acting in two domains. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 749-761. DOI:

Ryan, R. M. & Rigby, S., & King, K. (1993). Two types of religious internalization and their relations to religious orientations and mental health. Journal of personality and social psychology, 65(3), 586. DOI:

Ryan, R. M. & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self- determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68-78. DOI:

Savickas, M. L., Nota, L., Rossier, J., Dauwalder, J-P., Duarte, M. E., Guichard, J., Soresi, S., Esbroeck, R. V., Vianen A. E. (2009). Life designing: A paradigm for career construction in the 21st century. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 75(3), 239-250. DOI:

Savickas, M. L., & Porfeli, E. J. (2012). Career Adapt-Abilities Scale: Construction, reliability, and measurement equivalence across 13 countries. Journal of vocational behavior, 80(3), 661-673. DOI:

Schein, E. C. (1996). Strategic Pragmatism: The Culture of Singapore’s Economics Development Board. MIT Press Books, 1.

Sharf, R. S. (2016). Applying Career Development Theory to Counseling, 6th Edition. (Translated by Kim, Kim, & Seo). Seoul: Pakhaksa. (The original text was published in 2014) ISBN: 978-89-98521-45-5

Sheldon, K. M, & Elliot, A. (1998). Not all personal goals are personal: Comparing autonomous and controlled reasons for goals as predictors of effort and attainment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24, 546-557. DOI:

Sheldon, K. M., Osin, E. N., Gordeeva, T. O., Suchkov, D. D., & Sychev, O. A. (2017). Evaluating the dimensionality of self-determination theory’s relative autonomy continuum. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43(9), 1215-1238. DOI:

Song, B. R., Lee, J. W., Choi, H. S., Heo, J. G., & Lee, K. H. (2014). Adult’s lifelong career satisfaction: The meta-analysis study on the social cognitive career variables by life stage and life Satisfaction. Korean journal of counseling, 15(5), 1791-1810. DOI:

Sturges, J., Guest, D., Conway, N., & Davey, K. M. (2002). A longitudinal study of the relationship between career management and organizational commitment among graduates in the first ten years at work. Journal of Organizational Behavior: The International Journal of Industrial, Occupational and Organizational Psychology and Behavior, 23(6), 731-748. DOI:

Sullivan, S. E., & Baruch, Y. (2009). Advances in career theory and research: A critical review and agenda for future exploration. Journal of management, 35(6), 1542-1571. DOI:

Sung, S. Y., & Bae, S. A. (2015). Analysis of the structural relationship among college students’ career decision-making autonomy, career decision-making self-efficacy, and career adaptability. Korea Youth Research Association, 22(9), 277-299. Retrieved from

Super, D. E. (1957). The psychology of careers. New Yorwk: Harper & Row. Retrieved from

Super, D. E., Brown, D., & Brooks, L. (1990). Career choice and development: Applying contemporary theories to practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass DOI:

Super, D. E., & Knasel, E. G. (1981). Career development in adulthood: Some theoritical problems. British journal of Guidance and Counseling, 9, 194-201. DOI:

Tak, J., Lee, E., & Lim, G. (2015). Validation of the career adaptability scale. Journal of the Korean Psychological Association: Industry and Organization, 28(4), 591-608. DOI:

Tak, J., Lim, G., Lee, E., & Jung, I. (2013). Development and validation of the Career Concern Inventory. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 26(1), 27-45. DOI:

Taylor, K. M., & Betz, N. E. (1983). Applications of self-efficacy theory to the understanding and treatment of career indecision. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 22(1), 63-81. DOI:

Van den Broeck, A., Lens, W., De Witte, H., & Van Coillie, H. (2013). Unraveling the importance of the quantity and the quality of workers’ motivation for well-being: A person- centered perspective. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 82(1), 69-78. DOI:

Vansteenkiste, M., & Mouratidis, A. (2016). Emerging trends and future directions for the field of motivation psychology: A special issue in honor of Prof. Dr. Willy Lens. Psychologica Belgica, 56(3), 317. DOI: