Individual Values as a Predictor for Job Applicant Preferences: An Application of the Theory of Work Adjustment
Feinberg, Emily Greene
Hanges, Paul J.
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The present study examined the relationship between individual values and job characteristic preferences based on the Theory of Work Adjustment (TWA) (Lofquist & Dawis, 1969). In order to increase the generalizability of the research, an expanded values inventory and job characteristics framework were used to measure job applicant needs and preferences in work design. Furthermore, a profile analysis approach was used to account for the interaction of multiple job attributes on job applicant attraction perceptions. Survey data, collected from senior undergraduate students (N=155), showed a significant relationship between several value dimensions (i.e., power, stimulation, benevolence) and an increased attraction to its hypothesized "ideal" job profile type, written to reflect the theoretical relationship between each value dimension and the job characteristics framework. These results provide preliminary evidence for the use of the TWA and the job profile approach to better understand job applicant preferences. Implications for research and practice are discussed.