Career Development Theories of Carrrier Development Major Essay

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Career Development


Major Theories of Career Development

Minnesota Theory of Work Adjustment (TWA)

Theory of Work Adjustment was developed in 1964 by Rene Dawis, George England and Lloyd Lofquist from the university of Minnesota. This theory of work adjustment (TWA) is a comprehensive model of work/job adjustment based on the concept of correspondence between an individual and his environment. Dawis and Lofquist (1964) defined work adjustment as the process of achieving and maintaining the correspondence. The work environment needs some who can perform the task and the individual brings his knowledge and skills to perform the task. In return, the individual expects compensation for his performance and safe place to work.

The main focus of this model is the idea that the environment and the individual both mist meet each other's requirement in order to maintain the relationship. The degree at which the requirement of both is met is called the correspondence. If the abilities of an individual correspond closely with the requirements of environment/work, then he will be perceived as satisfactory. Similarly if the compensation corresponds to the individuals' expectations, he will be satisfied by the environment. TWA consists of two models; a predictive model and a process model.

Predictive Model

The predictive model of TWA focuses on those variable that help find out if the individuals are satisfied with their work environments and if the individuals are satisfactory for the work environments. The results obtained thorough these variables help to predict the tenure of the individual in the work environments.

Process Model

The process model increases the ability of the work adjustment model to understand how the adjustment has occurred and maintained during time. It focuses on how the fit between the individuals and the work can be maintained. TWA suggests that the adjustment style of the individuals determines how they behave in the condition of dis-correspondence. Dis-correspondence is a situation in which either an individual or environment are not satisfied with each other. Adjustment style consists of four variables: flexibility, active adjustment, reactive adjustment and perseverance (Brown and Lent, 2013).

Application of the Theory of Work Adjustment in Work Settings

The Theory of Work Adjustment (TWA) states the relationship of individual with his work environment. This theory is very helpful for the counselors in helping clients to choose profession according to their needs and wishes. When this theory is applied to work setting, it shows the level of correspondence between the employee and the employer. If the employer and employee both have a successful relationship; i.e. The employer is satisfied with the work performance of the employee and employee is happy with the compensation he is getting then the correspondence will be high. Similarly if employer (environment) and employee (individual) are not satisfied with each other then the correspondence will be low.

Holland's Theory of Vocational Choice

According to Holland's Theory of Vocational Choice (1997), people prefer to choose jobs and environments that allow them to use their skills and abilities, show their efficiencies and enjoy playing their role. People like to work in an environment where other people are like them.


According to Holland, vocational choice or interest is an expression of the personality. He defined following six personality types, which are famous as 'RIASEC' and according to him most of the people fit into any one personality type mentioned in RIASEC model.

1) Realistic (R)

2) Investigative (I)

3) Artistic (A)

4) Social (S)

5) Enterprising (E)

6) Conventional (C)

Each of these six types of personalities has certain preferences for the vocational activities that they want to perform. Holland further pointed out that when the same personality type individuals work together, they create an environment that rewards their type. Therefore, people who choose to work in environments of their personality types are more successful and satisfied from their jobs.

Four Constructs - Diagnostic Indicators to Holland's Theory

Along with RIASEC model, Holland also suggested the four diagnostic indicators that help to make predictions about career choice, performance and satisfaction level of the individuals. These four constructs are; congruence, differentiation, consistency and identity.


This construct has the central role in the Holland's theory. It is the degree of adjustment between the personality of an individual and the work environment in which he works (Ireh, 2000). Congruence is actually the match between the environment and one of the six personalities described by Holland.


Differentiation is the degree to which the interest or…[continue]

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