Walter Mischel’s work on the patterns of “Delay of Gratification” (DOG) and theories of individual willingness to “delay gratification” at the personal level has led researchers to examine the phenomenon of DOG in multiple fields and across cultures. Some research has been conducted on employee DOG as it related to work ethic, organizational satisfaction and length of tenure. However, there is little research on “Vocational Delay of Gratification” (VDOG). To conduct this research, we developed a questionnaire to assess and evaluate an individual’s VDOG. This questionnaire focused on individual ability to make adjustments and delay gratification on a vocational level, when he/she focused on a long-term career goal or objective. We sought to determine if a mediating effect existed in choices made by the individual, with respect to whether they were willing to give up rest, leisure, or other impulsive actions that had no benefits for their current job. Another goal of the study was to study the structure of VDOG and determine if it had a mediating effect on the relations between organizational career management and job satisfaction and occupation promise.
The study was conducted in two samples. The first sample consisted of 115 individuals from corporations in Harbin. The second sample consisted of 321 individuals from 6 corporations in Harbin and Beijing. We gathered and analyzed the data through using the questionnaire of VDOG, questionnaire of DOG, organizational career management questionnaire, occupational promise questionnaire, and job satisfaction questionnaire. We used SPSS13.0 and AMOS4.0 to analyze the data.
When applying Exploring Factor Analysis, we found the VDOG questionnaire had a two- dimension structure, namely the Work Delay of Gratification and the Career Delay of Gratification. There was a significant correlation（r=0.144**，p<0.01）between the VDOG and the DOG questionnaires. The correlations between VDOG and Equitable Promotion, Information Providing, Good Training, Occupational Development, Occupational Promise and Job Satisfaction ranged between 0.268 to 0.499 （p<0.01）. When using Layer Regression Analysis, we found the participants’ age, education, length of tenure and job category all had no significant effects on VDOG. In the second step, Equitable Promotion and Good Training significantly predicted VDOG. In addition, VDOG had a partial mediating effect on the relations between equitable promotion and occupation promise, and between equitable promotion and job satisfaction. VDOG had a partial mediating effect on the relation between good training and job satisfaction, and a complete mediating effect on the relation between good training and occupational promise. VDOG has no mediating effect on relations among occupational development, occupational promise and job satisfaction.
The study indicates that VDOG exists within members of the workforce. VDOG may be used to analyze the career goal efficiently. We can use this measure to predict occupational promise and job satisfaction. By providing good training and equitable promotion, organizations can improve staffs’ VDOG level efficiently. This study has a potentially important value for potential employers in understanding and maximizing employee contribution, as well as effective motivating employees for mutually beneficial long-term goals