ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (3): 499-510.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00499

• Conceptual Framework • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research on job crafting from the perspective of sustainable career: Motivation, paths and intervention mechanisms

WANG Qiong()   

  1. School of Business Administration, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou 310018, China
  • Received:2021-03-25 Online:2022-03-15 Published:2022-01-25
  • Contact: WANG Qiong


In the era of career boundarylessness, facing with the ever-weaker linkage between individuals and organizations, individuals have to initiate the tasks of self-career management to actively respond to the development and changes of occupational environment. Job crafting are bottom-to-top behaviors which help to actively change the boundaries of resources and daily tasks. Since in relevant with people’s autonomy and the improvement of internal resources and recognitions, job crating behaviors should be potential ways for realizing career sustainable development. However, job crating contains personal resource consuming and reinvest as well. The way people define their value resources determine their job crating motivations and paths. Prior literature mainly limited to the influences of job crating in within organizational context, and research on internal motivational antecedents is relatively insufficient and ignoring the explorations of why and how individuals craft their jobs. In this respect, the study here considers the interactive linkages between individuals’ occupation and daily work behaviors and proposes series of theoretical framework. Specifically, based on 3 successive sub-studies, we explore the potential motivations, paths and intervention mechanisms for individuals to gain sustainable competitive advantages through daily work. In study 1, we stick to the individual’s role of ‘central career agent’ in achieving sustainable career, and define the concept and measurement structure of career sustainability from perspectives of recognition, career development cycles, and individual as well as environmental resources. Meanwhile, grounded in prior literature and longitudinal empirical results, we reveal the potential influencing factors (i.e., demographic variables and personality traits) and dynamic development mechanisms of career sustainability. The effect paths of career sustainability on the occupational proactive behaviors (i.e. job crafting) are discussed as well. In Study 2, we focus the driven-force of job crafting and the driven outcome. Strong career sustainability captures plentiful skills and abilities to continuously respond to changes, which is conductive to the adjustment of job tasks and roles, and therefore should be the motive factor of job crafting. What’s more, based on conservation of resource theory, individuals have the innate motivation to protect and expand their value resources. Nevertheless, value resource differs across individuals and thus influence the investment directions and scale. We contend that individuals with high level of career sustainability, tend to more value the importance of sustainable career development, and consequently are more likely to craft their jobs toward the ways of achieving sustainable career. According to social cognitive theory, the cognition of individuals’ self-ability influences their behavior tendencies, and then influence the follow-up actual behaviors as well as the results of those behavior. Therefore, along with the improvement of career sustainability, the enhanced protean career orientation would directly influence the direction and strength of individuals’ job crafting. Consequently, the dynamic rising closed loop of career sustainability to career sustainability which linked by job crafting forms, which delineate the influence paths from individuals’ job crating to their sustainable career development at the same time. Rooted in the cross-level data which collected from multi waves, study 3 explores the influences of organizational career management supports on career sustainability and job crafting, and thus to interpret the vertical intervention mechanism of job crafting behaviors at organizational level. Formal and informal organizational career management tactics are compared base on quasi-experiments so that to provide theoretical references for managerial practitioners. Moreover, considering that individuals’ daily workplace behaviors (i.e., job crating) indirectly reflect the career value and professional abilities, the present study also offers theoretical implications from perspectives of sustainable career. Firstly, through testing the change and development of job crating, and exploring and motive (protean career orientation) and ability factors (career sustainability), we respond to the calls of exploring job crating motivations from career perspective. Secondly, we test the boost power of job crafting in the improvement of career sustainability, and expand the outcome variables of job crafting to the career horizon. Lastly, we build the theoretical framework of organizational job crating intervention, and expand the application boundaries of organizational career management supports based on empirical and quasi-experimental research. The conclusions here provide strategic bases for individuals to achieve sustainable career development and organizations to carry out win-win career management support.

Key words: career sustainability, job crafting, organizational career management support, conservation of resource theory, job demand-resource model

CLC Number: