Original Research

Employability attributes and personality preferences of postgraduate business management students

Ingrid Potgieter, Melinde Coetzee
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 39, No 1 | a1064 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v39i1.1064 | © 2013 Ingrid Potgieter, Melinde Coetzee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 August 2012 | Published: 10 May 2013

About the author(s)

Ingrid Potgieter, Department of Human Resource Management, University of South Africa, South Africa
Melinde Coetzee, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, University of South Africa, South Africa


Orientation: The demand for sustained employability and a proactive career agency has led to a renewed interest in the dispositional and psychological attributes of students and employees – like their employability attributes and personality preferences – because these relate to the proactive management of their career development in a changing employment world.

Research purpose: The purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between employees’ employability attributes (as the Employability Attributes Scale measures them) and their personality preferences (as the Myers-Briggs Type indicator, Form M, measures them). Motivation for the study: There seems to be a paucity of information about how employees’ personality preferences relate to their employability attributes in South Africa’s multicultural organisational context.

Research design, approach and method: The authors conducted a quantitative survey. It involved a non-probability sample of 304 early career adults enrolled for an Honour’s degree in business management in an open distance learning higher education institution. They used correlational statistics and multiple regression analyses to analyse the data.

Main findings: The authors observed a number of significant relationships between the participants’ personality preferences and their employability attributes.

Practical/managerial implications: Career counsellors and human resource practitioners need to recognise how employees’ personality preferences influence their employability attributes in the management of their career development and employability.

Contribution/value add: The findings add to the existing career literature on the career metacompetencies that influence employees’ employability. They also provide valuable information that organisations can use for career development support and counselling practices in the contemporary world of work.


Career Meta-Competencies; Employability; Personality Preferences


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