Original Research

Archetypal values of science and engineering staff in relation to their career orientations

Didi-Mari du Toit, Melinde Coetzee
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 38, No 1 | a955 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v38i1.955 | © 2012 Didi-Mari du Toit, Melinde Coetzee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 January 2011 | Published: 16 April 2012

About the author(s)

Didi-Mari du Toit, University of South Africa, South Africa
Melinde Coetzee, University of South Africa, South Africa


Orientation: Career decision-making in the 21st century is increasingly guided by the individuals’ deep-seated values and career orientations, as they are required to become proactive career agents in the pursuit of their career.

Research purpose: The objective of the study was to explore the relationship between individuals’ archetypal values (measured by the Pearson–Marr Archetype Indicator) and career orientations (measured by the Career Orientations Inventory). The study also assessed the differences between race, gender, marital status, employment status and age groups regarding the archetypal values and career orientations of the individuals.

Motivation for study: Career counsellors and industrial psychologists are increasingly required to explore new career guidance frameworks that are relevant and appropriate to the evolving nature of careers.

Research design, approach and method: A quantitative survey was conducted. A non-probability sample of 207 voluntary participants employed within the science and engineering sector was obtained.

Main findings: Correlational analyses revealed that the participants’ archetypal values related significantly to their career orientations. The various biographical groups differed significantly regarding their archetypal values and career orientations.

Practical/managerial implications: The findings highlight the importance of understanding the deep-seated archetypal values that seem to explain the individuals’ career choices and decisions, and how these values differ regarding these choices and decisions.

Contribution/value-add: The explanatory utility of the results may prove useful to enhance the individuals’ self-insight in their career choices and experiences. This study represents original research that contributes new knowledge to the field of career psychology and career counselling practices.


archetypal values; adult development; career anchors; career orientations; life themes


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