Understanding the career and job outcomes of contemporary career attitudes within the context of career environments: An integrative meta-analysis


The number of empirical studies on contemporary career attitudes (e.g., protean and boundaryless career orientation) has grown in volume, and yet our understanding of how these attitudes relate to career and job outcomes is rather limited. There are inconsistent findings on these career attitudes and their outcomes. The purpose of this review is to integrate the two core arguments that explain this inconsistency: (1) there is a need for greater construct clarity in the attitudes, and (2) the current career environment has not seen a complete dissolution of the conditions underlying traditional, employer-centric careers. We begin to develop an integrative conceptual framework to explain the effects of contemporary career attitudes and conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of these attitude constructs with their outcomes and correlates. Results of the meta-analysis generally provided support for the explanation that the current career environment is a blend of employer- and employee-centric elements, and the greater conceptual distance a contemporary career attitude dimension has from this blended environment and is towards a more purely employee-centric environment, the less beneficial it will be to outcomes. Drawing from our findings, we provide a systematic guide highlighting the areas where additional research is needed on the study of contemporary career attitudes.



Document Type





boundaryless career orientation, career attitudes, contemporary careers, meta-analysis, person-environment fit, protean career orientation

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Organizational Behavior