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Career orientations of R&D professionals in Korea

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This study empirically examined the relationships between career orientations of R&D professionals in Korea and other personal characteristics such as demographic factors, work-related outcomes, and reward preferences. The results, based on the survey about 1,240 technical people in 15 R&D organizations, revealed five distinctive and independent career orientations: technical, manager, project, technical transfer, and entrepreneurial orientations. The career orientations of R&D professionals are found to be different between private and public sectors and to be associated with their education level and organizational tenure. It is also observed that R&D professionals with different career orientations exhibit different work-related outcomes and reward preferences. For instance, technical-oriented professionals tend to be more educated, to exhibit better job attitudes and technical performances, and to favor professional rewards. While those with manager and transfer orientations are longer-tenured, have more positive job attitudes but lower technical performances, and prefer social status and prestige and career rewards in their organization. Both project- and entrepreneur-oriented professionals exhibit a less positive attitude toward their organizations, but seek different reward schemes: the former pursues challenging R&D projects with autonomy and the latter favors financial returns. Finally, the implications of these findings for managing careers of R&D professionals are discussed.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Korea Advanced Institutes of Science and Technology, Seoul, Korea, 2: Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, Suwon 440-660, Korea

Publication date: April 1, 2000


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