Due to the introduction of the Employment Equity Act of 1998, the structure of management in South African companies has dramatically changed. This emphasizes the need for managerial generalists, especially now where we are faced with a competitive business environment and rapid changes in technology. Edgar Schein (1978) in the (Academy of Management Journal 1996) maintains that these changes have resulted in people forming what he called “internal careers”. He described an “internal career” as a subjective sense of where one is going in one’s working life. He continued to describe the external career as something that is more about formal stages and roles, well defined by organisational policies and societal concepts regarding what an individual can expect in an occupational structure”. The complexities in the occupational environment have implications for career development, and it has obviously become crucial that people form what Edgar Schein regarded a self-concept, to be a ““career anchor” that holds a person’s internal career together even if they experience intense changes in their external career”. An individual’s “career anchor”, as defined by Schein (1978; 1985; 1990; 1993), comprises of a person’s 1) “self-perceived aptitudes and capacities; 2) basic values; and most important, 3) the evolved sense of motives and desires as they apply to the career”. Using the instrument called the Career Orientations Inventory (COI) developed by Edgar Schein, the objective of this study to systematically examine the primary career anchors of a sample of engineers in management positions at one of the utilities in South Africa. This is a quantitative study which uses a statistical analysis to substantiate engineers’ motivation for pursuing managerial positions instead of remaining specialists. The results from this study will have a major contribution in the field of Psychology and in particular, Career Psychology.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2012.