How well can the theory of planned behavior account for occupational intentions?

Arnold, John; Loan-Clarke, John; Coombs, Crispin; Wilkinson, Adrian; Park, Jennifer and Preston, Diane (2006). How well can the theory of planned behavior account for occupational intentions? Journal of Vocational Behavior, 69(3) pp. 374–390.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2006.07.006

URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S...

Abstract

We tested the capacity of an extended version of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to account for intentions to work for the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) as a nurse, physiotherapist or radiographer amongst three groups: professionally unqualified (N = 507), in professional training (N = 244), and professionally qualified (N = 227). We found strong support for the three core TPB variables attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control as predictors of behavioral intention, and limited support for two additional variables: moral obligation and identification. There were some differences in the relative importance of TPB variables between groups. We conclude that the TPB has utility for more complex behaviors as well as simpler ones that are more frequently researched. However, more attention should be paid to differences in people’s circumstances, particularly regarding past vocational decisions and behavior, and to obstacles to implementing an intention.

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