Understanding behavioral job search self-efficacy through the social cognitive lens: A meta-analytic review

Ji Geun Kim, Haram J. Kim, Ki Hak Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


This study used a meta-analysis to gain a clearer understanding of the relationships between behavioral job search self-efficacy (JSSE) and its relevant variables. Study variables were selected based on the career self-management model of the social cognitive career theory, which comprehensively includes sources and outcomes of JSSE. In addition, moderators that reflect various sample characteristics and the studies' research designs were included to clarify the hitherto inconsistent results between JSSE and related variables. Based on the analysis on 80 independent samples from 74 articles, results showed that supports and proactive personality (—the antecedent variables) and emotional wellbeing (—the consequence variable) had consistently strong relations with JSSE. Moderator analyses showed that sample type (undergraduates, laidoff), cultural value (individualism, collectivism), length of unemployment (over 6 months, under 6 months), and research design (cross-sectional, longitudinal) moderated the links between JSSE and two consequence variables, job search action, and job-search-related outcome. These results indicate that it is important to consider the agents of job search, their job search contexts, and methodological issues in conducting future research and interventions. Implications of the results are discussed and future research and practice are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-34
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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