Original Research

The relationship between the self-esteem and employability attributes of postgraduate business management students

Ingrid Potgieter
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 10, No 2 | a419 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v10i2.419 | © 2012 Ingrid Potgieter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 October 2011 | Published: 25 April 2012

About the author(s)

Ingrid Potgieter, Department of Human Resource Management, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Orientation: The effects of challenges (like decreased employment opportunities, increased personal responsibility to keep up with changes, current skill shortages and of retaining talented and skilled staff) have led to an emphasis on career meta-competencies to improve employability attributes.

Research purpose: The objectives of the study were to determine the relationship between self-esteem (as the Culture Free Self-Esteem Inventory measures it) and employability attributes (as the Employability Attributes Scale measures it); to determine whether people’s biographical details significantly predict their self-esteem and employability attributes; and whether men and women differ significantly in their self-esteem and employability attributes.

Motivation for the study: There seems to be a paucity of studies that investigate how people’s self-esteem relates to their employability attributes in South Africa’s multi-cultural context.

Research design, approach and method: The researcher conducted a quantitative survey on a convenience sample of 304 employed adults enrolled for an honours degree in business management in a higher education institution. She used correlational statistics, multiple regression analyses, categorical regressions and independent t-tests to analyse the data.

Main findings: The researcher found a number of significant relationships between the participants’ self-esteem and employability. The results showed that biographical details significantly predicted participants’ employability attributes.

Practical/managerial implications: Career counsellors and human resource practitioners need to recognise how people’s self-esteem and their biographical details influence their employability attributes.

Contribution/value-add: The findings add to the literature on the skills, abilities and biographical information that influence employability and give valuable information that organisations can use during career development support and career counselling practices in the contemporary world of work.


career counselling, career meta-competencies; contemporary world of work; employability attributes; self-esteem


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Crossref Citations

1. Developing career management competencies among undergraduates and the role of work-integrated learning
Denise Jackson, Nicholas Wilton
Teaching in Higher Education  vol: 21  issue: 3  first page: 266  year: 2016  
doi: 10.1080/13562517.2015.1136281