Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Program Name/Specialization

Management and Organizational Behaviour


Lazaridis School of Business and Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Simon Taggar

Advisor Role



The central role of goals in facilitating self-regulation throughout the multiple stages of job search has been recognized by scholars and models of the job search process. I argue that despite numerous calls for more research on job search goals, critical questions remain unanswered and that an explicit focus on job search goals can advance the job search literature by enhancing our understanding of job search behaviours and outcomes, while also providing actionable advice for managing the emotional and exhausting process of looking for a job. In this dissertation, I contribute to job search research by identifying gaps in the literature that can be overcome through an explicit emphasis on job search goals, empirically documenting antecedents and consequences of having clear job search goals and suggesting directions for future research. Specifically, in Chapter 2, I argue that more attention is needed on the types of goals job seekers set and outline how nuanced application of theory can close gaps in research and improve practitioners’ ability to help job seekers self-regulate effectively. In Chapters 3 and 4, I present three empirical studies (N = 367) that contribute to our understanding of how goals impact the quantity and quality of job seekers’ decisions, behaviours and outcomes by examining the downstream effects of different goal orientations (i.e., learning-approach, performance-approach, performance-avoid) and clear process and outcome goals. I conclude by discussing the theoretical and practical implications of my program of research.

Convocation Year


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