Many of the techniques are in widespread use in public and private organizations. However, there has been little research on their effectiveness for either improving performance or changing behavior, in either the short or the long term. Nor have the techniques been placed within a broader framework of career development. Until such evaluations have been done, the use of those techniques can only be considered experimental. Thus, this chapter does not include an evaluation of a wide range of techniques or review of literature. Instead, we present an approach to the evaluation of self-report instruments and a way of thinking about career development issues, taking into account recent work on managerial development and performance in organizations.

The first section proposes a framework for studying and assessing career development, with attention to the role of self-report instruments in a broad context. The second section briefly describes existing Army career programs and the results of a questionnaire survey of instruments used at the Army War College. The third section discusses an evaluation of one popular instrument, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The chapter concludes with recommendations for research and applications that would contribute to a broadening of the career development concepts that guide many current counseling programs.


The framework presented in this section is intended to provide ideas for improving the career development process and for generating further research that would assist in achieving that goal. The discussion uses concepts and findings from the relevant behavioral science scholarly and research literature dealing with careers and career development in organizational settings.1 It is relevant to the Army and its commissioned officers as well as virtually all large organizations.


The research literature points to seven basic propositions that should undergird any set of programs aimed at strengthening career development processes.

  1. Each successively higher organizational level imposes new and broadened demands on knowledge and skills. It has long been known that upper-level executives formulate broad strategies, middle-level managers translate those strategies into operational goals, and lower-level managers or supervisors implement methods to achieve those goals. A recent IBM study, for example, found that top-level executives spend a great

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