Career path preferences and personality among junior doctors: Results of a discrete choice experiment

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Ane-Kathrine Lundberg Hansen
Oluf Gøtzsche-Astrup
Line Bjørnskov Pedersen
Ulrich Thy Jensen
Christian Bøtcher Jacobsen


Career path preferences, Personality, Person-job fit, Discrete choice experiment, Junior doctors


In many areas of public sector work, managers are recruited from the ranks of professionals, but moving into positions with leadership responsibility can be daunting to many professionals. Still, we know very little about what makes public service professionals take on a leadership position. And how important is a leadership position compared with other job aspects? Drawing on person-job fit theory and a discrete choice experiment among 1,840 Danish junior doctors, we explore to what extent various job facets make a job more attractive and particularly whether certain personality traits are associated with leadership aspirations. Our results indicate that junior doctors prefer certain job characteristics, for example, they prefer a job with no formal leadership responsibility, some degree of patient contact, and normal working hours. The preference for a leadership position seems to be weaker among junior doctors with high levels of neuroticism.

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