Temporal elements in career selection decisions: An archival study investigating career decisions in medicine

P. Shah, J.P. Bechara, J. Kolars, M. Drefahl, N. LaRusso, D. Wood, B. Spurrier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Time is a ubiquitous but often omitted variable in career selection decisions. This study investigates the impact of temporal elements on career selection decisions, thus advancing our understanding of both career decision making and the impact of timing on decision making. We investigate the influence of timing and duration of experience with career options on career selection decisions in an archival study using medical residents’ rotation schedules. We also investigate factors that mitigate the influence of timing on career selection decisions by examining the interaction of timing with the duration of experience and the diversity of options that an individual experiences. Conditional logit results indicate that decisions often based on career and individual attributes are significantly influenced by the timing and duration of options even when controlling for option attributes. Additionally, significant interactions between timing and diversity of experience and timing and duration of experience revealed boundary conditions for timing. Individuals were more likely to select later-appearing career options when they appeared for a greater duration or when they experienced a greater diversity of options in their schedule. Results illustrate that schedules over which individuals have no control can influence consequential decisions.
Keywords: career selection decisions; timing; decision making; primacy; information sequencing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-261
JournalOrganization Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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