The purpose of this study was to examine the moderating influences of core self-evaluation, emotional intelligence, and extraversion on the career success of master's level business graduates. Much was known about the relationship between this study's three dispositional variables and career success, but far less was known about how these items interact with one another to influence extrinsic and intrinsic career success. Our research involved the collection of data from master's level business alumni from a large Southeastern university who graduated between 2000 and 2012. Established measures were used as gathering instruments for the three dispositional variables, the CSES for core self-evaluation, the WEIP-S for emotional intelligence, and the IPIP proxy of the NEO-PI-R for extraversion. In total, 4,790 alumni were surveyed and 534 alumni successfully completed the survey. The survey results found partial support for 2 of the 4 hypotheses. We found a moderating effect of emotional intelligence on the relationship between core self-evaluation and extrinsic career success. We also found that extraversion moderated the relationship between core self-evaluation and participant's response to the question `time spent happy at work'. The data also produced a strong, positive relationship between core self-evaluation and intrinsic career success, and a modest relationship between intrinsic career success and both emotional intelligence and extraversion. This study concluded that personality does matter when it comes to career success of master's level business graduates. These results have implications for business schools administrators that aim to improve the career success of their master's level business graduates. By understanding the core self-evaluation traits and emotional intelligence abilities of applicants and students, business school leaders can seek to understand how these items are associated with higher performance in terms of job placement and career success. This knowledge could be incorporated into a more sophisticated approach to attracting student talent, developing student talent through curricula advances, and connecting student talent to hiring organizations. In doing so, business schools can advance their mission of providing not only knowledge and skill development to their students, but also more long term career success and improved results for the organizations that hire their graduate talent.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Success in business -- Psychological aspects; Career development -- Psychological aspects; Emotional intelligence; Self-evaluation; Extraversion

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Stephens, Ronald;