School of Business and Economics


Joel Warburton

Photo of  Joel Warburton

Doctoral Researcher in Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour

Following a 25-year career in engineering, specialising in electronic warfare, Joel shifted towards psychology by completing a Masters in Management Psychology at University of Nottingham.

His Masters research examined the application and relevance of modern career theories in a ‘traditional’ organisation. Joel was then awarded a fully funded PhD scholarship by the T Richie Rodger Research Fund, which was set up in memory of Professor Alec Rodger, one of the most influential figures in UK organisational psychology.     


  • BSc (Hons) Engineering Management University of Lincoln
  • MSc Management Psychology University of Nottingham
  • Currently researching for a PhD in Work Psychology

Research interests:

  • Vocational Psychology
  • Personality
  • Psychometrics



  • Professor John Arnold
  • Dr Eva Selenko
  • Dr Ciara Kelly


Dissertation working title:

When person-occupation fit falls down; understanding why some poor fits are happy in their line of work, and some good fits are not.

Abstract: Career guidance theory offers several approaches in matching individuals with their ideal occupation. This research examines Person-Environment (PE) fit using Holland’s (1997) Vocational Choice Theory as a framework. Holland supports that positive outcomes (job satisfaction, longer tenure and higher performance) follow when workers adopt occupations that are aligned with their own work personality. However, the relationship between this alignment and positive outcomes is weaker than might be expected (typical correlations of between 0.2 and 0.3), given its wide use and influence (Patton & McMahon, 2006). 

Specifically, my research will explore the lived work experiences of those who, contradict Holland’s theory, i.e., those who match their occupation, but lack satisfaction, and those who are mismatched, but gain satisfaction from work.  Using mainly qualitative methods, I will attempt to shed light on the limitations of Holland’s (1997) use of PE fit, and by understanding how individuals experience this situation, make suggestions how it and other similar tools might be improved and refined.  This will include a critique of some of Holland’s theoretical assumptions, and discovery and exploration of career factors not currently included.