Purpose: The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it empirically examines two theory-based models of applicants’ job search developed from planned happenstance theory (PHT) and theory of planned behavior (TPB). Second, it tests the cross-cultural compatibility of these models in Japan and Korea. Design/methodology/approach: The authors tested two theory-based job search models, PHT model and TPB model based on samples of college students from Japan (n=175) and Korea (n=172). Findings: The results indicated that the TPB model was a significantly better fitting to the data than the PHT model. Moreover, a multi-group test of the TPB model demonstrated that the TPB model was invariant between the Japanese and the Korean samples. Originality/value: Although there had been an important question among job search literatures regarding how important the planned behavior in the job search processes would be, the study gave an empirical support to the TPB job search model in contrast to the PHT model. Another contribution is that the study tested the Western-driven theories using Asian samples from Japan and Korea, constituting an important benchmark for further studies that attempt to test the generalizability of the TPB model, particularly in countries/areas that employ different employment systems.
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