Rather than praising the theory per se, this paper further highlights its limitations in Hong Kong setting.
John Holland’s theory of vocational choice has for many years been a dominant force in vocational psychology and careers counselling and guidance. The theory was originally formulated in the USA in the 1950s influenced by Holland’s experiences as a careers counselor (Gibson & Mitchell, 2006). Sharf (2006) further explains that this theory has subsequently grown significantly to become what it is today. Based on this theory therefore, John Holland holds that people and their occupational environments are clearly characterized by their close resemblance to each of the six identified ‘pure types’. Additionally, Holland believes that a good match between an individual and the environment will have a number of beneficial outcomes when other things are kept equal (Inkson, 2007). As observed by Herr et al (2004), Holland makes an attempt to explain that career decision making is an important aspect of career choice and career development. This basically forms the theoretical explanation of this paper in exploring the application of Holland’s theory in decision-making styles of career choice. The paper also attempts to relate the application of this theory to secondary school setting in Hong Kong and its limitations.
John Holland’s theory has been cited by a number of researchers as the most studied amongst all other career counseling theories. Leung & Chen (2007) argue that Holland’s theory of careers portrays individuals and environments as a single set of six types into which most people across cultures of the world can be classified. In view of this, Holland classified people into six dominant types outlined below. The Realistic (R) type has frank, conforming, inflexible, practical, un-insightful and asocial individuals while Investigative (I) type is critical,