Comparing careers across countries: New scholarship and directions

About the authors:
Maike Andresen is Full Professor of Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour at the University of Bamberg.
Eleni Apospori is Associate Professor at the Department of Marketing and Communication of AUEB, Greece.
Jon Briscoe is Professor of Organizational Behavior at Northern Illinois University, USA.

The 5C research group is very happy and at the same time overly thankful for its recent success. The 5C symposium “Comparing careers across countries: New scholarship and directions” that the 5C group organized at the last Academy of Management Meeting 2019 in Boston has been awarded the All-Academy Best International Symposium Award for the Academy of Management 2019. The quality of the international collaboration is a core selection criterion.

In this year’s 5C symposium the 5C group provided answers to the following questions:

  • What do individuals’ career schemas look like in different countries and how consistent are these schemas within countries?

This study investigates the role of institutional context in shaping experts’ sense making of career success schema (CSS). CSS refer to cognitive network structures of subjective career success meanings that frame individuals’ career experiences, and subsequently their career decisions, expectations, and goals. The authors analyzed CSS in terms of two structural dimensions; schema complexity and schema convergence. Complexity represents the number of career success meanings and the number of relationships between meanings, while convergence refers to the degree to which individuals belonging to a particular social group (e.g. country) group schema elements (e.g. career success meanings) together in a similar way. The authors found a large similarity between the career success schema characteristics among laymen and experts within countries, suggesting that the meaning of career success is partly collectively constructed. This finding challenges the largely individual focus in the present‐day careers literature and adds to our understanding of how macro‐level context variables influence careers.

Authors: Robert Kaše (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Jon P. Briscoe (Northern Illinois University),  Eleni Apospori (Athens University of Economics and Business), Silvia Bagdadli (Bocconi University)Övgü Çakmak-Otluoğlu (Istanbul University)Katharina Chudzikowski (University of Bath), Anders Dysvik (Norwegian Business School), Martina Gianecchini (University of Padova), Richa Saxena (Institute of Management Technology Ghaziabad), Yan Shen (University of Victoria), Marijke Verbruggen (University of Leuven), Tania Casado (University of São Paulo), Najung Kim (Kookmin University), and Julie Unite (Humber, Mundie, & McClary LLP)

  • Does an incongruence between individuals’ career goals and achievements impair their work engagement? And which differences exist between cultures?

The authors defined subjective career success as the congruence between what one values and what one has so far achieved. They argue that if an individual’s idea about what the ideal career might look like is congruent with the current state of that person’s career, this individual would experience high level of satisfaction and be more engaged at work than when they face a significant discrepancy between ideal career state and the actual current career state. The authors showed that the congruence effects of ideal-actual selves varies depending on the context: individualistic cultures vs. collectivistic cultures. The congruence effects are more significant in the culture where the specific dimension of career success matches with the expectations of that culture.

Authors: Najung Kim (Kookmin University, South Korea), Jongseok Cha (Hansung University, South Korea), Maike Andresen (University of Bamberg, Germany), Jon P. Briscoe (Northern Illinois University), Douglas T. Hall (Boston University, USA), Robert Kaše (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), and Pamela Agata Suzanne (Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina)

  • In which way do institutional logics in different market economies shape individuals’ career objectives, behaviors and outcomes?

The authors showed how macro‐level context variables in terms of the variety of capitalism (VoC) influence individuals’ understanding of careers and, thus, question the centrality of agentic individuals that proactively create and evaluate their careers. They argue that the VoCs offer individuals a particular set of career opportunities; and individuals can be expected to gravitate towards strategies that take advantage of these opportunities. They find that individuals’ career expectations (importance of learning and development), career behaviors (proactive career management) and career outcomes (perceived employability) are conditioned differently in the countries representing four VoCs included in the study, i.e. liberal, coordinated, hierarchical and mediterranean market economy.

Authors: Maike Andresen (University of Bamberg, Germany), Yamila Martin Ferlaino (University of Bamberg, Germany,) Rick Cotton (University of Victoria, Canada), Douglas T. Hall (Boston University, USA), Michael Dickmann (Cranfield University, UK), and Yan Shen (University of Victoria, Canada)

  • Do more generous maternity leave regulations impair organisations’ investment into mothers’ and fathers’ career development?

The authors argued that intended positive impact of social policies on individuals can be foiled by organisations’ human resource management. Taking the case of parental and home care leave they showed that organisations’ investment into organizational career management (OCM) practices is sensitive to social policies. None of the two social policy practices tested displays enabling effects for working women. Contrary, generous home care leave policies discourage organizations from investing in their female employees. This is particularly severe as OCM is significantly related to a wide range of career success indicators.

Authors: Astrid Reichel (University of Salzburg, Austria), Fida Afiouni (American University of Beirut, Lebanon), Maike Andresen (University of Bamberg, Germany), Eleni Apospori (Athens University, Greece), Janine Bosak (Dublin City University, Ireland), Mila Lazarova (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Emma Parry (Cranfield University, UK), and Pamela Agata Suzanne (Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina)

  • How do qualified migrants change their identity across time and space?

The authors showed that skilled migrants seem uniquely able to demonstrate how different dimensions to our identities are more (or less) salient in different times and spaces in our lives, and have a unique influence at any given point in time. Combining three separate qualitative research studies conducted in France, Ireland and the USA with skilled international migrants from different home countries, the authors show how identity dimensions at the macro (e.g. home country identity), meso (e.g. professional identity), and micro (relational identity such as mother, wife, daughter, sister etc. as well as individual identity including personal values) levels together influence the skilled migrants’ identity and sense of self at particular times. They find that, across time and space, particular dimensions become more salient in one’s identity description of self at particular periods of time. Home country and host country factors influence how identities are enacted over time and space.

Authors: Marian Crowley-Henry (Maynooth University School of Business, Ireland), Edward O Connor (Maynooth University School of Business, Ireland), and Jon Briscoe (Northern Illinois University, USA)

As usual, lively discussion took place with all attendees, leading to fresh ideas for further research.

During the Carolyn Dexter Award Reception the award was handed over to two 5C representatives Maike Andresen, University of Bamberg (second from left) and Eleni Apospori, Athens University (third from left) (missing: Jon Briscoe, Northern Illinois University) who proudly accepted the award certificate that was handed over by Elaine Farndale (right).

pic AOM 2019

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