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Title: Employability and career identity : Chilean male, middle-aged middle managers' narratives of career
Author: Nazar, G. A.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2008
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Abstract:
The relationship between the self and organisations in the changing work context is the main focus of this study. The concept of career identity is explored and its relationship with employability discussed in light of evidence from a study of middle-aged, middle managers in the three industries in Chile. Using mixed methods an initial mapping of the objective aspects of career was attempted, followed by a narrative approach to access to the sensemaking process individuals develop to construct and inform their identities at work. Findings indicate that Chilean managers’ careers tend to unfold in single organisational settings, with high tenure and low expected mobility. Age and mobility are related to both perception of employability and the attitudes and behaviours leading to employability. Mature workers with stable careers appear les employable than younger and more mobile workers. The dominant narrative or ‘career script’ in the population studied, is the traditional one that stresses notions of continuity and progression in a more or less predictable sequence of stages leading to higher status and social recognition. Career identity was conceptualised as a dynamic aggregate of descriptors that individuals ascribed to themselves at work. A career identity which includes a large set of characteristics, a variety of future possible selves and different objects of identification in a flexible interplay, closer to personal identities and to processes rather than to groups, seems to be a key antecedent of the career behaviour leading to employability. Since participants tended to stress collective values, work stability and the membership to social groups, such as industries and firms, there might be a risk of narrow career identity, reduced mobility real and expected, and low employability. However, a new notion of career is just emerging which decouples identity from organisations and promotes independence in the labour market. A typology of four career stories was constructed which depict a particular configuration of career identity and sensemaking of careers. The emerging work conditions open up new opportunities to exercise choice; however, in the light of the current findings they might imply also lack of references and sense of insecurity for an important group of the working population.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.659899  DOI: Not available
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