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Title: Exploring career change through the lens of the intelligent career framework
Author: Hunter, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 3861
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2016
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This study explores what motivates engineers in their early-mid career to change careers. It first establishes the definition of a career change from the perspective of those who have changed careers, and then examines what drives, influences and facilitates a career change, as well as how a career change is enacted physically and emotionally. This has been looked at through the contemporary lens of the ‘intelligent career framework’. This research adopted a qualitative, abductive approach following an initial inductive small-scale exploratory study. The fieldwork consisted of a pilot and main study using semi-structured interviews. For the main study, 22 interviews were conducted within one organisation in order to elicit the subjective experiences of engineers who had undertaken a career change. The findings show how the driving factors relate predominantly to knowing-why and knowing-where. The influencing and facilitating factors vary by individual, and relate to knowing-what, knowing-how knowing-when and knowing-whom. Six clusters of interacting factors were observed with knowing-why, knowing-how and knowing-when at the core. Whilst the process of career change was complex and long, differing pathways through which individuals changed careers were evident, as well as emotions that needed to be managed. This study contributes to knowledge in the area of contemporary career theory by exploring career change through a new lens: the intelligent career framework. It demonstrates how individuals use their ‘career capital’ to effect a career change and the ways in which the six knowings interact to bring about a career change. It extends the understanding of the process of career change and discovers some of the organisational factors that influence or facilitate individuals making a career change. All of these contributions address identifiable gaps in the literature.
Supervisor: Parry, Emma Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: intelligent careers ; engineers ; organisational factors ; future orientation