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Graduates' career orientations and strategies in corporate Greece

Dimitrios M. Mihail (Business Administration Department, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 6 June 2008




The purpose of this paper is to examine the evidence that suggests how working graduates' careers are actually being managed in corporate Greece. In order to shed some light on this issue, this empirical study aims to investigate the changing nature of careers from the employee's perspective, in various business contexts.


A survey was conducted using a structured questionnaire. Participants in the survey were 238 graduates working for firms across all sectors of the economy. Factor analysis was used to form career anchors/orientations, and career strategies from graduates' attitudes and statements reported in the survey. Regression analysis was applied for assessing the impact of alternative career orientations on career self‐management behaviors.


The main findings indicate that the primary source for shaping surveyed graduates' career strategies is their own career anchor/orientations. Other personal and organizational characteristics such as gender, age, work experience, field of specialization, economic sector and activity, firm size, and employment contract, seem to not have a persistent effect on respondents' personal career strategies. Furthermore, despite an emerging “new” career anchor, the traditional career of internal promotability still motivates graduates and leads them to pursue human capital accumulation and networking strategies.

Research limitations/implications

Further research to extend the current investigation to employers and managers would allow for a more articulated discussion of the main sources of the influences on employees' career self‐management behaviors.


Given the dearth of empirical research on the changing nature of careers in corporate Greece, this study contributes to debates in the wider academic community on the issue of analyzing career self‐management behaviours empirically. The importance of combining the human capital perspective with the social capital perspective in modeling career development, is stressed by the present study.



Mihail, D.M. (2008), "Graduates' career orientations and strategies in corporate Greece", Personnel Review, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 393-411.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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