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Dynamics of Western career attributes in the Russian context

Svetlana N. Khapova (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Konstantin Korotov (ESMT – European School of Management and Technology, Berlin, Germany)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 13 February 2007




The purpose of this article is to raise awareness of the dynamic character of career and its key attributes, and the embeddedness of their definitions and meanings in national social, political and economic contexts.


Features of three recent distinct social, political and economic situations in Russia are used to explore the meanings of nine key career attributes introduced by the Western career literature.


It was found that in Russia each of the nine key career attributes accommodates a different meaning compared with their original Western meaning, and that these meanings are continuously changing to reflect the current social, political and economic environment. In sum, this exploration revealed a dynamic character to career attributes, and their content changed depending on the underlying context.

Research limitations/implications

Among key research implications are: a possibility of using Western career theories mainly as conceptual frameworks for studying careers in other countries; that current social, political and economic contexts need to be taken into consideration when studying careers in a particular country; and the “intelligent career” concept can be used to study careers in various cultural contexts, and to examine the interdependence between career and a national culture.


This paper examines the extent to which Western career concepts may be used to study careers in various countries around the globe. It notes the dynamic character of career and its related career attitudes. This paper also makes suggestions on how the “intelligent career” concept can be used for exploring career meanings in a particular national setting. Finally, this paper looks at specifics of careers in Russia, which are still underrepresented in the literature.



Khapova, S.N. and Korotov, K. (2007), "Dynamics of Western career attributes in the Russian context", Career Development International, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 68-85.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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