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Studying careers across cultures: Distinguishing international, cross‐cultural, and globalization perspectives

Svenja Tams (School of Management, University of Bath, Bath, UK)
Michael B. Arthur (Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts, UK)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 13 February 2007




This paper aims to study careers across cultures, distinguishing among international career, cross‐cultural and globalization perspectives.


The conceptual development is based on a review of four empirical papers in this special issue with a focus on “Careers in cross‐cultural perspective” and other recent research in this area.


Work on international careers has traditionally looked at careers that cross national boundaries, such as those involving expatriate career assignments or self‐initiated international careers. Research into cross‐cultural careers reflects the primary work of this special issue's articles, primarily by looking at differences between two or more cultures. Career research into globalization is more recent and more tentative. It covers how careers interact with the economic, political, social and environmental changes commonly associated with the term globalization.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed framework is a reflection of current theoretical and empirical debates.


The framework offers new guidance for both interpreting existing and developing new research.



Tams, S. and Arthur, M.B. (2007), "Studying careers across cultures: Distinguishing international, cross‐cultural, and globalization perspectives", Career Development International, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 86-98.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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