The purpose of this research paper is to examine managers' careers, describe and compare career paths between the two most important business sectors in Finland: ICT industry and paper industry. The main research question of this study is: how do the managers construct their careers in ICT and the paper business sectors? Attempts to find out if there exists some regularity in how their careers unfold in these different working environments. What are the main factors in manager's life that direct their careers? Do they differ depending on the business sector? These questions are approached with the help of metaphors, career anchors and career ladders.
The primary research data were gathered in 2002 by interviews in Finnish ICT and paper companies where 30 managers were interviewed. The interviews were held in three companies from ICT sector and three companies from paper industry. Every interview used also a short questionnaire concerning career anchors.
According to the research data there can be noticed three types of career paths. These paths are path of a general manager, specialist and project manager. The career in both sectors begins in a position of specialist then directs towards one of these three paths. When comparing eight career anchors between ICT and paper sectors it was surprising that the greatest difference between the sectors existed concerning the security/stability anchor. Secure employment and compensation were more important to ICT managers than to paper managers. Security and stability matters seemed to be more self‐evident for the paper managers.
The research group consisted of only 30 managers and, therefore, no generalizations to a more extensive group of managers can be made. This paper concerned only two business sectors. The results of this paper cannot be transferred directly to other business sectors.
This approach can be useful in the area of career research. For example, it has already benefited a career research concerning women ICT professionals. This paper can also benefit managers in ICT and paper sectors.
This paper cover enlighten career researchers about the importance of the business sector.
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