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Africa: a fertile but “uncharted” territory for career studies

Afam Ituma (Bournemouth Business School, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK)

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies

ISSN: 2040-0705

Article publication date: 20 September 2011




This paper aims to stimulate scholarly interest in career dynamics in the African continent and to highlight a useful analytical framework for studying career dynamics within the continent. It is a step towards countering the hegemony of the Anglo‐Saxon conception of careers.


The approach taken is a literature review that introduces the topic and provides some background and discussion of the key analytical frameworks in cross‐national studies.


A review of the extant literature on careers revealed a dearth of knowledge on career dynamics in Africa. The paper contributes to the literature by providing a concise discussion of the two most dominant theoretical approaches (the culturalist and the institutionalist) which are often invoked in studying career dynamics within and across national contexts.

Research limitations/implications

The effect of national culture on career dynamics should not be overstated. There is a need for career scholars to move beyond cultural explanations of career dynamics and embrace a more institutionalist approach in the study of career dynamics in the African context.


Career studies from an African perspective is currently underdeveloped. This paper represents the first major attempt to stimulate scholarly interest in this area. It generates insights that are expected to aid the development of more research on career dynamics in Africa, a relatively neglected, though important, empirical site.



Ituma, A. (2011), "Africa: a fertile but “uncharted” territory for career studies", African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 243-254.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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