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Time to change: the added value of an integrative approach to career research

Françoise Dany (EMLYON Business School, Écully, France)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 7 October 2014




The purpose of this paper is to call for an integrative approach to career research aiming to avoid both fragmentation and closure of the field through the discussion of a wide range of perspectives on career or career situations. The paper discusses the specificity of this integrative approach vs others, like the traditional approach or the multi or transdisciplinary approaches.


The work is based on a review of the career literature, and an analytic comparison of existing research approaches across this body of literature.


The paper shows the tendency of career theory to stick to narrow views of a career. The paper highlights the importance of taking into account the wide variety of career situations, which results from the fact that careers are necessarily located in time and space. The paper provides examples that invite to better explore career differences and seek for alternative explanations to career experiences. Because career dynamics are marked both by individual agency and different levels of structures, a more integrative kind of career research should thus trigger richer conversations among researchers regarding the complexity of the inhabited world.


The specific added value of the integrative approach suggested in this paper is to open new routes for a career theory that could become stronger and enhance its power to illuminate a wide range of issues.



Dany, F. (2014), "Time to change: the added value of an integrative approach to career research", Career Development International, Vol. 19 No. 6, pp. 718-730.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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