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Role context change and actionable career knowledge for practicing managers

Robert Laud (Department of Marketing and Management Sciences, William Paterson University of New Jersey, Wayne, New Jersey, USA)
Jorge Arevalo (Department of Marketing and Management Sciences, William Paterson University of New Jersey, Wayne, New Jersey, USA)
Matthew Johnson (Department of Statistics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 29 July 2019

Issue publication date: 29 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to examine the relevancy of traditional managerial role frameworks as perceived by practicing managers, and to identify emerging role requirements or skills required for career success.


A mixed-methods approach was conducted including survey research, empirical analysis and semi-structured consensual qualitative research interviews with 259 managers from 200 organizations.


This study demonstrates a widening gap between entrenched organization role constructs and emerging practice-driven role skills. The empirical analysis indicated little to moderate relevancy of traditional role constructs by practicing managers while follow-up interviews revealed new role requirements driven by contemporary market realities and changing managerial motivations. The findings suggest that inclusion of new practice-driven role requirements or skills are likely to be mutually beneficial and influence career success.

Research limitations/implications

The findings may limit the ability to generalize without further comparative analysis in similar/dissimilar economies.

Practical implications

Individuals will benefit by the inclusion of revised role requirements and policies that are designed to support employee-driven needs and “employability” skills that are more consistent with a careerist orientation. The organization will also benefit by having a more highly skilled workforce in key areas of competitive advantage including networking, innovation and opportunity identification.


The value of this examination is twofold. First, it extends the understanding of the diminishing relevancy of traditional managerial roles within a context of major global and social transformation. Second, it underscores the growing importance of “employability” skill sets and capabilities for managerial career aspirants facing new market realities.



Laud, R., Arevalo, J. and Johnson, M. (2019), "Role context change and actionable career knowledge for practicing managers", Career Development International, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 222-238.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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