The purpose of this paper is to disclose the perceptions of Portuguese employers regarding the transferable competencies (TCs) that enhance the employability of recent management graduates, the mechanisms for their development and the role played by different agents (faculties, students and companies) in this process.
Participants were 41 chief executive officers and human resource managers belonging to the same number of companies located in northern Portugal. A semi-structured interview guide allowed the participants to express their views through their own words and in depth.
The participants identified the TCs they seek in recent management graduates, including several cognitive competencies, emotional intelligence competencies and social intelligence competencies. They discerned the curricular internship and the Erasmus+ program as the most effective mechanisms to develop undergraduates’ TCs. The role of companies in the development of the TCs of students and recent graduates was acknowledged; nonetheless, these employers expect greater involvement from Portuguese faculties and students.
Although the results of this exploratory study cannot be generalized to the Portuguese population of employers, it contributes to uncover and understand their perceptions, hence providing a basis for subsequent investigations using larger samples.
Portugal is a particularly relevant context to conduct this research given the recent financial crisis and ensuing pressure on new graduates to deliver good performance rapidly, as well as the involvement of Portuguese universities in processes of international evaluation and accreditation. However, little information has thus far become available regarding employers’ perceptions of management graduates’ TCs.
Barbosa, I. and Freire, C. (2019), "Portuguese employers’ perceptions on management undergraduates’ transferable competencies", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 141-156. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMD-07-2017-0244Download as .RIS
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