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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2019

Gina Gaio Santos, Ana Paula Ferreira and José Carlos Pinho

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the impact of career attitudes (traditional career vs boundaryless career) on perceived employability (internal vs external…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the impact of career attitudes (traditional career vs boundaryless career) on perceived employability (internal vs external employability). In addition, the authors examine whether career self-management strategies act as mediators of these relationships. Due to high unemployment rates in the last two decades, it is important to assess the extent to which young graduates’ career attitudes affect perceived internal and external employability, along with the role of career self-management strategies as an employability enhancement tool.

Design/methodology/approach

As part of a cross-sectional research design, the authors administered a survey questionnaire to a sample of 131 graduates (i.e. master’s students) with at least one year of work experience. The empirical data were analyzed with partial least squares structural equation modeling, which combines confirmatory factor analysis, multiple linear regression and path analysis.

Findings

The results reveal that there is a positive and significant impact (direct effect) of a traditional career attitude (TCA) on internal employability, while there is no significant negative impact of a TCA on external employability. Additionally, the results show that there is a negative impact (direct effect) of a boundaryless career attitude (BCA) on internal employability, while no significant positive impact is found of a BCA on external employability. This study also confirms the mediation effect (full mediation) of career positioning strategies on the BCA-external employability relationship, and a partial mediation of career influence strategies on the TCA-internal employability relationship.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of this study relate to the sample size and the use of a convenience sampling technique. Hence, some caution is needed regarding results’ generalization. In addition, this research uses a cross-sectional design, thus the authors cannot assess longitudinal causal relationships between variables. Future research should be replicated with different types of respondents and in different cultural contexts.

Practical implications

The results suggest that organizations would benefit more from employees that hold a TCA than those that hold a BCA, especially if they are interested in fostering the internal employability of their workforce. At the individual level, the results identify optimal career self-management strategies (internal vs external employability) for young graduates.

Originality/value

This study offers new empirical evidence of the predictive value of perceived internal vs external employability and the mediating role of career self-management strategies in explaining employability. Young graduates perceive a TCA as more advantageous than a BCA for both internal and external employability. This is an unexpected but interesting finding, since the bulk of the literature on contemporary career attitudes overemphasizes the advantages of a BCA, while disregarding potential disadvantages for both individuals and organizations.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Gina Gaio Santos

Few research has addressed the factors that undermine people’s subjective perceptions of career success. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to further illuminate the…

Abstract

Purpose

Few research has addressed the factors that undermine people’s subjective perceptions of career success. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to further illuminate the issue of career barriers in perceptions of career success for a specific group of professionals: academics.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts an interpretative-social constructionist methodology. Complementarily, it was employed a phenomenological method in data gathering and analysis – with the use of in-depth interviews and a theme analysis. The research was undertaken with a group of 87 Portuguese academics of both sexes and in different stages of their academic careers.

Findings

The findings pinpoint the existence of multi-level barriers encountered by the academics when trying to succeed in their careers. The interviewees mentioned particularly the organizational-professional career barriers pertaining to three general themes: poor collegiality and workplace relationships; the lack of organizational support and employment precariousness; and the career progression standards and expectations. At the individual life cycle level the interviewees referred to the theme of finding balance; at the same time, the gender structure was also a theme mentioned as an important career barrier in career success, particularly by the women interviewed.

Research limitations/implications

One of the limitations of this research is related to the impossibility of generalizability of its findings for the general population. Nevertheless, the researcher provides enough detail that grants the reader with the ability to judge of its similarity to other research contexts.

Practical implications

This research highlights the role played by distinct career barriers for a specific professional group: academics. This has implications for higher education policy-makers and for human resources managers in higher education institutions.

Originality/value

The current study extends the literature on career success by offering detailed anecdotal evidence on how negative work experiences might hinder career success. This research shows that to understand career barriers to success it is useful to consider multi-level factors: organizational-level factors (e.g. poor collegiality and workplace relationships); individual-level factors (e.g. life-cycle factors such as age/career stage); and structural-level factors (e.g. gender).

Details

Career Development International, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 August 2008

Gina Gaio Santos and Carlos Cabral‐Cardoso

The paper looks at the tensions and conflict between work and family life that arise from work intensification in higher education, in the particular context of Portuguese…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper looks at the tensions and conflict between work and family life that arise from work intensification in higher education, in the particular context of Portuguese academe. Drawing on the concept of work‐family culture, the paper aims to discuss its influence on the level of work‐family conflict and the effectiveness of work‐family policies.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted in a Portuguese university. Data were collected from 32 in‐depth interviews with faculty members from different backgrounds and affiliations.

Findings

The preservation of traditional gender roles in the family as well as a work‐family culture that is largely family‐unfriendly helps to understand the tensions and conflict between academic work and family life. These tensions are mainly felt by women particularly mothers of dependent children. The data also suggest that work‐family policies are fruitless unless they are supported by a positive work‐family culture.

Research limitations/implications

Study limited to a single university.

Originality/value

The paper provides evidence of the cumulative effect of the traditional division of gender roles in the family and a negative work‐family culture in the organization in contributing to increasing levels of work‐family conflict, particularly in a context of work intensification.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2020

The researchers wanted to compare a “traditional career attitude” (TCA), which stresses upward mobility at one company, with a “boundary-less career attitude” (BCA), which…

Abstract

Purpose

The researchers wanted to compare a “traditional career attitude” (TCA), which stresses upward mobility at one company, with a “boundary-less career attitude” (BCA), which focuses on career mobility

Design/methodology/approach

To test their hypotheses, the authors looked for recent master’s graduates from a large Portuguese university who had been working more than one year. They were students of business studies, human resources management, healthcare management, accounting, marketing and strategy. The graduates received questionnaires to fill in. A total of 131 completed them successfully, with 63% being female respondents.

Findings

The results showed a TCA had a positive effect on internal employability (IE), but no negative impact on external employability (EE). Meanwhile, the results also confirmed the negative impact on IE of a BCA, whereas there was no significant positive effect on EE.

Originality/value

The authors felt their study made a number of important contributions both to the academic community, and to increasing the employability of graduates.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest , vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

Keywords

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