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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Mary Mallon and Sara Walton

Seeks to explore how individuals talk about learning when asked about career.

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Abstract

Purpose

Seeks to explore how individuals talk about learning when asked about career.

Design/methodology/approach

Brings together three qualitative research studies, based in the UK and New Zealand on how individuals make sense of career; one focused on people in organizational employment and two on “portfolio” workers operating as freelance workers on a variety of contracts with organizations. The debate on the changing nature of careers and the imperative to life‐long learning resonates in the studies and the extent of change that has occurred is questioned.

Findings

The findings of the studies suggest that there is less learning activity (in terms of education, training or self‐development activities) being undertaken by these participants than may be expected. While participants generally believe that they should take charge of their own learning and career development, they are less sure what actions to take. Signals from the organization are still an important prompt for learning for those in employment; for those outside the lack of support and specific reasons to learn leads to a lack of formal or structured learning activity and a tendency to rely on previously learned skills.

Originality/value

The paper is offered in a spirit of exploration, based on signals from these specific data. In that vein, it makes tentative suggestions as to the implications of such data for human resource management.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Jane Bryson, Karl Pajo, Robyn Ward and Mary Mallon

The purpose of this research is to explore the interaction between organisational affordances for the development of individuals' capability, and the engagement of workers at…

6304

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to explore the interaction between organisational affordances for the development of individuals' capability, and the engagement of workers at various levels with those opportunities.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study of a large New Zealand wine company, using in‐depth interviews. Interviews were held with staff at all levels working in the vineyards or winery – the two core functions of the organisation. Transcripts were analysed drawing on Billet's notion of workplace affordances, Fuller and Unwin's restrictive‐expansive continuum, and the concept of proactive personality.

Findings

Development opportunities were differentially experienced according to level in the organisational hierarchy and function, with those higher in the organisation experiencing a more expansive environment than those in lower‐level jobs. However, where individuals were proactive, a seemingly restrictive development environment was experienced as far more expansive; just as a potentially expansive environment could be experienced as restrictive by those who did not take initiative.

Research limitations/implications

The conventional limitations of case study research apply. In particular, concerns over generalisability to other industries and organisational settings.

Practical implications

The research highlights for managers' the important role of job design and organisational characteristics that foster expansive work environments for the promotion of employee learning and development. For employees it highlights how proactive behaviour can provide opportunities for development in otherwise restrictive environments.

Originality/value

Previous research has identified differences in workplace affordances for development across organisations. The paper extends this work by showing that such differences are also evident within organisations and are associated with hierarchical position. Moreover, the paper integrates the notion of proactive behaviour, a construct that fits well with interactionist perspectives on workplace learning that emphasise the dual and reciprocal nature of contextual influences and individual agency.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 1999

Mary Mallon

The demise of the traditional career is widely heralded as is its replacement by more fluid and individual career choices. This paper reports on an exploratory investigation of…

2100

Abstract

The demise of the traditional career is widely heralded as is its replacement by more fluid and individual career choices. This paper reports on an exploratory investigation of the transition of ex‐NHS managers from managerial careers to portfolio careers. Drawing inductively on interviews with 25 managers, the paper indicates that individuals draw on a number of permeating themes to make sense of their career given the transition they have made: the “real career”; “no going back”; “values and integrity”; “development”; and “consolidation”. The paper argues that more such research is needed to explore the diverse sense making schemes drawn on by individuals experiencing career change.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 4 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

Mary Mallon

328

Abstract

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Joanne Duberley, Mary Mallon and Laurie Cohen

To apply and develop Stephen Barley's model of career structuration to offer insights into the transition into portfolio working.

2705

Abstract

Purpose

To apply and develop Stephen Barley's model of career structuration to offer insights into the transition into portfolio working.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative case study methodology is used. Interviews were conducted with managers who had left the National Health Service to develop portfolio careers.

Findings

The adoption of the Barley model of career structuration as a sensitising device has made it possible to show how individuals have drawn from existing scripts embedded in institutional forms but have also contributed to developing new career scripts, such as portfolio working. Their enactment of career scripts is a dynamic process whereby they impact back on those scripts in both intentional and unintentional ways. Thus the transformative capacity of individual career actions is asserted but, critically, alongside awareness of constraints as bound up in structures which have salience for individuals and for collectives.

Research limitations/implications

This is a study based in one large public sector organisation. Further exploration of the potential role of career as a way of understanding socially embedded action and its capacity for change is required, which takes account of different occupational settings.

Practical implications

The study outlines some of the frustrations experienced by portfolio workers and has practical implications for the ways in which they should be managed.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the debate concerning structure and agency in career theory.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1999

Mary Mallon and Catherine Cassell

This paper outlines a study designed to investigate the development needs of women managers in a large local authority in the North of England. The study arose as a result of a…

1517

Abstract

This paper outlines a study designed to investigate the development needs of women managers in a large local authority in the North of England. The study arose as a result of a proposal to design a new development programme for women within the organisation. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used and the results focus on the data from 102 questionnaires and 17 in‐depth interviews. The results highlight the factors that women managers perceive to be supportive or inhibitory to their development and provide some suggestions as to the perceived development needs of this particular group of women. It is argued that, in preparing any developmental initiative, the views of potential participants should be taken into account. Additionally, the role of discriminatory attitudes and practices in preventing the success of development opportunities for women is highlighted.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 1998

Mary Mallon

This paper explores the debate on emerging career forms, focusing on the notion of portfolio working. It comments that while the language used about careers is changing, there is…

2811

Abstract

This paper explores the debate on emerging career forms, focusing on the notion of portfolio working. It comments that while the language used about careers is changing, there is a dearth of empirical studies about career trends. This study focuses in depth on a group of ex‐public sector managers who have left organisational employment for independent working. Drawing inductively on the interviews with them, the paper seeks to explore how they account for this move. It concludes that there is more evidence of push from the organisation than the intrinsic pull of portfolio working. However, once involved in this way of working most people become more reconciled to it.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 September 2020

Ruth Simpson and Rachel Morgan

The purpose of this paper is to explore the “gendering” of contamination in the context of COVID-19 where “gendering” is taken to include other, cross-cutting areas of…

1100

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the “gendering” of contamination in the context of COVID-19 where “gendering” is taken to include other, cross-cutting areas of disadvantage.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on secondary sources to explore gender and COVID-19.

Findings

The authors show that contamination is rooted in structural disadvantage, reproducing classed, gendered and racial difference in terms of how it is encountered and experienced.

Practical implications

This “thought piece” suggests a greater awareness of how pandemics and other public health emergencies impact of structural disadvantages.

Originality/value

This “thought piece” applies notions of taint to a contemporary pandemic that has had far-reaching consequences for issues of equality.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal , vol. 35 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 November 2006

Matthew K. Wynia, Jacob F. Kurlander and Shane K. Green

Physicians are instrumental to our national defense against epidemics, whether natural or bioterror-related. Broadly speaking, they are obligated to help rapidly identify threats…

Abstract

Physicians are instrumental to our national defense against epidemics, whether natural or bioterror-related. Broadly speaking, they are obligated to help rapidly identify threats, prevent the spread of disease, and care for infected patients. Each task presents ethical challenges, including the need to address access to care, balance the medical needs of individuals and communities, and ensure that health professionals continue to treat infectious patients in spite of the risk they present. If physicians can acknowledge these duties and meet these challenges, they have an opportunity to strengthen medicine's public trust and professional identity.

Details

Ethics and Epidemics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-412-6

Book part
Publication date: 2 August 2006

Kent P. Schwirian

In the late autumn of 2002 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) broke out in Foshan city in the People's Republic of China, and over the next few months it rapidly spread to…

Abstract

In the late autumn of 2002 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) broke out in Foshan city in the People's Republic of China, and over the next few months it rapidly spread to every continent and 29 countries. Although plagues may be global events, they are ultimately fought at the local level. In discussing the SARS epidemic, I present two theses. (1) In the wake of a plague, politics tends to shape a community's response in protecting the system, evaluating performances and allocating blame, punishments, and rewards, and restructuring organizations. (2) Because of their potential for demographic and institutional destruction, systemic responses to plague tend to become entwined in politics at all levels – the local, national, and international.

Details

Community and Ecology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-410-2

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