Kels egos slides_final

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Kels egos slides_final

  1. 1. Berne University of Applied SciencesMedia&ng  with  intersected  career  boundaries.  Career  poli&cs  of   professionals  in  the  energy  supply  industry  in  Switzerland.   Dr.  Peter  Kels   Berne  University  of  Applied  Sciences   Competence  Centre  for  Corporate  &  Business  Development  
  2. 2. Berne University of Applied SciencesAim  and  subject  of  the  ar@cle  Focusing  on  the  interplay  between  career  self-­‐management  strategies  and  career  boundaries  by  1.  Presen@ng  a  theore@cal  framework  (“career  poli@cs”)  &   reinven@ng  some  basis  assump@ons  of  career  theory  2.  An  explora@on  of  the  complex  rela@onship  of  career  self-­‐ management  and  career  boundaries  based  on  an  company   case  study  located  in  the  Swiss  energy  supply  industry  3.  Drawing  a  conclusion  for  the  debate  on  “boundaryless”   careers  and  career  boundaries   2  
  3. 3. Berne University of Applied SciencesTheore@cal  Framework:  The  concept  of  “career  poli@cs”  -  Basic  assump&ons:   1.  Context-­‐dependency:  The  acquisi@on  of  career  capital  is  bounded  to  different   work-­‐related  contexts  and  the  cri@cal  role  of  gatekeepers     (in  organiza@ons,  occupa@ons,  industries,  social  networks)   2.  Social  embeddedness:  Careers  and  career  poli@cs  relate  to  social   rela@onships,  roles  and  iden@@es  in  work/outside  the  world  of  work.  -  Careers  poli&cs  can  be  understood  as  reflexive  modes  coping  with  and   media&ng  constraints  and  boundaries  individuals  are  faced  with  in  their   career  field  and  life  situa@on   3  
  4. 4. Berne University of Applied SciencesMethodology  -  Interim  results  taken  from  the  ongoing  research  project  MAPCA,  located  at  the  Berne   University  of  Applied  Sciences  (Managing  Professionals  Careers  in  knowledge-­‐based  companies)  -  MAPCA  is  aimed  at  the  occupa@onal,  company-­‐specific  opportuni@es  for  career   advancement  as  well  as  the  career  concepts  and  strategies  of  professional  employees  in   knowledge  and  technology-­‐intensive  companies  (www.mapca.ch)  -  3  areas  of  knowledge-­‐based  work  examined:  engineering,  project  management  and  energy   trading   Organiza(onal  career  opportuni(es  and   Career  poli(cs  media(ng  with  organiza(onal   boundaries   career  boundaries   11  expert  interviews  with  HR  and  line  managers   15  problem-­‐centric  interviews  (Witzel  2000)   with  professionals  with  family  responsibili@es   Document  of  related  firm-­‐specific  documents   4  
  5. 5. Berne University of Applied SciencesCase  Study  DISCUSSION  OF  RESULTS   5  
  6. 6. Berne University of Applied SciencesCareer  opportuni@es  and  boundaries  at  “Energy”  -  Absence  of  alterna@ve,  officially  valued  career  tracks  beside  the  management  track  -  Hierarchical  progression,  leadership  responsibili@es  and  pres@ge  as  prevalent  no@ons  of   an  organiza@onal  career  -  “Post-­‐bureaucra@c”,  subjec@ve  career  concepts  play  a  vital  role  for  direc@ng  professional   biographies,  but  are  not  recognized  in  the  corporate  culture  -  Careers  progression  s@ll  seem  subject  to  informal,  poli@cized  powerplays  and   intransparent  decisions  of  an  elite  of  male  execu@ves  -  The  influence  of  HR  strategies  and  suppor@ng  infrastructure  on  individual  career   progression  seems  rela@vely  marginal  -  Ques@on:  How  do  talents  in  knowledge-­‐intense  fields    cope  with  these  boundaries?  Are   they  able  to  trangress  them?     6  
  7. 7. Berne University of Applied SciencesCareer  poli@cs  media@ng  with  intersected  career  boundaries.  Type  1:  Technical  Professionals  -  Career  ra@onality  focused  on  gaining  and  expanding  their  professional   skills  and  experiences  in  technical  fields  -  Professional  self-­‐concept:  being  an  engineer,  ideals  of  professional   communi@es  -  Conflict:  cogni@ve  dissonance  between  career  progression  (management)   and  preserving  their  achieved  career  iden@ty  as  an  Technical  Professional:    “If  I  would  achieve  a  career  step,  then  I  will  automa@cally  take  away  my  own   technical  work.”    -  Two  different  coping  strategies:         1.  Refusing  leadership  responsibili@es  and   acquiring  a  cross-­‐company  reputa@on  as  a   Technical  expert  in  a  specific  professional   domain.   2.  Moving  into  leadership  posi@ons  on  lower   levels  and  stay  near  to  their  “community  of   prac@ce”   7  
  8. 8. Berne University of Applied SciencesCareer  poli@cs  media@ng  with  intersected  career  boundaries.  Type  2:  Versa@lists  -  Career  ra@onality  focused  on  developing  a  polyvalent  porfolio  of  competencies  -  Professional  self-­‐concept:  Intellectual  flexibility,  networking  competencies,  a   business  orienta@on  and  a  strong  affinity  to  conceptual,  entrepreneurial  tasks  -  Career  orienta@on:  expansion  of  responsibili@es  in  the  field  of  project  management   and  business  development  -  Career  Strategy:  nego@a@ng  career  opportuni@es  customized  to  individual  needs:    “If  energy  wants  to  retain  me,  they  have  to  plan  step  for  me  and  have  to  say,  okay,  we  will   support  you  on  your  way”.    -  In  the  case  of  family  responsibili@es:  finding  a  good  compromise  between  own   career  ambi@ons,  career  opportuni@es  and  work-­‐life-­‐balance.   8  
  9. 9. Berne University of Applied SciencesCareer  poli@cs  media@ng  with  intersected  career  boundaries.  Type  3:  Autonomy-­‐Seekers  -  Career  ra@onality  focused  self-­‐determina@on  in  their  work  -  Professional  self-­‐concept:  being  a  top-­‐talent  with  a  broad  range  of  capabili@es,   performing  in  an  excellent  way,  collaborate  with  other  high-­‐performers    -  Career  ambi@ons  are  not  bound  to  specific  professions,  occupa@ons  or   organiza@ons  -  Concept  of  subjec@ve  career  success:  using  opportuni@es  to  prove  themselves  in   changing  roles,  knowledge  areas,  and  working  iden@@es  (in  the  life  course)  -  Career  strategy:  crea@ng  “privileged  rela@onships”  to  supervisors:                      “I’m  in  a  posi@on  where  I  can  choose  which  problems  I  would  like        to  work  on  and  which  of  them  not.  I  have  a  rela@vely  privileged      rela@onship  with  my  boss,  because  he  knows  that  I’m  good  at        things  I  like.  Therefore,  he  gives  me  a  lot  of  freedom  to  perform        well,  and  that  is  in  his  and  my  interest.”       9  
  10. 10. Berne University of Applied SciencesConclusion  -  Evidence  of  a  coexistence  of  bounded  and  boundaryless  career  concepts  within  the  workforce   of  single  organiza@ons  -  The  tradi&onal  culture/structures  of  corporate  careers  (hierarchical  progression,  undisrupted   career  moves,  gendered  careers,  posi@onal  power  of  management  elites)  persist  -  No&ons  of  subjec&ve  career  success  (fulfilling  work,  professional  autonomy,  integra@on  of   work  and  life)  are  central  career  orienta&ons  in  the  field  of  knowledge-­‐based  work  -  “Loose  coupling”  (Mayrhofer  et  al  2004)  between  organiza&onal  and  individual  career  poli&cs  -  Transferable  career  competencies  don’t  lead  necessarily  to  “boundaryless  careers”:  they  are   ojen@mes  used  to  nego&ate  or  create  career  opportuni&es  within  the  organiza&onal  context     10  

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