Intelligent career exploration (ICCS) - the world is changing and career management is becoming more complex for individuals from all walks of life. A theoretical concept with practical application, particularly for those working with adults in private and public sector arenas.
Thanks for the introduction. Looking forward to the conference: conversation between academic and practitioners; hearing the other speakers; joining in the workshops; the promise of the days ahead! Here’s my title, reflecting my marching orders to offer an overview of what we might call career studies… FYI: Copies of these slides are in your packets, and they include a references list at the end.
Let me also thank American cartoonist Bill Waterman, and his characters Calvin & Hobbes, who had a long shared career as one of America’s favorite comic strips. One thing we know for sure is that everything changes – but that by griping about change we can bring stability back in! Let’s not gripe too quickly – and keep change in our minds as we proceed…
Let’s get some conversation going before we go any further. Please select and think about any one of these five definitions of career. Ask for volunteers to talk about each. Reveal I and 2 are OED; 3 is US authors Brown & Brooks – after US founder of vocational guidance Frank Parsons in 1909; 4 is one of Donald Super’s various definitions; 5 is a popular definition in career studies. What does the 5 th definition offer? Non-restrictive; distinct from the life course; insists on relevance of time; fills what would otherwise be a great gap in our vocabulary!
So what are career studies? Twin points of departure One everyone here has heard of (vocational guidance) and… Maybe only some of us have heard of the Chicago School… Right? These distinctly separate approached were brought together by scholars at MIT in the 1970s…
Let’s talk more about the Chicago School, and esp. about one of its leaders (Everett Hughes): Obj. AND subj. sides of the career Continuous INTERDEPENDENCE between them Identities and social roles as two sides of the same coin, each amenable to change The focus was on career processes and transitions GIVE AN EXAMPLE! Today, prominent scholars In the US (Karl Weick. a social psychologist) and the UK (Anthony Giddens, a sociologist) both offer variations on these ideas: that workers and their environments are interdependent, and each influences the other.
Let’s return to the MIT group – one I was fortunate to connect with when I started working in Boston. They saw a clear lack of communication between psychological and sociological perspectives on careers. They called for rapprochement, but there was a missed opportunity: The three principals went off in different directions... Some vocational guidance scholars switched their language to careers and career development, but didn’t change their thinking…
Speaking of career development, here’s John Van Maanen and Ed Schein’s definition of career development. There’s only one definition this time, but what do you think of it? NB: It’s robustness! It’s potential for common ground, whether we are talking about organizational careers, occupational careers, careers in public service, careers in industry clusters like Silicon Ditch in Thames Valley, network-based careers, virtual careers, global careers and so on…
So what happened after the MIT initiative? 1) The adoption of career studies in mgmt. res., & emergence of a “Careers Division” in the Academy of Management. Who’s hear of?: a) Handbook of Career Theory: Ref. Birkbeck College use. “Current” vs. “new” approaches. Ch. on “trait-factor theories,” i.e. on mainstream voc. guid. theories, one chapter in 20. b) The Boundaryless Career? Term a response to a 1993 AofM conference theme of “The Boundaryless Organization.” Invites us to drop existing assumptions about career continuity - inside either organizations or occupations! c)More recently, the “Handbook of Career Studies” came along, with an even wider look at the context and variety of institutions in which careers unfold.
So here’s where we stand On your right is one tradition, commonly practiced in schools of education and focused on occupations. On your left is the career studies tradition, often practiced in schools of management and focused on organizations. Both now acknowledge greater likelihood of mobility – across occupations or organizations respectively. Each tradition sees different aspects of the changing economy, hence loops A,B,C and E,F,G. However, there’s relatively limited connection at point D. Perhaps its our shared experience of the changing economy that provides our best shot to bring these two traditions closer together.
Perhaps at least we can all agree that these are interesting times: We don’t trust the government or our other major institutions. We’ve undermined all authority. It’s a six-year-old’s dream come true! It may be fun to undermine authority, but it’s not fun to see people out of work. How can we help?
In other words, where can we go in bringing these two traditions together, as well as connecting theory and practice? Let me suggest two ideas: That we share a focus in the global knowledge economy, and… We focus on interdisciplinary conversations… What do we mean?...
Of course people have varying levels of talent and education. Also, we don’t want to focus on the careers of the few over the well-being of the many. But these trends seem irreversible: A shift toward more knowledge-based careers With the arrival of the Web, a shift toward more virtual careers Career communities that coalesce around shared career interests, and make widespread use the Web (e.g. Linux) More examples of identity transformation as careers progress A stronger emphasis on social capital, whether through bonding together or bridging to make new connections The emergence of what we can now call global careers, with associated skill sets in global communications and management We also have a division in our midst, between those who regret the lost gains of employment security and those who see new opportunities from change. Would you agree?
Regarding interdisciplinary conversations, what’s your own experience here? When you ask someone to tell you about his or her career, what do you hear? (Fish for e.g. a) individual differences, b) aptitudes and education, and c) mentors and networks, etc... So our career conversations are all over the place, right? We’re not staying inside any one academic discipline, right? Now what do scholars talk about? (Fish for disciplinary conceit, academic snobbery, etc!) Let me offer an example from my own recent work…
The figure picks up on an approach to the idea of “intelligent careers” about which Svenja Tams, Clare Stott and I will be talking in a workshop tomorrow. The intelligent careers approach suggests we develop our careers through three “ways of knowing” – describe them. Also, as was being suggested by some of the examples about career conversations we just shared, there are these three links (give examples) OK? Now let’s use this framework to ask what scholars talk about…
The link from knowing-why to knowing-how is the primary domain of vocational guidance. That is, it looks at our identities, interests and motivation to make predictions about how we will perform in certain lines of work. OK?
At the same time, there is another group of psychologists, this time humanistic psychologists, who take their cue from people like Abraham Maslow. These people make generalizations about effective job design and its predictable effect on our motivation. OK?
Moving on, proponents of leadership theory are interested in the effect of a leader’s skills on his or her followers.
At the same time, sociologists (not psychologists, but people who think about collective behavior) make claims about how our understanding about groups can be usefully included in job design. Those claims are reflected in what’s called socio-technical systems theory.
Moving on, traditional sociology claims that social forces influence the person – the usual stuff about social, parental and residential background affecting the way we see ourselves…
Finally, another group of psychologists (including some from the vocational guidance school identified earlier) saying that who we are influences the friends we make.
So we end up with six separate streams of research addressing one of six unidirectional links in the overall model. Moreover, there are powerful claims about relevant evidence serving each of these streams. Each social science has its own journals, and expectations that its participants ought to publish in those journals. Vocational guidance journals tend not to cover socio-technical systems thinking, and vice-versa. These encourage scholars – including careers scholars – to look past each other. We don’t want to know about competing explanations. Right? Let’s not talk about research methods or we’ll be here all day!...
As we agreed (?) earlier, we need interdisciplinary ideas to help us in our work with careers. The bad news is what we had on the last slide, scholars talking to one another in cliques, leaving individuals and their career counselors largely on their own. The good news is that we’re talking. The University of Reading has brought us together, and arranged a a series of speakers who’ve all thought about the issues posed. Importantly, they’ve also arranged a mixed group of scholars and practitioners, with questions about practice at the heart of the agenda. So we have a real opportunity here…
So are our destinies controlled by the stars, or can we do whatever we want with our lives, or are we stuck because of who are parents are? Let’s be sure to note that this in interdisciplinary humor: Hobbes’s answer to the question is psychological, but Calvin brings things back to a sociological view, and the role of Hobbes in Calvin’s learning is social-psychological. So maybe – just maybe – interdisciplinary thinkers can have more fun!
Let me close by urging us all to not only enjoy that shared conversation over the next two days, but also (and in the end more importantly) – to keep the conversation going after that. OK?? Thanks for your time. (Next slide) Questions?
Contact: Dr Deirdre Hughes, Director, DMH Associates for more information Email: [email_address]
Professor Michael Arthur career studies sep 02 09
Promoting Career Studies in Theory and Practice (A Conversation) Michael B Arthur Suffolk University, Boston, MA
The meaning of “career” <ul><li>A person's course or progress through life esp. when publicly conspicuous, or abounding in remarkable incidents. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>A course of professional life or employment, which affords opportunity for progress or advancement in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>The consequence of “vocational choice” – understanding the self, the requirements for success, and reasoning between these. </li></ul><ul><li>The sequence and combination of roles that a person plays during the course of a lifetime. </li></ul><ul><li>The evolving sequence of a person’s work experiences over time. </li></ul>
Career Studies <ul><li>Twin points of departure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vocational guidance (1900s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Chicago School of Sociology (1930s) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) initiative (1970s) </li></ul>
The Chicago School <ul><li>Everett Hughes (1957): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objective and subjective sides of the career </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interdependence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual identities and social roles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Career processes and transitions </li></ul><ul><li>Forerunner of Karl Weick’s enactment , Anthony Giddens’ structuration </li></ul>
The MIT initiative <ul><li>Bailyn, Schein & Van Maanen (1970s) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A “curious hiatus” between psychological, sociological perspectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A call for rapprochement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A missed opportunity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management school outcomes </li></ul></ul>
The MIT Initiative <ul><li>Definition of career development: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ [A] lifelong process of working out a synthesis between individual interests and the opportunities (or limitations) present in the external work-related environment, so that both individual and environmental objectives are fulfilled.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Van Maanen and Schein (1977) </li></ul></ul>
Beyond the MIT Initiative <ul><li>Handbook of Career Theory (1989) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current vs. “new” perspectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Trait-factor theories” vs. other approaches </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Boundaryless Career (1996) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Looking outside single institutional (organizational or occupational) settings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Handbook of Career Studies (2007) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expanded treatments of contexts, institutions, synthesis </li></ul></ul>
Two continuing traditions Schools of Education Schools of Management Organizations Occupations The economy A B C D E F G Educational vs. Management School Approaches to Careers (Arthur, 2008)
Where to go? <ul><li>The global knowledge economy </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoy interdisciplinary conversations </li></ul>
The global knowledge-driven economy <ul><li>Knowledge-based careers </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual careers </li></ul><ul><li>Career communities </li></ul><ul><li>Identity development </li></ul><ul><li>Social capital </li></ul><ul><li>Global careers </li></ul><ul><li>Lost gains vs. new opportunities </li></ul>
Interdisciplinary Conversations? <ul><li>What do people talk about? </li></ul><ul><li>What do scholars talk about? </li></ul>
Three “ways of knowing” Knowing- why: Identity, interests, motivation Knowing- how: Skills and expertise Knowing- whom: Relationships and reputation
Scholarly conversations? Knowing- why: Identity, interests, motivation Knowing- how: Skills and expertise Knowing- whom: Relationships and reputation Vocational guidance
Knowing-how: Individual skills and expertise Knowing-whom: Relationships and reputation Why do we work? Scholarly conversations?
Career Studies as Interdisciplinary <ul><li>The bad news </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate conversations, partial solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Career actors, counselors left to improvise </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The good news </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We’re talking! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Theorists and practitioners </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There’s an opportunity! </li></ul>
Career studies <ul><li>Let’s start that shared conversation </li></ul><ul><li>and </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s keep it going! </li></ul>
<ul><li>References: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Arthur, M. B. (2008). Examining contemporary careers: a call for interdisciplinary inquiry. Human Relations, 61 , 163 - 186. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arthur, M. B., Hall, D. T. & Lawrence, B. S. (1989) Handbook of Career Theory . Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arthur, M. B. & Rousseau, D. M. (1996) The Boundaryless Career . Oxford: Oxford University Press. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Giddens, A. (1984) The Constitution of Society. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gunz, H. & Peiperl, M. (2007) Handbook of Career Studies . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hughes, E. C. (1958). Men and Their Work. Glencoe, IL: Free Press. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parker, Khapova and Arthur (in press) The intelligent career framework as a basis for interdisciplinary inquiry, Journal of Vocational Behavior . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Super, D. E. Life career roles: self-realization in work and leisure. In D. T. Hall & Associates, Career Development in Organizations , San Francisco, Jossey Bass, pp. 95-119 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Van Maanen, J, & Schein, E. H. (1977). Career development. In J. R. Hackman & J. L. Suttle (Eds.) Improving Life at Work: Behavioral Science Approaches to Organizational Change , 30-95. Santa Monica, CA: Goodyear. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weick, K. E. (1996). Enactment and the boundaryless career: organizing as we work. In M. B. Arthur, & D. M. Rousseau (Eds.), The Boundaryless Career . New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 40-57 </li></ul></ul>