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Explaining Company-level Influences on Individual Career Choices: Evidence from Belgium


  • Nele Soens

    () (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)

  • Ans De Vos

    () (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)

  • Dirk Buyens

    () (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, and Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)


In the current career reality people not only make traditional career transitions such as entry into and exit from the labor market or upward in-company mobility, but also horizontal movements and transitions between employment and different social spheres such as household, care and leisure time. This broad perspective on career mobility that takes into account both traditional and new kinds of career steps is an important yet understudied area. Regarding the influences of making or not making a career transition, research has limited itself to individuals shaping their own career (i.e. micro level). Little research has examined the influence that organizations may exercise on the individual?s career decision making process by means of their policies and practices (i.e. meso level). Drawing on Schmid?s model of a transitional labor market (1998), this qualitative empirical research explores the factors at company level that individuals point to as obstructing or facilitating their career transitions. Results show that organizational policies and practices do play an important role in the individual?s career trajectory as to whether or not he or she decides to undertake a transition. Implications for practitioners and policy makers are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Nele Soens & Ans De Vos & Dirk Buyens, 2006. "Explaining Company-level Influences on Individual Career Choices: Evidence from Belgium," management revue. Socio-economic Studies, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 17(3), pages 307-327.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:mamere:1861-9908_mrev_2006_03_soens

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    1. repec:ilo:ilowps:344117 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Elke Holst & Dean R. Lillard & Thomas A. DiPrete, 2001. "Proceedings of the 2000 Fourth International Conference of German Socio-Economic Panel Study Users (GSOEP 2000): Editorial Introduction," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 70(1), pages 5-6.
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    More about this item


    Career; Transitions; Labor Market; Belgium;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General


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