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Same Same but Different – Changing Career Expectations in Germany?


  • Ralph Kattenbach
  • Janine Luecke
  • Michael Schlese
  • Florian Schramm


Contemporary career research assumes more flexible career patterns implying increased job mobility. However, there is growing doubt that the proclaimed change is as drastic as has been suggested. We provide empirical evidence on career expectations in Germany between 1999 and 2009, arguing that objective career mobility is both a) mirrored by and b) a consequence of such expectations. Using data from the German socio-economic panel, we test for a general shift in subjective career expectations, job insecurity, and turnover intention among male and female white collar employees and managers. The major finding is that career expectations remain quite stable over time. Managers and professionals have more positive career expectations than other white collar employees but there is not a growing gap. Regarding the impact of explaining factors on job expectations, there is again no detectable trend. With this in mind, changes in workforce composition and characteristics of specific occupational groups prove to be more relevant for career expectations than a shift towards boundaryless aspirations.

Suggested Citation

  • Ralph Kattenbach & Janine Luecke & Michael Schlese & Florian Schramm, 2011. "Same Same but Different – Changing Career Expectations in Germany?," Zeitschrift fuer Personalforschung. German Journal of Research in Human Resource Management, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 25(4), pages 292-312.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:zfpers:doi_10.1688/1862-0000_zfp_2011_04_kattenbach

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    Cited by:

    1. Schazia Sara Delhvi & Stefan Süß, 2016. "Careers and career research in Germany: a literature review," Management Review Quarterly, Springer;Vienna University of Economics and Business, vol. 66(1), pages 1-31, February.

    More about this item


    boundaryless career; job insecurity; job expectations; turnover intention; job mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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