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Early Careers of Managers and Young Professionals. An Integrative Approach to Contemporary Careers


  • Doris Hanappi


Based on insights from recent career research, the present study analyses the correlation between individual characteristics of university and polytechnics graduates and early career outcomes, and delineates the impact of higher education, as a key element within social structure. Departing from a sociological perspective and using the framework of sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, a theoretical model is presented, adopting a career field and habitus perspective of careers. This approach accounts for dual recognition processes of capital, based on the concept of habitus, career fields and types of capital. It is enhanced by integrating a signaling model of economist Michael Spence to convert the rather attribution-theory-based process of recognition of capital into a reciprocal process of signaling and attributing. Perspectives are unified on the basis of a meta-theoretical congruence concerning structure and agency, by introducing a revised concept of “ability” and a differentiated notion of the habitus. The theoretical model which is derived from the basic structure of the habitus-based approach, enhanced by the process element of signaling, allows for macro-trends of increased market-type interaction. A first attempt to test hypotheses against above theoretical background is undertaken to underscore group differences in socio-economic, psychological and behavioural attributes.

Suggested Citation

  • Doris Hanappi, 2007. "Early Careers of Managers and Young Professionals. An Integrative Approach to Contemporary Careers," Books, Rainer Hampp Verlag, edition 1, number 9783866181731.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:rhbook:9783866181731

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    occupational research; transition to work; occupational choice; occupational qualification; educational policy; personnel selection;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation


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