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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Career Management in an Organisation

Literature Review

With the fast paced and unprecedented development of the workplace, every organisation must grow in correspondence with the changes (Hall & Moss 1998; Metcalf & Briody 1995; Watts 1996). In order for an organisation or industry to be more competitive in the marketplace, the management must always see to it that they use a management system and strategy that would sustain the capability, strength and competitive position (Pearce & Robinson 2000; Thompson & Strickland 2003). Industries which consider changes with their management system or any other critical aspects of their business operation are those industries which are aware of the positive benefits that these changes may bring (Yee 1998). Hence, the emergence of effective career management is vital and goes hand in hand with career development.
Career management (Wikipedia 2006) is the process of making career choices and decisions, managing the organizational and boundless careers, and taking control of one’s personal development. As applied to an organisational level, it is the key to achieve goals of ensuring the skills and competencies of people for future employment and management of new work and life realities (Moses 1995). For organisations need people who are multitalented, effective in managing changes, and adaptive to new organisational directions, career management serves as the key for individual and organisational development.
In view of this, the researcher has referred to several existing articles and studies that have presented different views on how career management affects an organization. The gathered literatures have been compared, collated and referenced by the author. It is greatly believed that the cited literatures have sought to quantitatively and qualitatively analyze the effects of career management, thus they have been included in this review.
By conducting this literature review, the researcher may: discover precise recommendations for further research and thus may find justification for one’s own research objectives; avoid repeating works that has been already done; gain noteworthy insights into the aspects of one’s research objectives; and, discover research approaches, strategies and techniques that may be appropriate to one’s own research (Gall et al. 1996).

Career and Career Management
    Career is a course of a person’s successive situations in his/her work life (Wikipedia 2006). For the past decades, it has been figured out by experts to plan and design career. Hence, career management was innovatively introduced to serve as the blueprint for success.
    On an interview, Rowan Manahan of Fortify Services, he believed that: “full-on career management requires professionalism, total commitment and large reserves of enthusiasm and energy every step of the way.” He added that career management is not an innate talent but a process to be learned. It is not a ‘frivolous luxury’ but a ‘necessity’ in the workforce. Career management is, at its most fundamental level, all about survival in these increasingly uncertain times. It is about carefully building and nurturing people’s skills and reputation (Manahan 2004).
The concept of career management has expanded in recent years because of ‘simple economics’. (Manahan 2004) People recognise a need for it. A comprehensive review of how diversified organizational career management techniques influence business strategy was documented by Stumpf (1988). Literatures on individual and organisation career planning indicate the variation of goals and responsibilities of each. The extent of career management creates stronger organisational incentive to promote efficiency; firms are likely to restructure employment relationship toward more meritocratic distribution of material rewards and career chances (Pfeffer & Salancik 1978). Individual and organisational career management offers advances for career progression. The most excellent career management systems combine these advances in order to achieve its respective objectives (Schein 1978; Vardi 1980). For instance, in building alternative career management systems on future officer (Berends et al. 2001), organizations used variations available to policymakers in the design features of four personnel functions such as accessing, developing, promoting, and transitioning. These personnel functions integrate the individual's capabilities with the requirements of the position and affect outcomes. Manipulating personnel functions can provide variation within a career system depending on the choices made about the system's various aspects.
Furthermore, Ornstein and Isabella (1993) and Chartrand and Camp (1991) presented extensive literature reviews from the employee's perspective, while Feldman (1989) and Russell (1991) provided summaries of the research from the organizational perspective. In connection to the role of human resource management, Vaughn and Wilson (1994) described a technique to help human resource specialists, line managers and interested employees identify previously uncharted career paths for internal transfers using Job Trees. In this article, the authors combined some of the traditional skill identifications with organizational trait characteristics, work flow patterns, and existing internal and external relationships representing how the organization actually operates.
The prevalence of formal employment in the urban economy necessitates a fine-tuned fundamental model that takes organizations into account (Stolzenberg 1978). Although spontaneous routines may indeed emerge in response to state plans and other external demands (e.g., Stark 1986), insofar as bureaucratic control dominates organizational design
    The anthologies of researches and studies on career management obviously tackle to the systematic and progressive growth of people’s and organisation’s careers. It primarily dealt on the subjects of individual and organizational development and improvement. Using such references, it could be supposed that career management is applied as essential aspect of management in order to go along with the current changes of the competitive marketplace.

Planned Happenstance Theory
    In the discussion of career management, the presence of Planned Happenstance Theory is expected. It provides a strong framework from which to research career management. As a career theory, planned happenstance offers an additional dimension to Krumboltz's (1979) career decision-making model (Mitchell, Levin, & Krumboltz 1999). Within this career theory, there are several individual attributes and attitudes acknowledged as potentially helpful in managing careers in the often chaotic world of work. As understood, the ideas of curiosity and openness from this theory is a commitment to continuous learning and skill development–which involves ongoing self-assessment and realistic feedback from others, as well as “benchmarking” skills and keeping them current. This is central to most literature on career management (Bridges 1997; Hill 1998; Kaye 1997; Kidd 1998; Moses 1995, 1999; Porter, Porter, & Bennett 1998; Shahnasarian 1994).
    There are five attitudes that are essential to recognizing, creating, and using chance as an opportunity (Hagevik 2000):
1. curiosity - which will prompt you to explore new learning opportunities;

2. persistence - which means you exert extra effort despite setbacks;

3. flexibility - which enables you to change attitudes and circumstances;

4. optimism - which will allow you to view new opportunities as possible and attainable; and

5. the willingness to take risks, which will enable you to act in the face of uncertainty.

A good career management theory must account for the limited degree to which workers have control over their own career experiences and satisfaction and organizations have control over the work environments that they provide. Gelatt (1991) spoke of approaching careers with an attitude of “positive uncertainty.” Further, Savickas (1997) suggested that “career adaptability” may be the core construct in Super’s life-span, life-space theory. Literature from employer surveys that flexibility, adaptability, and problem solving skills are held in high regard in the corporate world (Business Council of British Columbia 1999; Corporate Council on Education 1992). Many recent articles have recognized the impact of “serendipity” on career management, especially in these times of rapid change (Krumboltz 1998; Watts 1996; Williams et al. 1998).

Effects of Career Management in Organisations
The issues of career mobility and employment relationship cannot be adequately addressed without systematic incorporation of organisations. Given the longstanding theoretical and practical interests in markets and economic development (e.g., Bates 1989; Evans 1995; Sachs 1992), important questions related to the impact of career management on organisational practices in hiring, promotion, and compensation have yet to receive their share of attention. However, career management effects on every organizational environment are undeniably useful.
One persuasive reason on why organizations offer career management is that the process serves as a means to recruit and retain the best employees for the job to sustain competitive advantage. Believing that the most important asset of a business is the people, appropriate recruiting and retention of workforce to achieve sustained business success is vital. Therefore, the crucial role of human resource professionals in career management must include employee recruitment and selection, performance evaluation, compensation and benefits, professional development, safety and health, forecasting, and labour relations (Lipiec 2001). David Baxter (2000 p.1) warned every organisation that “the challenges of retaining and recruiting human resources will become a paramount in the operations” more so that many sectors of every company is entering an era of critical labour shortages. And with effective career management, human resource and its scientific process will not be at risk. Vaughn and Wilson (1994) described a technique to help human resource specialists, line managers and interested employees identify previously uncharted career paths for internal transfers using Job Trees. In this article, the authors combined some of the traditional skill identifications with organizational trait characteristics, work flow patterns, and existing internal and external relationships representing how the organization actually operates.
Recruiting the best person to occupy a position in a company means higher chances of efficiency. Retaining company’s best work assets is sustaining the growing competitive edge of the organisation. Hence, by doing such career management, productivity and progression is ensured. This is another reason why organizations engage in career management is productivity. The quality of the workforce predefines the possible outputs of the organisation. A weak workforce means poor labour while a strong workforce is more. Productivity is the measurement of organizational growth. By utilizing career management systems, the productivity of the organisation is near at hand. Orpen (1994) stated that productivity may come from a dedicated and well-motivated workforce. Through motivation, it can be assumed as the reason or the force behind why a person does well in work. Sometimes, it is also a means to make the person perform better and more efficient. Basically there are three assumptions in human motivation established in research. The first one assumes that motivation is inferred from a systematic analysis of how personal, task and environmental characteristics influence behaviour and job performance (Wiley 1997). The next one infers that motivation is not a fixed trait; but rather it refers to a dynamic internal state resulting from the influence of personal and situational factors (Wiley 1997). This means that motivation may change with changes in personal, social or other factors (Wiley 1997). Finally, motivation affects behaviour, rather than performance (Nicholson, 1995; Wiley, 1997). Wiley explained: “Initiatives designed to enhance job performance by increasing employee motivation may not be successful if there is a weak link between job performance and an employee’s efforts” (p.263). Additionally, productivity also comes from the workforce that is equipped and prepared with the right mixture of talent and skills or ‘hot skills’ to do the work required by an organisation (Cole-Gomoloski 1998; Griffith 1998; Hayes 1999; Young 1999). By means of effective recruitment and employee motivation, development is workable.
Aside from organizational results, career management may also help individuals to balance their work and family life, and link their personal career goals to the emerging needs of their employer, industry, or community (Moses 1995; Simonsen 1997). By means of balancing work and life of employees, the contributions in the progression of the organisation is focused and defined. Since market-dependent firms have more at stake in maintaining a high level of employee competence, these organizations should be more likely than others to adapt effective career management processes in favour of human capital. In order for an organisation to take advantage on the effects of career management, career managers and administration should equip people to benchmark their skills, anticipate upcoming skill demands, and commit to continuous learning (Kaye 1997; Moses 1995; Simonsen 1997). During these rapid and competitive changing times, employees as well as organizations need to help each other to facilitate the achievement of company’s goals and objectives. Organizations must identify specific skills and competencies that will maximize the company’s growth.
Lastly, career management may also help individuals to balance their work and family life, and link their personal career goals to the emerging needs of their employer, industry, or community (Moses 1995; Simonsen 1997). Balance is not so much a career management variable as it is a life management variable that permits one to achieve career success while remaining satisfied. This explanation would support Moses’ (1999) call for workers of the future to take time to recharge. However, the idea that every employee possesses a succinct picture of the goals and objectives s/he wants to achieve is finite.
    Career management affect the organisation in terms of the workforce and its productivity. The bottom line is the effectiveness of the process in making career choices and decisions, managing the organizational and boundless careers, and taking control of one’s personal development.

Career Development vs. Career Management
    Poehnell and Amundson (2000) argued that the term “management”. The term has been traditionally used but it seemed to be problematic when applied to careers. It may entail a degree of control over career development that is unrealistic in today’s climate of unprecedented organizational change. Although the terms career development and career management are used somewhat interchangeably in career-related literature, in the present study the term “career management” is preferred as it tends to emphasize an active, purposeful approach. However, the interconnectedness of the two synonymous terms is both vital. In an organizational perspective, the application of such concepts is equivalent to the nature of the organizational success.
Career development in an organisation is directed on ‘how individuals manage their careers within and between organizations and how organizations structure the career progress of their members’ (Wikipedia 2006).
In developing effective workforce, the management should always bear in mind that they are accountable for the growth and development of the organisation and the employees as well.  Employees must be given a chance to develop their career in the organisation, not only for the advantages that they can get for themselves but also for the organisation.  One of the obligations of the an organisation, specifically the management is to be able understand that the primary goal of career development is to help employees analyze their abilities, skills, and interests to better match personnel needs for growth and development to the needs of the organisation (Johnson & Scholes 1997). Secondly, the company must be able to identify the factors in maintaining a successful career development program. There are three type of planning which is relates to career development: Broad Life Planning, Development Planning and the Performance Planning. The organisation should incorporate each of these into the career development program. Moreover, the human management of the company should be able to identify their general obligations in the area of career development as well as their specific responsibilities to their employer and the organisation (Gallie 1998).The management should also be able to identify methods for improving the harmony between the individual and the organisation related to the development of their career. Lastly, the management should be able to apply career development in the setting of the organisation (Henderson 1996).
There are organisational activities designed to enhance the career development. These include the following: the establishment of the job posting system, the development of career resource centres, the training of managers as career counsellors, the planning, and implementing of career development workshops, human resource planning, and forecasting, utilizing performance appraisals and developing career pathing programs (Eggland, Gilley & Wesley 1998). According to Zenger (1981), the organisation maintains several fundamental responsibilities regarding career development. The organisation must be able to agree that that career pathing is a vital part of the organisation.
    Career development describes the structure and longitudinal nature of career behaviour, as well as the psychological, cultural, economic, and political influences that involvement strategies might transform in order to facilitate more positive and purposeful career behaviour than would likely occur randomly (Borgen & Young 1990). Furthermore, agility, strength, precise movement and the ability to deal with continuous change are key attributes in career development (Aldisert 2000).
    Meanwhile, in a study conducted by Magnuson, Norem and Wilcoxon (2003), professional growth provided support for applying the planned happenstance theory of career development to leadership development. With the presence of the aspect of continuous learning in this theory, learning in the organisation occurs.

Career Management Strategies and Attitudes
    In line with the Planned Happenstance Theory, there are some management strategies and attitudes to be applied in career. Among these are:
    Continuous learning – continuous learning makes work interesting and satisfying. It allows employees to achieve success to some specified points in their careers. However, it may not be directly related in preparing them for upcoming changes in their occupations or organization.
    Planning – appears to be foundational to effective career management (Blustein 1997; De Voe 1998; Kaye 1997; Moses 1995; Orpen 1994; Shahnasarian 1994). Corporate managers have long recognized the importance of planning to the long-term success of their organizations (Wack 1985). It helps individuals and organizations enhanced their coping ability with tumultuous change.
    Risk-taking – risk-taking is another valued attribute for career management (Hakim 1994; Posen 1998). Hakim provided a significant number of examples on employees who set boundary in their career potential by refusing to take risks.
    Flexibility, Optimism, and Persistence – these attributes and attitudes serves a predictors and indicators of a career success (Champy & Nohria 2000;
Posen 1998).
Work-Life Balance – The importance of achieving balance between work and other life roles has also become an emerging topic in the career management literature (DeVoe 1998; Moses 1995, 1999; Shahnasarian1994). This aids the employee to focus on the achievement of the goals imposed by the organisation and to his/her self.
    Networking - networking is an effective strategy used more consistently by individuals who actively engaged in either job search (as promoted in such programs as job clubs) or in building their careers in the organisation where they belong.

The combination of specific individual attitudes, attributes and strategies emerges an effective career management. A dedication to lifelong learning (based on ongoing and realistic self-assessment), alertness to opportunities and the ability to keep diverse options open (adaptability and flexibility), persistence, optimism, the willingness to take risks, and planning are all personal attributes theorized to foster career management success. In addition, networking and balancing work with other significant life roles are seen as important components of a systematic approach to career management. The outcome of effective career management is expected to be successful careers that meet the needs of the individuals, their employers, and the organisation they belong.

    Consultancy is becoming more pervasive in career management in an organisational level for two main reasons. In the first place, it is a trend which reflects the increasing complexity of business. Secondly and partly as a result of this growing complexity, the line which has traditionally separated consultancy advice from management action is becoming blurred (Czerniawska 1999). Career management consultancy is an independent and objective advisory service provided by qualified persons to clients in order to help them identify and analyse management problems or opportunities. Career management consultancies also recommend solutions or suggested actions with respect to these issues, and help, when requested, in their implementation (Barcus & Wilkinson 1995).
Consultancy means taking the ideas, suggestions, recommendations  from those people who are knowledgeable enough in the implementation of change management process or those who have devoted themselves in analysing different approaches and strategies to ensure successful implementation of changes.  In this case, job searchers, employees, or even managers may seek help from other consultancy companies available or establishing a management team which are experienced in this kind of venture.

Suggested Topics of Future Researches
There are several numbers of researches done in career management. These studies are exploratory in nature and offer a fundamental understanding of effective career management in the changing world of work. There are no experimental researches or studies in the interpersonal aspects of career management. Basing it from the records of literatures obtained, there are no indications of any applications or tools used in career management. To this point in time, there has been limited interface between theories in the fields of career counselling and corporate management. As such, there has been little research testing the effectiveness of career management in achieving its stated goals.
Hence, future research on career management should tackle the incorporation of interpersonal variables such as management styles and contextual variables such as personal crises. A qualitative design of research that would facilitate individuals telling their own career management stories is necessary to consider.
Another functional centre for future research would be to development of dynamic, scientific and better measures for career management. It may also include some variables for career success and job satisfaction. It would be helpful for career practitioners and coaches to have an easily available, concise assessment tool to screen effective career management attributes, attitudes and behaviours. Further, it could be useful in directing individuals’ career management involvement or resources that would become the most suited element in promotion and enhancement of their job or career success.

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