- Tales of the unexpected: Integrating career shocks in the contemporary careers literature
- SA Journal of Industrial Psychology
- Article number
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam Business School Research Institute (ABS-RI)
Orientation – This paper addresses the interplay between individual agency and contextual factors in contemporary career development processes. In light of the prominence of the former in the contemporary scholarly debate, we present a case for a more comprehensive approach by heeding the latter as well.
Research purpose – The main aim of this paper is to provide a definition and conceptualization of career shocks, as well as an agenda for future research on this topic.
Motivation for the study – Most of the contemporary careers literature has overemphasized the role of individual agency in career development. While certainly important, we argue that we also need to address the role of context – in this case: career shocks – in order to gain a fuller appreciation of career development processes.
Main conclusions/implications – We provide a definition of career shocks based on existing literature related to chance events and turnover. In addition, we provide an overview of attributes of career shocks, potentially valuable theoretical perspectives, and key issues for future research.
Contribution – This paper brings together several existing streams of literature related to career shocks and provides an integrative definition and conceptualization. We hope that this will ignite future research on an important but often overlooked topic.
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