- Do economic globalization and industry growth destabilize careers? An analysis of career complexity and career patterns over time
- Organization Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 32 | 12
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
We analyze the impact of economic globalization and industry growth on the complexity of early work careers in Germany. We conceptualize complexity as the absolute number of employer changes, the regularity in the order of job changes, and the variability of the durations spent in different employment states. Results from empirical analyses based on the German Life History Study (N = 5453) show only a small increase in the complexity of work careers over the last decades, but there was a shift in the prevalence of different career patterns. This suggests that effects of globalization might be counteracted or modified by other social changes that affected work careers in Germany during the last 60 years. In particular, we consider the possible impact of educational expansion, labor market restructuring, and women’s increased employment. We find no evidence that industry-specific economic globalization impacts the complexity of work careers, but we find a U-shaped relationship between industry growth and career complexity. Careers are slightly more complex in industries with high or low industry growth. We conclude that, while there has been a shift in career patterns over time, the impact of globalization on career stability is possibly overestimated.
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