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The Development of Career Management in the Knowledge-based Economy Era

YU Jianli, Qu Bo School of Management ,Dalian University of technology, P.R.China, 116024

Abstract With the development of the knowledge-based economy great changes have taken place in career management such as changes of career model career development process career stages and subjects of career management etc. Career management also has some new development: the protean career management, the boundaryless career management, strengthening post-career management and emphasizing individual career management etc. in the knowledge-based economy era. Key words Career management, Knowledge-based economy, Boundaryless career management, Individual career management, Protean career management

1 Introduction
With the rapid development of the knowledge-based economy and the information technology, knowledge management and organization innovation become a kind of trend that develops increasingly. The knowledge-based economy era has created new contexts and challenges for different organizations and professional groups. This also put forward new problems for career management. Sullivan has studied the changing nature of careers and distinguished boundaryless career from protean career. He point out directions of future research on career. WANG Zhong Ming, a Chinese scholar, has reviewed the study on the development of boundaryless career in the background of knowledge-based Economy. LONG Li rong has analyzed the success of career and its strategy in the knowledge-based economy era. But the research on this is not deeply enough as a whole. In order to perfect career management, we should grasp new development of it in the knowledge-based economy era. It is important for the theory and the practice of career management.

2 Synopses of the Knowledge-based Economy and Career Management

2.1The knowledge-based economy
It is an era of the knowledge-based economy in the 21st century. In recent years, as a new kind of economic mode,knowledge-based economygets extensive attention of people in the world. OECD (organization for economic cooperation and development) define knowledge-based economiesas economies which are directly based on the production, distribution and use of knowledge and information. Although knowledge has long been an important factor in economic growth, economists are now exploring ways to incorporate more directly knowledge [1] and technology in their theories and models . The knowledge-based economy is new economic form compared with the agricultural economy and industrial economy. The knowledge-based economy mainly takes knowledge as foundation. The most basic characteristic of knowledge-based economy is the knowledge innovation; the innovation is the soul of the knowledge-based economy. System innovation will become the current that can't impede. The quantity and quality of the human resource are the basic motives that make a nation and the region keep on developing. Organization innovation influences the career management. Unsteady development and structure of organization will reflect to career development.Employment in the knowledge-based economy is characterized by increasing demand for more highly-skilled workers. Changes in technology are making educated and skilled labour more valuable and unskilled labour less so. Many researchers think that new standard of career success should be adopted in knowledge-based economy era.

2.2 The career management The career management is a kind of method of the modern human resource management. Noe (1996) in his study defined career management as: career exploration, development of career goals, and career strategy implementation[2].It mainly means the process in which the organization and the person carry out the career target gradually by a series of work such as analyzing and training employees etc. It should include two meanings: organizational career management; individual career management. A definition looks at career as a process of development of the employee along a path of experience and jobs in one or more organizations[3].Organizational career management means the organization


implement a series of methods whose aim are developing employees potential, keeping employee and achieving the benefit of the employee and the organization. Someone think that career management means a series of activities that the organization help the employee draw up his career plan and advance his career development. Career management is a valid management way that organizations carry out each employees independent development, which can effectively repress and integrate the deviation of organizations and employees target, and avoid the loss of the employees work positivity. By career management, the organization can attain the balance of its own human resource need and employees career need, and create a high-efficiency work environment to maintain and stir the talent.

3 Influences of the Knowledge-based Economy on Career Management

Because the organization becomes more flexible, the employee also becomes more flexible. With the improvement of peoples work mode, peoples career also changed. The work methods that climb the career ladders have passed, because the work will be re-planned to match new reality. Managers take plenty of time to move along horizontal not lengthways ladders, no longer existing single career path, but existing the contract work and various opportunities to choose the organization freely. Under the influence of the knowledge-based economy, the new work mode is of mobility, which makes the employees occupation choice and the career take place important variety. 3.1 The variety of career mode The development of information technology makes the hardware production relevant to information communications get a quick development. Moreover it makes software industry relevant to information communications develop quickly. Today, organizations resort to different types of employment, such as core, contract and casuals, to cater to changing business needs and many of them are outside the traditional boundaries of employment. The emergence of the new occupation makes people own more opportunities of career development, but it makes the part of white-collars who be engaged in the simple mental work lose work opportunity. Those people who are engaged in easy work (registering, checking etc.) lose his work because its work is replaced by the related computer system or net system. This makes them have to look for a new job or attend relevant training. The fundamental requirements for internal career development rules cannot be sustained, at least not in their entirety. Core workers being privileged employees who still maybe said to have a career with the organization, while peripheral workers provide labour to the firm as and when required. We have different modes of careers and a wider meaning for career success. The knowledge-based economy makes the recruiting, the developing, the installing of the human resource break through the restriction of the time and the space. As a result, its influences on the work mode mainly lie in time dimension and space dimension. As for time dimension, full-time work mode with small variety changes into temporary work mode with continuous variety. New work modes include: self-employ mode, part-time job, and short-term contract work mode. Its two total characteristics: working not permanent for an organization; working not full-time for an organization. The knowledge-based economy has advanced popularization of these new work modes; in reverse, new work mode brings about deeply influences on career management. 3.2 The variety of career development process The knowledge-based economy and flexible career mode makes the employees career development process take place a great variety. Employees career development process becomes no longer in an organization for whole life. Employees careers are whole lives that constantly change employment, which consist of crunodes of job-hopping. Multiple career identities are also popular. Scholars point out a shift from the long-term career relationships into short-term ones that evolved between individuals and their organizations. Traditional human resource management make members can only own a work and single career identity at some particular time. But under the knowledge-based economy, because of the flexible time and the virtual office, organization members can own two or more jobs at the same time. This kind of phenomenon will be very popular that people own more career identity in a shorter time, which can substantially develop ability but bring some problems at the same time. The new emerging nature of career paths are multidirectional, dynamic and fluid[5].The employees career develops process is the process which he continuously study or accept training. On the one hand,


with violent variety of environment, organizations request to the employee will change continuously. In order to meet the demand of the change, employees have to look for various training opportunity actively and study new knowledge continuously. On the other hand, having multiple career identity and changing employment continuously also request employee to have various technical abilities and renew knowledge continuously. So we can say employees career development process is a process of continuous study. 3.3The variety of career stage The knowledge-based economy advanced the variety of career development stage. The traditional career generally includes: growing stage, investigating stage, stabilizing stage, maintaining stage and descending stage. Particularly in descending stage person faces retirement or no work opportunity to choose because he cant deal with longtime hard work for decrepitude. However, in the knowledge-based economy, the flexibility of time and the virtual location provide the old with good work opportunity. They can work at home or work for a short time. In a word, they can discover a great deal of work opportunity according to his physical strength, technical ability and the time, which make his career get extension. Descending stage of career development can be postponed or even disappear. The career in the knowledge-based economy is longer than the traditional career. In the traditional career because of limit of the work time and work location, the career of those special communities and women easily break off. However in the knowledge-based economy, the flexible work time and work locations make those persons or women who feed an infant can continue to own their work, which also make their career longer. Moreover, in the knowledge-based economy, flexible time of work mode is benefit for the socialization of family business. 3.4The variety of the subject of career management Because both organizations and careers were relatively more stable, career development was mainly managed by organization in the past. The organization changes quickly, and the stability of the career becomes lower in the knowledge-based economy era. Main subjects of the career management also change from the organization into the individual. Worrying about whether organizations can provide them with the work for a long period, employees have to consider own career foreground. On the one hand, the employee feels a necessity to accept the career instruction. On the other hand, the employee feels that he must develop ability to assure long employ. Now individual career management is more and more important, and change from ideas to contents compared with the past. Now both the organization and the individual are subjects of career management. Especially individual is main subject of career management. Perhaps the career management of some organizations will be completely carried on by individual in the future. Hall and Moss (1998) incisively observe this kind of variety, and think the subject of the career management is taking place a variety that career development will mainly be individual management rather than organization management in future[6]. The future career development is a continuous study, the ego direction, a relation type and carrying on the challenging work. The future career development is not necessarily formal training, retraining, or up-fluxion.

4 New Development of Career Management

The development of the knowledge-based economy brought profound influences on career management. Career management also has some new development: 4.1 The Protean career Management Now with coming forth of new career modes continuously, a development of career management is protean career management. Halls (1976, 2002) concept of the Protean career is also relevant. Protean careers combine individual qualities of strong sense of identity and high adaptability to fit new situations (Hall, 2002). The adaptability factor is clearly important in todays rapidly-changing career conditions, while the identity factor provides an anchor or compass such as occupation or industry may give the individual a sense of a secure base. The contracting out of work often enables people to keep an occupational or even organizational identity, while adapting substantially in the way they organize their work and careers.


The employee is more honest in own profession and individual target but less loyalty to the organization. Career orientation should be made according to the employees profession and individual target not to consider the demand and the target of organizations as more as in past. Firstly, the organization should make an effort to let each member understand the aim and tenet of the organization, and try hard to make individual target and organization target match at the beginning of work. The organization should obtain feedback information of employee in time and communicate with them separately. Secondly, it emphasizes the control of process. It means to often communicate with employees about the condition and the target of the organization, and request member to examine and rectify the deviation of the target by himself. Thirdly, it moderates the possible conflict of individual target and organization target. Because the inconformity of the region and the culture, the flexibility and the direction of the organization, there are conflicts between individual target and the organization, the organization should carry on coordination and urge employee to carry on self-coordination at the same time. With turbulence and the change of organization, individual will correspondingly strengthen the commitment of the occupations and keep own competence. 4.2The boundaryless career management Owing to influences of the knowledge-based economy, there is a new phenomenon in the career realm: the employee does not complete the life-long career in one or two organizations any more, but have to realize own career in several positions, several sections, several careers, and several organizations. Scholars called this kind of phenomenon boundaryless career. Boundaryless career is a career that crosses internal and external organizational boundaries. Boundaryless career is defined as a sequence of job opportunities that go beyond the boundaries of a single employment setting[7]. Boundaryless career include not only remotion in the organization but also remotion among many organizations[8]. The essence of boundaryless career emphasizes the unsteadiness of the career. The boundary here can be comprehended for the attributes such as career, organization and work responsibility etc. The variety of organization makes various roles correspondingly change inside organizations, this kind of variety makes the employee face many new challenges, adapt to continuous change of role, impersonate new role different with the former etc. In the past, the career development can be divided into several types, peoples career is relatively more stable, develop and change in certain frame. However, facing the new challenge and special reality, now the boundary of these old frames has already been broken, the fluxion inside organizations become the fluxion outside organizations or among different organizations, the steady career development path gradually change into relatively unsteady career development path. In addition, personal career role is given a new meaning for influences of organization reinvent and the technique innovation, which is also a kind of variety in oneself. The boundaryless organization will produce direct influence on success of the career, which lead to not only variety of the standard of success but also the difficulty of success. The standard of success isnt the salary and the position any more, may be a same class fluxion or a multinational fluxion. The organization must provide a good opportunity of study and training for the employee, include corresponding training of the communication technique and study of the specialized technical ability, and promote employees career development. 4.3 Strengthening post-career management Post-career management emphasizes the development and the change of career after the work, while the earlier career management emphasizes pre-career management. For example, Ginzbergs (1951) career development model regards fantasy stage (child stage) and try stage (teenager stage), transition stage (youth stage) as the important career development stage. The life span model of Miller and Form(1951) showed incline to post-career. In the past, career quest (beginning from 20 years old), career establishment (35~40 years old) career maintenance (45 years old later) three stages is longer, completion time of these three stages are shorten now, but possibly circulate many times, complete more than once time. The individual of Post-career is usually the coach of novice[9]. Therefore, people possibly face the career crisis for many times. Face the change of career stage, it is the inevitable choice of career management to postpone descend stage, strengthen management of the middle and post stage of career development, develop the persons career potential well. 4.4Emphasizing individual career management


With the variety of subjects of career management, career management will mainly be individual career management. Career is seen as the major responsibility of the individual. But this does not mean that organizations no longer undertake responsibility of the career management, but roles of organization career management change. The responsibility of organization changes into providing necessary support and encouragement for employees career management such as arranging challenging work, providing necessary information and resources of development etc. to help employees carry out career development[10]. This means a decrease in the role organizations play in planning and managing careers. Employees career development process is the process of self-management. It is the process of continuously looking for the new work to fill the process of career development. Employees have to take self-management as foundation to look for a new work, because they understand their advantages and know when and how to transform work. He can take tight hold of opportunity and improve himself continuously to achieve success. It is the individual not the organization to take on main responsibility to his career management[11]. In the knowledge-based economy, individual career management becomes more and more important. Individuals must become more adept at analyzing their careers. The self-employed worker is taking greater responsibility for his or her own career. The individual takes on the responsibility of planning and managing the career, changing him/herself according to his/her will and inclinations, and subsequently transforming their career path. The best way of the employees response to an unsteady occupation is to change oneself constantly, manage own career, have higher adaptability, thus he can always keep competitive advantage in the career arena.

5 Conclusion
In a word, the knowledge-based economy makes career management change greatly. Facing the new problems of the knowledge-based economy, career management has following development: the protean career management, the boundaryless career management, strengthening post-career management and emphasizing individual career management.


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