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Career systems in transition

A normative model for organizational career practices
Yehuda Baruch
School of Management, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK and University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA
Keywords Careers, Career development, Model Abstract This paper offers an integrated formulation for the way organizations may approach planning and managing employees careers in a time of transition. A normative career model is developed and compared to an existing descriptive model. This normative model shows how career management practices may be integrated into a comprehensive organizational framework, and explores ways in which career systems can be transformed and aligned both internally and externally in terms of philosophy, policy and practice. The suggested formulation provides a framework from which organizations can develop strategic organizational career systems appropriate for the new millennium.

Career systems in transition

Received January 2002 Revised June 2002 Accepted July 2002

Introduction The last decades of the twentieth century have witnessed a sea-change in organizational environment. For centuries, change has always been a feature of organizations, but the span and pace of environmental and organizational transformation have been taken to extreme levels in the recent past (Cascio, 2000). Such changes induce innovation and progress, but can also cause havoc to the management of people in the workplace. Much of the concurrent re-creation of organizational shapes is related to the reduction of employee numbers and subsequently to fewer formal, traditional career opportunities. As a result, innovative concepts of career emerged such as the boundaryless career (Arthur, 1994; DeFillippi and Arthur, 1994), the post-corporate career (Peiperl and Baruch, 1997), the protean career (Hall, 1996; Hall and Moss, 1998), intelligent career (Arthur et al., 1995), and career resilience (Waterman et al., 1994). These concepts t well with state-of-the-art developments in organization studies, such as the boundaryless organization (Ashkenas et al., 1995) and corporate turbulence (Reilly and Stroh, 1997). Organizational career management Most of these new models and concepts place their emphasis and the burden of career management on the individual, representing a shift from the past where the organization was the major player in career planning and management.
The author wishes to thank the colleagues for their participation, and in particular Professors Yochanan Altman and Martin Greller and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful advice.

Personnel Review Vol. 32 No. 2, 2003 pp. 231-251 q MCB UP Limited 0048-3486 DOI 10.1108/00483480310460234

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The employee is seen as the main or even the only stake-holder of his or her career development. Nevertheless, careers are still, to a certain extent, a property of organizations, and managed by them as part of human resource management (HRM) (Campbell and Moses, 1986; Gutteridge et al., 1993). Organizations apply a wide set of career practices, i.e. a portfolio of career management techniques, activities, programs and practices within the HRM area. These can be a powerful mechanism in the management of peoples careers (Portwood and Granrose, 1986), but such practices need to be developed and cultivated as we enter the twenty-rst century. For example, it is necessary to study the way organizations may utilize these practices in the future (for a review see Baruch, 1999a). Moreover, these practices should not be applied in a vacuum, as individual, stand-alone activities, but rather comprise an integrative career system. It is not clear, however, from the literature just how these practices relate to each other, and what differentiates them. An adequate model should reect the complexity and multi-dimensional nature of career systems, as well as examining the need to adjust them to the contemporary dynamic business environment. The traditional bureaucratic framework, within which long-term career planning was feasible, is gradually being abandoned by both organizations and individuals. Figure 1, adopted from the post-corporate career model by Peiperl and Baruch (1997), depicts these changes in career paths and opportunities as well as the shift of focus from organizational control mechanisms toward individual choice. To manage this transition, new concepts are needed, for although the focus has shifted, the need to nd a match between the requirements of both organizations and individuals (Gunz, 1989; Herriot and Pemberton, 1996) is still imperative. While the recent literature emphasizes the individual role in career management, it by no means says that organizations are excluded from the equation. In schematic manner the transformation is a change is from directive to participative management. Organizations do not need to abandon career management, but to adjust the career system to the new paradigms (Gunz, 1989; Gunz and Jalland, 1996; Peiperl et al., 2000). In fact, Gutteridge et al. (1993, p. xix) went so far to state in the early 1990s that The focus of career development has shifted radically, from the individual to the organization. Within organizational setting, HR managers are those who face the actual task of managing people career in the current turbulent business environment. HRM impact both employees attitudes and the business bottom-line (see Whitener, 2001; Huselid, 1995, respectively). However, a large number of organizational career systems are still based on an outdated approach, which assumes old-style hierarchical structures (Arnold, 1997; Baruch, 1999a; Greenhous et al., 1999; Peiperl et al., 2000). Transformation of these conservative career systems is needed, both in terms of developing each practice to t for the future, and in terms of setting the practices to comprise a

Career systems in transition


Figure 1. The transformation of career planning

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cohesive, systematic framework. Still the question remains: should organizations be responsible for managing careers, and if so, what kind of model can be offered to both academics and practitioners to support and highlight the development of comprehensive organizational career system? Formulating a career system normative model Two approaches can be utilized in considering this challenge. One is based on the descriptive model and the other on the normative model. The debate about using descriptive versus normative models is extensive and has a long history, and both models have been utilized in various elds of management theory, such as decision making (Stanovich and West, 1999), risk management (Luce and von Winterfeldt, 1994), mergers and acquisitions (Giacomazzi and Panella, 1997), incentives (John and Weitz, 1989), software operation (Kirchmer, 1999), and economy (Thaler, 2000). It should be noted that in decision making, by referring to normative, scholars usually relate to a mathematical calculative approach (Tversky and Kahneman, 1974). A descriptive model is based on data and analysis of life realities and existing state of practice. It refers to business applications and factual records, and on the whole, analyzes what happens in practice. Its development relies heavily on eld studies and surveys. In contrast, the normative model is based on what may be the best way to deal with the framework, phenomenon and concept. Its development usually relies on theory and the views of those who set norms, in academic context these can be expert scholars (see Vroom, 2001; Kirchmer, 1999). Descriptive models are objective, whereas normative models are comprised of recommendations (Kilmann and Thomas, 1978). Keely (1980, p. 355, emphasis added) reminds us of the basic notion of social normative models: they tend to function on social ideals, implying how things ought to be. General organizational models, for example, clearly serve to inform practitioners how activities should be organized and managed. John and Weitz (1989) reiterate the deciencies of descriptive models compared to normative models. The principal problem of descriptive models is the fact that realities do not necessarily represent the best or optimal case while the main drawback of a normative model is that it may be impractical and based on unrealistic ideas from the ivory towers or wishful thinking. The aim of this paper is to develop career theory further by offering and critically examining a normative model for integrating the available portfolio of organizational career practices. In addition to the theoretical contribution, such a model would better support an understanding of management practice in the area of careers. It will demonstrate how guidelines for facilitating organizational career systems can be set, helping to meet the changing needs of work and employment relationship. Furthermore, the base for the model, i.e. the set of practices, can be used as a measure of organizational career comprehensiveness and sophistication. As a result, the outcomes of this paper


may provide an added value for both practitioners and academic scholars in the area of career systems. The importance and prominence of organizational career planning and management as part of HRM has been recognized by many scholars (Hall, 1986; Van Mannen and Schein, 1977; Schein, 1978; London and Stumpf, 1982; Mayo, 1991; Gutteridge et al., 1993). However, the theoretical base of organizational career management is still considered quite thin (Arthur et al., 1989; Gunz and Jalland, 1996). Among the signicant conceptual contributions and theoretical models which have focused on career theory are those offered by Sonnenfeld and Peiperl (1988) and by Herriot and Pemberton (1996). Sonnenfeld and Peiperl (1988) examined career systems according to two dimensions: supply ow, referring to the labor markets wherein organizations look for managerial potential (i.e. internal versus external labor markets), and assignment ow, referring to the base for development and promotion. Herriot and Pemberton (1996) offered an updated model of career systems, at the core of which is the t between what the individual and the organization require and can offer. Much of the literature on careers has been focused on the individual view whereas there is an acute lack of theoretical formulation of organizational practices. A rare exception is the above-mentioned Baruch and Peiperls (2000) model, which has formed a bond among a variety of organizational career practices (see also Herriot et al., 1994). Establishment of career systems. Organizational career systems need to be facilitated in accordance to the changing needs of work and employment relationship, such as the development of new psychological contracts (Rousseau, 1995). One does not need to re-invent the wheel, i.e. to create and develop all the systems, practices, techniques and programs right from the start. A sensible way forward would be to examine the t of traditional practices and to adapt, improve or eliminate, according to relevance, the present trends in management, developing new practices where necessary. In order to generate a comprehensive list of known career management practices used by organizations, several sources have been studied, among them Bowen and Hall (1977), London and Stumpf (1982), Louchheim and Lord (1988), Gutteridge et al. (1993) and Baruch and Peiperl (2000). The following list presents all the career practices under consideration in the present paper. The order of the practices follows the level of implementation as found by Baruch and Peiperl (2000) and a short description for each practice under study is provided in the Appendix: (1) Posting (advertising) internal job openings. (2) Formal education as part of career development. (3) Performance appraisal as a basis for career planning. (4) Career counseling by direct manager. (5) Career counseling by the HRM department.

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(6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19)

Lateral moves. Retirement preparation programs. Succession planning. Mentoring. Common career paths. Dual ladder. Booklets and/or pamphlets on career issues. Written personal career planning for employees. Assessment centers. Development centers. Use of 3608 performance appraisal systems. Career workshops. Induction/orientation. Special programs: . for high yers, dual-career couples; . for ethnic minorities, age, gender, disabled, etc. (EEO). (20) Creating psychological contracts. (21) Secondments

It should be borne in mind that practices vary in their applicability and relevance for different kinds of organizations: small companies usually need fewer ofcial bureaucratic systems and informal procedures can be applied successfully. Large companies, especially multinational companies, operate within cultural diversity, and may need a selective variety of applications for their subsidiaries. Other alternatives are relevant depending on the kind of organization. Innovative information technology (IT) systems for example have an increasing impact on the management of people, and technological breakthroughs in this area can be relevant to career practices as well; etc. political inuence may mean that organizations would implement politically correct practices (e.g. special programs to support disadvantaged groups). Integrated systems Careers in organizations are meant to be planned and managed in a joint manner and a system is designed to answer the needs and requirements of both the individual and the organization. The t between organizational and individual needs is at the core of Herriot and Pembertons (1996) careers model. Baruch (1999a, b) argued that it is necessary to apply a two-fold level of integration: internal, among the variety of practices, and external integration between the career system and the organizational culture and strategy.

Utilizing a sample of approximately 200 organizations Baruch and Peiperl (2000) suggested a descriptive model comprised of ve clusters (based on factor analysis procedure), encompassing two dimensions: the level of sophistication of the career management practices and the level of involvement necessary on the part of the organization to apply them appropriately (see Figure 2). While being very useful, a two-dimensional model can provide only a limited perspective. In addition, the theoretical justication for the emergent clusters was weak. For these reasons it was felt that a normative model would be more constructive for understanding and developing organizational career systems. Furthermore, it was felt that new dimensions should be added to provide a more comprehensive analytical tool to evaluate career practices.

Career systems in transition


Figure 2. Two-dimensional model of career management practices

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Four additional dimensions are suggested, formulating a comprehensive sixdimensional model. This model is the core of the paper, and a description of the added dimensions is followed. The rst dimension is strategic orientation. It is based on strategic HRM approach (Fombrun et al., 1984), that implies that HRM should not be can be managed as a set of distinct practices but from comprehensive strategy, which needs to be applied with the organizational strategic management as a whole (Baird and Meshoulam, 1988). In many organizations career practice are applied without strategic view, but rather as a collection of ad hoc practices, whereas others do apply strategic approach in formulating career system. The second developmental focus which questions the relevance of the practice toward personal development of employees, compared to simplistic acquisition of specic organizational needs. Viewing the human resource as the core asset and source for competitive advantage for the rm, it is in the interest of companies to develop this resource (Cappelli and Crocker-Hefter, 1996). This means, of course, investment in developing people competencies, but will be reected in the bottom-line outcomes of the rm (Pfeffer, 1998). Such an approach may be associated with the strategic needs of the organization, as the rewards to the individual or the rm are presumed to be improved performance, effectiveness and efciency (Winterton and Winterton, 1997). The third additional dimension is the degree to which the practice is relevant to organizational decision-making issues, such as selection of top executives (see Mitchell and Beach, 1977; Nutt, 1999). It has long been established that an essential part of HRM is the strategic aspect. Integrating HRM into a strategic management of the organization, rather than holding a minor supportive role of an administrative function is a distinctive sign of the role of HRM, and this should be reected in the career management systems. In its highest level, the strategic approach for HRM is manifested by strong strategic alignment (see Gratton et al., 1999; Holbeche, 1999). At this level, the requirement of resource, and in particular of human resources human capital are derived out of the organization business strategy. To achieve this, the HR function needs to apply appropriate career practices, the vehicle through which the actual, practical management of people is conducted. The last dimension refers to the innovative approach (compare with conventional and orthodox), i.e. to what level the specic practice reect novel ideas and concepts recently developed. Among the academic contributions of the last decade of the twentieth century are several innovative concepts, that require a non-traditional career approach. For example, intelligent career (Arthur et al., 1995) implies basic investment and development of the knowhow. The boundaryless career (DeFillippi and Arthur, 1994) means that organizations can manage careers outside the formal organizational boundaries. The post-corporate career (Peiperl and Baruch 1997) implies that organizations need to rethink the type of relationship they have with their

associates, and employees can become partners, for example. The protean career (Hall, 1996) puts the major role of career management of the individual and his or her self management. Lastly, career resilience (originally suggested by London (1983) and later adopted and further developed by Waterman et al. (1994)) requires organizations to educate their employees and incorporate them into the realm of instability, where employability rather than long-term employment is the aim. Method As pointed out earlier, in order to generate a normative model, experts advice should be sought. A sample comprised of 25 leading academic scholars was selected, all of them being renowned academics, active in research and teaching and publishing in the area of careers (most of them members of the Career Division of the Academy of Management). These expert specialists represent the source for future knowledge in the area of career management. Such scholars comprise the body of knowledge for the academic community and HR students (e.g. many of whom have published recent leading books and articles in the career area), and thus qualied to set the norm in this research area. The possibility of setting a normative model under such circumstances is subject to the level of agreement or disagreement that would be found across the respondents. Half of the sample came from the USA with the remaining spread geographically throughout Europe, Asia and the Pacic Rim. The participants were asked to ll in a table including the career practices under study, rating them on a 1-5 Likert scale, across the six dimensions listed below: (1) Involvement: from a very low to a very high level of organizational involvement needed whilst dealing with the specic career practice. (2) Sophistication and complexity: from very simplistic to highly sophisticated and complex. (3) Strategic orientation: from very practical, tactical, to very strategic. (4) Developmental focused: from low to high relevance for developing individuals. (5) Organizational decision-making focused: from low to high relevance for organizational decision making processes. (6) Innovative: from very traditional or conventional, to innovative and unorthodox. A total of 16 respondents returned the survey, resulting in a satisfying 64 percent response rate. While the response rate is above the norms in the social sciences (Baruch, 1999b), the sample size is small. Sample size should respond to the level of analysis undertaken, and in many cases, such as here, large samples are not necessarily adding signicant knowledge (Huitema, 1986, p. 226). In other cases, where there is high variation within the population, large

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sample size is recommended (Bryman, 1989, p. 111). For analysis such as multiple regression one needs a substantial number, but for simple regression, a small sample of fewer than 20 may be adequate (Hair et al., 1998, p. 164). In the present study the analysis comprises a correlation matrix merely, and thus should be considered sufcient, in light of the small level of standard deviation across the ndings (see the following section). Results Table I presents the ratings for the 22 practices for the six dimensions and Table II shows the descriptive statistics and inter-correlation between the six dimensions. The relatively low standard deviations indicate considerable agreement amongst the respondents about the rating of the practices across the dimensions. The developmental-oriented dimension ratings were the highest, indicating that present career practices are highly directed into individual development, as suggested by much of the writing on contemporary career systems (Arthur, 1994; Hall, 1996; Peiperl and Baruch, 1997). However, the application of career practices is still associated with a high level of organizational involvement. At the lower end of the scale we nd the decisionmaking element and innovation, indicating the need for HR professionals to develop further the practices used to manage peoples career in organizations. The correlations presented in Table II indicate strong associations among the dimensions. It seems that most dimensions are inter-related, with a possible halo effect of sophistication and/or a strategic element of the practice. This means that practices considered sophisticated were usually referred to also as innovative, organizational oriented and strategic in nature. However, the developmental element was only moderately associated with the other dimensions. This may be due to the differing aims of career practices, with some organizationally focused and others aiming to provide feedback and growth opportunities to individual employees. Discussion One of the objectives of this paper was to add value for both practitioners and academic scholars in the area of career systems. For practitioners the benets stem from a broad scrutiny of practices, related to the future rather than the past. In a time of change and confusion, managers need a relevant framework to guide them in managing people frequently cited as the most important asset of organizations. Managing this asset has always been complex, and with the breakdown of traditional psychological contracts this task has become even tougher (Herriot and Pemberton, 1995; Rousseau, 1995,1996; Schein, 1980). Managerial tools to support managers in dealing with HR issues, in particular career management, are sparse, and the dimensions alongside the ranking of the various practices could serve practitioners well in developing and

Career practices 3.76 2.71 4.12 2.94 3.29 3.88 2.82 4.53 3.65 3.65 3.76 2.65 3.59 4.06 3.76 4.12 2.88 3.47 3.63 3.82 4.13 3.35 0.81 0.72 0.61 3.00 3.44 3.24 0.87 0.81 0.66 0.62 3.31 0.87 3.25 3.24 3.88 3.06 0.93 0.90 0.89 1.30 3.63 3.18 3.94 3.94 0.81 1.24 0.85 0.83 3.00 3.25 3.13 2.69 0.85 0.86 0.92 0.70 0.60 0.90 0.69 0.78 1.29 0.62 1.00 1.00 0.90 1.37 0.80 0.90 1.03 0.60 0.78 1.01 3.65 2.53 2.65 3.41 1.82 4.65 3.06 3.59 3.59 2.00 3.12 3.35 3.35 3.00 2.59 2.29 1.06 0.87 0.61 0.80 0.95 0.61 0.66 0.71 0.71 0.79 0.99 0.70 0.86 0.94 0.62 0.69 2.76 2.71 2.53 2.71 2.00 3.18 3.00 2.65 3.24 1.88 2.76 2.82 3.41 3.53 2.88 2.12 0.90 0.92 0.80 0.99 1.00 0.95 0.71 0.86 1.03 0.78 1.09 1.01 0.94 0.94 0.99 0.78 3.88 4.00 3.65 3.65 2.59 4.00 4.29 3.29 3.41 2.59 4.00 3.65 4.53 3.94 3.88 2.71 0.93 0.94 0.79 1.00 1.18 0.87 0.59 1.21 0.87 0.94 0.79 1.06 0.62 0.75 0.86 1.05 3.44 2.63 2.75 3.13 1.87 4.25 2.56 3.06 2.88 1.69 2.75 3.50 3.13 2.62 2.31 1.87 1.03 1.15 0.77 0.96 0.96 0.68 0.81 0.85 0.81 0.70 0.93 1.15 1.09 0.72 1.01 0.89 1.10 3.00 1.17 2.29 1.21 4.00 1.00 2.38 0.96 2.35 3.18 2.82 2.65 3.18 1.82 3.94 3.00 3.00 3.41 1.59 2.71 3.53 3.88 3.59 2.76 2.06 3.00 3.06 4.00 3.00 1.03 2.41 0.87 2.00 0.94 3.35 1.17 3.13 1.26 2.06 1.09 1.11 0.95 0.81 0.93 0.81 0.81 0.75 0.79 1.06 1.18 0.71 1.10 1.18 1.05 0.94 1.20 0.90 0.89 1.09 0.97 1.12

Organiz. involvement Mean SD

Strategic oriented Mean SD

Innovative oriented Mean SD

Develop. oriented Mean SD

Organiz. DM oriented Mean SD

Sophist. and complexity Mean SD

1. 2.


4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.


21. 22.

Job postings Formal education/tuition reimbursement Use of performance appraisal for career planning Counseling by manager Counseling by HR Lateral moves/job rotations Pre-retirement programs Succession planning Formal mentoring Common career paths Dual ladder Career booklets/pamphlets Written individual career plans Assessment centers Development centers 3608 appraisal Career workshops Induction/orientation program Special attention (e.g. high-yers, dual-career couples) EEO population (e.g. age, gender, minorities) Creating psychological contracts Secondments

Career systems in transition


Table I. Academic ratings for the 22 practices

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1. Developmental oriented 2. Decision making oriented 3. Innovative oriented 4. Organizational involvement level Table II. Descriptive statistics and inter-correlation between the six dimensions 5. Sophistication and complexity of practices 6. Strategic oriented

Mean 3.64 2.82 2.81 3.57 2.94 3.05

SD 0.52 0.59 0.53 0.51 0.67 0.63

1 0.4804 (0.024) 0.6277 (0.002) 0.3363 (0.126) 0.6796 (0.001) 0.5621 (0.006)


0.5322 (0.011) 0.8207 0.6127 (0.000) (0.002) 0.7532 0.9040 0.7663 (0.000) (0.000) (0.000) 0.8510 0.6501 0.7558 0.8273 (0.000) (0.000) (0.001) (0.000)

Note: Coefcient/(cases)/two-tailed signicance

implementing career practices. From the theoretical perspective, the normative model offered here can help as an analytical tool for scholarly work in the area of career systems. As Baruch and Peiperl (2000) agreed, their model was built on actual practices in organizations, i.e. descriptive, thus not necessarily a prescription of either best practice, or more importantly, best possible (future) practice and the way to develop a coherent career system. The normative model enables practitioners to relate to career practices in terms of six dimensions, generating a comprehensive framework to evaluate and analyze career systems. Practices can be applied according to the organizational need, stage of development and strategy and operation. With so many possible scenarios it was not the intention here to generate a prescription of which career practices needs to be applied for any organization, but rather to open the wide options in a systematic manner. Thus, from the practical HRM perspective, the concept may serve as a general guidelines for developing and maintaining career management systems. Within the academic context, it is the authors hope that the paper will contribute to further development of career theory. Let us look specically at three contrasting comparisons representing the wider range of possibilities of comparing and contrasting the distribution across the dimensions. The rst one was chosen to enable comparison with the descriptive model; the two others enable to contrast, in each case, two distinct dimensions. Involvement vs sophistication The normative model is different from Baruch and Peiperls (2000) model in two main aspects: First, there is a strong correlation between the dimensions (r 0.77), which reects the apparent need for more involvement on the HRM side when practices become complex and sophisticated. Second, there is only a partial t between the groupings, for example the normative model positions

counseling as low involvement, mid sophistication whereas the descriptive model suggests high involvement, mid sophistication. With regard to the practices found at the upper end of the scale in the normative model, however, these are indeed those labeled multi-directional and active planning in the descriptive model. Strategic orientation vs developmental These two dimensions are also positively correlated (r 0.56). The groupings that can be identied include sets of practices notable for their developmental aspect such as mentoring and development centers, others which are low on development but mid on strategic part (e.g. common career paths and dual ladder), and a distinct group of low on both (induction, career books and preretirement programs). One should be careful in interpretation of the term strategic, since the list presented consists of practices which are managerial tools rather than strategic philosophy frameworks. However, the use of these practices can assist in the implementation of strategic developments within organizations. Such is the case, for example, of secondments. This is a simple practice in terms of managing people, but has far-reaching benets. Allowing staff to work for a different organization or different section of its group, and bringing in secondees from different establishments can benet both organizations strategically by importing new concepts and improving the knowledge base and effectiveness. Organizational decision making focused vs innovative Here too we nd diverse groupings (i.e. groups of practices which are close in terms of similarity across these dimensions). Disseminating career books and running pre-retirement programs are considered very basic and less exciting practices to work with, but together with induction and formal education seem to be a primary or even fundamental for organizational career systems. At the other end of the scale we nd practices such as 3608 performance appraisal, succession planning and the latest practice of creating new psychological contracts. An additional aim of the paper was indicated, for utilizing the model, in terms of set of practices, to generate a measure of organizational career comprehensiveness and sophistication. The set of practices, and in particular the way the different clusters are presented, can serve such purpose. Either for specic organization, where the HR manager can compare the practices applied, to a benchmarking exercise where larger number of organizations can have a measure-tape to evaluate, compare and contrast the type of practices they use. Conclusions: integrating career practices into a system Two main conclusions arise: rst, that managing careers means that a set of separate career practices can be integrated into one broad, comprehensive

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career system by the development of the six dimensions suggested. Second, there is a difference between what can be acknowledged as best practice or normative and optimal use of career practices, and the actual operation of these practices in organizations. Hand in hand with this difference goes the realization that there is a shift from the nature and the desired output of these practices. In the past career practices focused on orderly, hierarchical managerial structure, whereas the current trend in the development of career systems calls for a shift to allow for higher exibility and diversity, with the focus on individuals, their career needs and the way these can be integrated with organizational requirements. Innovative career approaches assert that in todays dynamic environment, where the breach of old psychological contracts is commonplace (Robinson, 1996) and organizational commitment deteriorates (Baruch, 1998), the role of the organization as the sole planner and manager of careers has changed. People may carry much of the burden (Hall, 1996). However, this by no means says that organizations should abandon HRM and career management. There is a change in the HRM role, from telling to consulting and participating, and the role of managing careers is now shared by individuals and their employing organizations. The normative model developed here would be useful for supporting both sides in this crucial task. The set of practices offered here, coupled with their level of relevance under different organizational circumstances, can be used as a measure for level of development and perhaps sophistication of organizational career systems. Organizational career practices can form a set of associated practices which may operate as a well integrated, comprehensive system. To achieve a t and optimal utilization of career practices, it is necessary to apply a two-fold level of integration: internal integration a degree of t between the variety of practices, and external integration a degree of t between the career system and the organizational culture and strategy (Baruch, 1999a). Both integrations are within the organization and the terms internal and external refer to the HRM system rather than the organization vs its environment. Internal integration reects the match and t between the various career practices. It benets employees and reects high professional HR management if specic practices are associated with each other. For example, the performance appraisal system could be associated with most of the other practices; inputs from mentoring can help in developing a career path; the result of a career workshop can be a secondment at a later stage; and so on. The dimensions offered and studied here can be useful in developing such internal integration. The HR management can decide that the focus of career would be on practices that are more or less developmental; more or less complex; that require more or less organizational involvement, using the dimensions for focusing effort toward applying the practices. The type of operation and the characteristic of the work force can direct organizations whether or not to apply

innovative or orthodox practices, and the extent to which they need to use the practices for decision-making processes (most notably decision about restructuring and downsizing). A coherent HR and career policy can help in generating a bond between overall organizational philosophy (strategy) and actual practices being applied. This paper does not, and cannot, generate, strict rules about which practices should be applied for every organization, and to which population. Instead it creates a tool for the proactive HR managers to critically examine their specic circumstances and decide which practices should be utilized and how. External integration implies that a career system should be developed in line with organizational objectives and needs (Purcell, 1995; Tyson, 1997) and the way to identify the best t for the organization depends on the operational strategy of the whole enterprise. Sonnenfeld and Peiperl (1988) based their career system model on Miles and Snows (1978) organizational strategic model, in line with the theoretical works of Devanna et al. (1981) who introduced the concept of strategic HRM. Different strategies followed in career management may emphasis the developmental element or may focus on organizational involvement, decision making, and other dimensions. This way careers system can be designed as part of the general HRM within the organization (Von Glinow et al., 1983). While models for HRM, in terms of strategic development, have been introduced in the past (see Baird and Meshoulam, 1988), no work has yet incorporated career systems into the strategic level of organizational management. This paper provides a step in this direction. Limitations and future research The sample of experts was limited to 25 leading scholars, and some of them came from a variety of geographical and cultural origins. This could have ended with inconsistency in response, especially due to possible contextual differences in the application of the career practices impede the responses. However, probably as a result of a high level of professionalism of the sample and stage of development that the HRM area has achieved, there was high agreement among the respondents, judged by the low standard deviation found across the various dimensions. Future research may benet from focusing on the relatively understudied area of career practices. It is of high importance to examine the effectiveness and outcomes of these practices and in particular to examine the way in which they are interrelated and applied in conjunction with each other. The way organizations integrate the variety of practices, and the outcomes of these, need to be explored at both the operational and strategic level. I hope that this study provides a further stage in developing a systematic way of managing careers in organizations, both by its results and by laying intellectual ground work for the next steps in research in this area.

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References Arnold, J. (1997), Managing Careers into the 21st Century, Paul Chapman, London. Arthur, M.B. (1994), The boundaryless career: a new perspective for organizational inquiry, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 295-306.


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Gunz, H.P. and Jalland, R.M. (1996), Managerial careers and business strategies, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 718-56. Gutteridge, T.G., Leibowitz, Z.B. and Shore, J.E. (1993), Organizational Career Development, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA. Hair, J.F., Anderson, R.E., Tatham, R.L. and Black, W.C. (1998), Multivariate Data Analysis, 5th ed., Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Hall, D.T. (1986), Career Development in Organizations, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA, pp. 50-94. Hall, D.T. (1996), The Career Is Dead Long Live the Career, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA. Hall, D.T. and Moss, J.E. (1998), The new protean career contract: helping organizations and employees adapt, Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 22-37. Herriot, P. and Pemberton, C. (1995), New Deals, John Wiley, Chichester. Herriot, P. and Pemberton, C. (1996), Contracting careers, Human Relations, Vol. 49 No. 6, pp. 757-90. Herriot, P., Gibbons, P., Pemberton, C. and Jackson, P.R. (1994), An empirical model of managerial careers in organizations, British Journal of Management, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 113-21. Holbeche, L. (1999), Aligning Human Resource and Business Strategy, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford. Huitema, B.E. (1986), Autocorrelation in behavioral research: wherefore are thou?, in Poling, A. and Fuqua, R.W. (Eds), Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis, Plenum Press, New York, NY, pp. 287-90. Huselid, M. (1995), The impact of human resource management practices on turnover, productivity, and corporate nancial performance, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 635-72. John, G. and Weitz, B. (1989), Saleforce compensation: an empirical investigation of factors related to use of salary versus incentive compensation, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 1-14. Keely, M. (1980), Organizational analogy: a comparison of organismic and social contract models, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 337-62. Kilmann, R.H. and Thomas, K.W. (1978), Four perspectives on conict management: an attributional framework for organizing descriptive and normative theory, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 59-68. Kirchmer, M. (1999), Business Process Oriented Implementation of Standard Software: How to Achieve Competitive Advantage Efciently and Effectively, Springer, Berlin. London, M. (1983), Toward theory of career motivation, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 620-30. London, M. and Stumpf, S.A. (1982), Managing Careers, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA. Louchheim, F. and Lord, V. (1988), Who is taking care of your career?, Personnel Administrator, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 46-51. Luce, R.D. and von Winterfeldt, D. (1994), What common ground exist for descriptive, prescriptive, and normative utility theories?, Management Science, Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 263-79. Mayo, A. (1991), Managing Careers, IPM, London. Miles, R.E. and Snow, C.C. (1978), Organizational Strategy, Structure, and Process, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.

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Mitchell, T.R. and Beach, L.R. (1977), Expectancy theory, decision theory, and occupational preference and choice, in Kaplan, M.F. and Schwartz, S. (Eds), Human Judgment and Decision Process in Applied Settings, Academic Press, New York, NY. Nutt, P.C. (1999), Surprising but true: half the decisions in organizations fail, The Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 13, pp. 75-90.


Peiperl, M.A. and Baruch, Y. (1997), Models of careers: back to square zero, Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 7-22. Peiperl, M.A., Arthur, M., Goffee, R. and Morris, T. (Eds) (2000), Career Frontiers, Oxford University Press, Oxford. Pfeffer, J. (1998), The Human Equation, Harvard Business Press, Cambridge, MA. Portwood, J.D. and Granrose, C.S. (1986), Organizational career management programmes: whats available? Whats effective?, Human Resource Planning, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 107-19. Purcell, D. (1995), Corporate strategy and human resource management, in Storey, J. (Ed.), Human Resource Management A Critical Text, Routledge, London, pp. 63-86. Reilly, A.H. and Stroh, L.K. (1997), Riding out corporate turbulence, Journal of General Management, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 1-11. Robinson, S.L. (1996), Trust and breach of the psychological contract, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 41, pp. 574-99. Rousseau, D.M. (1995), Psychological Contracts in Organizations, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA. Rousseau, D.M. (1996), Changing the deal while keeping the people, Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 50-59. Schein, E.H. (1978), Career Dynamics: Matching Individual and Organizational Needs, AddisonWesley, Reading, MA. Schein, E.H. (1980), Organizational Psychology, 3rd ed., Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Sonnenfeld, J.A. and Peiperl, M.A. (1988), Stafng policy as a strategic response: a typology of career systems, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 568-600. Stanovich, K.E. and West, R.F. (1999), Discrepancies between the normative and descriptive models of decision making, Cognitive Psychology, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 349-85. Thaler, R.H. (2000), From homo economicus to homo sapiens, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 133-41. Tversky, A. and Kahneman, D. (1974), Judgement under uncertainty: heuristics and biases, Science, Vol. 185, pp. 1124-31. Tyson, S. (1997), Human resource management comes of age: strategic integration, in Tyson, S. (Ed.), Human Resource Strategy, Pitman, London, pp. 1-15. Van Mannen, J. and Schein, E.H. (1977), Career development, in Hackman, J.R. and Suttle, J.L. (Eds), Improving Life at Work: Behavioral Science Approaches to Organizational Change, Goodyear, Santa Monica, CA, pp. 30-95. Von Glinow, M.A., Driver, M.J., Brousseau, K. and Prince, J.B. (1983), The design of a career oriented human resource system, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 23-32. Vroom, V. (2001), Leadership and the decision-making process, paper presented at the The Litcheld 2001 Coordinator Training Conference. Waterman, R.H., Waterman, J.A. and Collard, B.A. (1994), Toward a career-resilient workforce, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 72 No. 4, pp. 87-95.

Whitener, E.M. (2001), Do high commitment human resource practices affect employee commitment? A cross-level analysis using hierarchical linear modeling, Journal of Management, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 515-36. Winterton, J. and Winterton, R. (1997), Does management development add value, British Journal of Management, Vol. 8, pp. s65-s76. Appendix. The career practices Posting (advertising) internal job openings Whenever a vacancy occurs, the organization can look to ll it within the internal labor market. The vacancy can be published within the organizations boundaries, which means job posting. Extensive use of job posting indicates to the employees that the organization prefers internal promotion to recruiting managers from outside. Traditionally, job posting is offered either on notice-boards or in the company newsletter but during the 1990s we witnessed a shift to the internal e-mail or intranet. Formal education as part of career development Under this practice, the organization selects people of managerial or technical/ professional potential and sends them on a formal program of study as part of their development path. These can be a rst degree in engineering, an MBA, or other graduate or post graduate studies for managerial personnel, or professional and vocational qualication courses for non-managerial employees. Performance appraisal as a basis for career planning Close connection can be established between the performance appraisal (PA) system and career development. PA system may be utilized for HR in a similar way to that which accountancy reports cater for the nance and accountancy systems. PA would indicate whom should be promoted, who should be made redundant in case of downsizing, identify training and development needs and so on. Career counseling by direct manager and by the HRM department Career counseling is a two-way communication between the employer and the employee regarding career issues. Two main sources are available for conducting such counseling: the direct manager (or another higher manager) who has a good knowledge of the employees attitudes, behaviors, skills etc.; and an HRM manager. Depending on organizational complexity and nancial resources, external counseling can additionally be provided. Lateral moves Lateral moves are job transitions, which occur at the same hierarchy level within the organization. They aim to create cross-functional experience, and are particularly important when there are fewer hierarchy levels and horizontal communication is the key to success, thus people will no longer move up the ladder so fast. Applying this practice indicates to the employees that career advancement is not along the old lines of historic upward movements. Retirement preparation programs This is a practice directed at the target population of employees approaching retirement and about to leave the organization. Its aim is to ease the transition of the older employee from full working life to retirement, and usually consists of several elements, from nancial considerations, leisure, health and contact with the employer, union and other bodies such as support group after the retirement.

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Succession planning A framework of organizational planning to determine the possible replacement of every manager within the organization, and evaluate the potential for promotion of each manager. Succession planning (also labeled management inventory) can be valuable when long-term planning occurs, building mainly on internal labor markets. Mentoring The practice of mentoring brings together a person with managerial potential and an experienced manager, who is not necessarily the direct manager. Such a senior manager is expected to provide advice and tutoring, serving as a kind of uncle or godfather in the workplace. Common career paths A career path is the most preferred and recommended route for the career advancement of a manager in the organization. Such career paths can lead people through various departments and units within the organization as in the case of future top level managers in multinational companies who will take a managerial role in an overseas subsidiary. Dual ladder Dual ladder is a parallel hierarchy created for professional or technical staff which enables them upward mobility and recognition without conducting a managerial role. The practice emerged in response to the typical phenomena of excellent promising engineers or technicians being promoted to managerial levels, cases which ended too often with an accomplished professional transformed into a poor manager. This practice, albeit important, is suitable for only a specic section of the employees professionals without managerial skills or with no intention of becoming managers. Booklets and/or pamphlets on career issues Booklets, pamphlets or leaets on career issues are a formal presentation by the organization of all kinds of career-related information. They introduce what is being offered by the organization in terms of career opportunities and provide an introduction to all available career planning and management practices. The aim of such booklets is to provide everyone in the organization, especially new-comers, with relevant information, releasing the direct manager from the job of presenting that information to subordinates. Written personal career planning for employees Written personal career plans is a practice in which the organization prepare, for each manager, specic long-term career progress plan, with identied positions for the foreseeable future. Assessment centers Assessment centers are used for the evaluation of people in an extended work sample process. They are specically designed for conducting the rigorous process of evaluating the potential of present or future managers. They are in use for two main purposes: as a selection tool for managerial recruitment, and as an indicator of managerial potential. Assessment centers have gained a lot of interest in academia and by organizational practitioners. They have been found as a reliable and valid tool for career management. Development centers Development centers evolved from assessment centers, and share many features with them, but are directed not necessarily toward selection, but rather to general development and enhancement of the manager, preparing him/her for future roles.


3608 Performance appraisal systems 3608 feedback can take the form of peer appraisal, upward appraisal, committee, or a combination of several sources in addition to that given by the direct manager PA. Career workshops Career workshops are short-term workshops focusing on specic aspect(s) of career management and aim to provide managers with relevant knowledge, skills and experience. They usually focus on specic aspects such as identifying future opportunities, improving the employability of the participants, or enhancing their career resilience. Induction/orientation The process of introducig people to their new organization is the rst career practice the employee experiences. It is called induction or socialization. This is a process whereby all newcomers learn the behaviors, attitudes, norms and culture of their new organization. Part of it is formal, lead by organizational ofcials, whereas other aspects are learned in an informal manner, not necessarily in line with organizational formal norms and policies. Special programs . For ethnic minorities, women, disabled, dual career couples etc. Specic programs aim at tackling all possible kinds of discrimination and support populations of unique circumstances. Many programs are meant to support the population discriminated against, sometimes even to create positive discrimination. Gender, ethnic background, disability, age, sex orientation and religion discrimination can prevent appropriate people from utilizing their contribution. Special programs are not necessarily concerned with discrimination. The case of dual career couples directs us into another matter, i.e. how to enable two people to develop side by side when both have a career (in their working life). . For ex-patriates and re-patriates. For multinational/global enterprises, the management of ex-patriates is a crucial part of their career system agenda. In addition, there are growing concerns about special attention needed to be devoted to the management of re-patriation process (e.g. relating to the reverse culture shock effect). . For high yers.The so-called high yers or those with high potential are those perceived as a special asset, possible of making a unique contribution to the future of the organization, and thus considered to be worth having higher attention and resources dedicated specically to them. In particular fast track paths and close observation and control are directed to this group of promising managers. Building psychological contracts In layman terms, psychological contract would be The unspoken promise, not present in the small print of the employment contract, of what the employer gives, and what the employees give in return. To develop and maintain these psychological contracts organizations need to keep clear career options and intentions. This can start with a realistic job preview, through fair and open career communication, to open discussion of organizational departure. Secondments Secondment is the temporary assignment to another area within the organization, and sometimes even to another associated organization (such as a customer or supplier). It is a period in which the manager acquires a different perspective within the company. At an advanced level, secondments can be taken outside the organization.

Career systems in transition