PhD Defence Chen Fleisher

Organisational Behaviour

Dissertation Title
The contemporary career navigator: Individual and organizational outcomes of self-directed career management

Date & Location
7 July 2014 @ 11:45 in the Aula of the Main Building of the VU University Amsterdam


The contemporary career navigator: Individual and organizational outcomes of self-directed career management


Fleisher, Chen

Globalization, technological development, and market pressures have progressively shaped today’s labor market - dynamic, volatile and by no means secure. These transformations have forced individuals to increasingly self-navigate their careers by developing a transferable collection of competencies, broadly known as career capital. Instead of a sanctuary granted by a lifetime employing organization or stability vouchsafed by careful career planning, contemporary career actors are sailing the high seas on a sinking vessel while contemplating the realization that none of the passing boats would simply tow them to safety. For everyone involved, employees and organizations alike, these intriguing dynamics of structural change and individual agency offer both opportunities and challenges. For individuals the challenge is in how to leverage their career capital while remaining employable and valuable in the workforce. The challenge for organizations lies in how they can manage these contemporary careers so they can be aligned with organizational goals and strategies. These questions are addressed through four empirical studies on individual and organizational outcomes of self-directed career management. By focusing on career capital as a key concept, and drawing on strategic management studies and organizational behavior literature, this dissertation elucidates the role of careers as a “matching process” for aligning individual and organizational needs. The findings suggest that by accounting for personal and contextual factors, self-directed career management can entail potential benefits for both individuals and organizations. Results further reveal that organizational human resource management is complementary to self-directed careers, thus offering novel and relevant practical approaches for managing and facilitating these contemporary career trajectories.