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date: 11 December 2023

Careers and Career Developmentlocked

Careers and Career Developmentlocked

  • Jos Akkermans, Jos AkkermansVrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Daniel SpurkDaniel SpurkUniversity of Bern
  •  and Nadya FouadNadya FouadUniversity of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


The field of career studies primarily focuses on understanding people’s lifelong succession of work experiences, the structure of opportunity to work, and the relationship between careers and work and other aspects of life. Career research is conducted by scholars in a variety of disciplines, including psychology, management, and sociology. As such, it covers multiple levels of analysis and is informed by different theoretical frameworks, ranging from micro (i.e., individual) to macro (e.g., organizational, institutional, cultural). The most dominant theoretical perspectives that have been mobilized in career research are boundaryless and protean career theory, career construction theory, and social cognitive career theory. Other perspectives that have increasingly been adopted include sustainable careers, kaleidoscope careers, psychology of working theory, and theories from related disciplines, such as conservation of resources theory and social exchange theory. Key topics in the field of career studies include career self-management, career outcomes (e.g., career success, employability), career transitions and shocks, calling, and organizational career management. Research at the micro level with outcomes on the individual level has been dominant in the early 21st century, predominantly focusing on understanding individual career paths and outcomes. Thereby, however, contextual factors as either further important predictors or boundary conditions for career development are also considered as important research topics.


  • Organizational and Institutional Psychology

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