Change in managerial careers? A longitudinal analysis

Publication: Book/Editorship/ReportResearch report, expert opinion


Mainstream careers research, especially as depicted in US publications, claims that careers are becoming more subject to radical change. For example, careers are said to develop beyond the boundaries of single employers, exemplified by an increasing number of transitions. Although this allegedly leads to more complexity in career management, the development is said to improve the situation of employees, who welcome this new context. However, empirical studies examining these arguments are scarce, especially in Europe, let alone Austria. For this reason scholars have recently issued a call to tackle the next stage of the research cycle, i.e. empirical study (Dries & Verbruggen, 2012, p. 269). The Vienna Career Panel Project (ViCaPP) has tracked down the careers of business school graduates for ten years. By examining the trajectories of WU graduates from the graduating classes of 1970, 1990, 2000 and 2010 longitudinally, the project aims to explain change in managerial careers over time. In addition, collaboration with researchers at the University of Hamburg has made it possible to compare the results with a similar career context, but a different data set. Taking advantage of the socio-economic panel (SOEP), this comparison prevents us from relying on single-country artefacts. Results show a more nuanced picture than the one prevalent in contemporary careers research (N=1517). On the one hand, the number of job transitions within the first ten career years in Austria does indeed increase (in contrast to Germany), with income gains after the job transitions remaining stable (in both countries). Owing to the fact that the career year influences income gains more strongly than job transitions, more recent cohorts do not show a significantly higher income.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWien
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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