Labour-Market Flexibility and Individual Careers

A Comparative Study

  • Simone R. Kirpal

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Simone R. Kirpal
    Pages 1-21
  3. Simone R. Kirpal
    Pages 55-127
  4. Simone R. Kirpal
    Pages 129-199
  5. Simone R. Kirpal
    Pages 201-210
  6. Simone R. Kirpal
    Pages 211-227
  7. Simone R. Kirpal
    Pages 229-233
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 235-271

About this book


With labour markets across the world and even in social democratic Europe in a state of unprecedented flux, the problem of how to balance job-market demands, personal career interests and private life becomes a central issue for millions of employees. So how do modern work and employment arrangements restructure individual careers and what is required of individuals in order to manage career transitions successfully over time? This is one of very few in-depth empirical studies to analyse how labour-market trends, organizational change and the subjective work orientations of individuals interact. The author’s detailed assessment is based on a comparison of the structural contexts, work orientations and employment histories of nurses and ICT technicians in Germany and the UK. These two core service occupations, as well as the national contexts of the two European nations, have quite different working environments and vocational traditions. Nursing is an institutionalized semi-profession with clear criteria of qualification and career continuity, while information and communication technology (ICT) is a new, evolving field with workers from varied skill backgrounds and high job mobility. To arrive at an understanding of how individual career trajectories are changing, this book closely examines the interplay of labour-market demands, employees’ work and career orientations and the development of their skills. It records the ways in which employees adapt to increased labour-market flexibility, which, on the one hand, induces discontinuities of careers, employment and work, and on the other, generates new skill requirements and learning expectations, as well as unforeseen opportunities.


human resource development individual careers labour market flexibility labour market trends occupational studies organisational change skills development subjective work orientations

Authors and affiliations

  • Simone R. Kirpal
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Social Policy and ResearchUniversity of BremenBremenGermany

Bibliographic information