Action Theory: An Integrative Paradigm for Research and Evaluation in Career

  • Richard A. Young
  • Ladislav Valach

This chapter is situated in a section of the Handbook of Career Guidance entitled “evaluation of educational and vocational guidance.” The authors of the adjacent chapters address topics such as the evaluation of programmes, meta-analysis and longitudinal designs. We have chosen to take up this important issue from a different perspective. We intend to present a paradigm or model in which the evaluation of educational and vocational guidance can be understood and practised.

This chapter begins with an overview of action theory as an explanation of career. This paradigm is then illustrated by applying it to the issue of what constitutes a life-enhancing career, under the assumption that educational and vocational guidance is ultimately directed at facilitating such careers. How the paradigm is applied to research and evaluation in career is discussed with reference to what it allows researchers, programme evaluators, and counsellors to do, the procedures for its use in research and evaluation are provided, and its use in counselling, one of the primary means of educational and vocational guidance, is described.


Joint Action Action Theory Positive Psychology Career Guidance Career Counseling 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Young
    • 1
  • Ladislav Valach
    • 2
  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaCanada
  2. 2.University of ZurichSwitzerland

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