“Being Flexible”: Graduates Facing Changes in Their Work Environment

  • Julien Calmand
  • Michela Frontini
  • Michele Rostan
Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY, volume 35)


In their working environment, graduates are exposed to at least two kinds of changes: changes in the labour market, which are associated with a need for external flexibility, and changes on the work floor, requiring functional flexibility on their part. The chapter investigates various types of changes related to external flexibility in graduates’ early career, looks at the effects of employment mobility on graduates’ competences, and on the the chance of having a good job, and search for the main determinants of temporary work five or six years after graduation. Turning to graduates’ workplace, functional flexibility is examined focusing on changes in the contents of graduates’ work tasks. The drivers of functional flexibility, the kind of competences that are required of flexible graduates, and graduates’ perception of the contribution higher education has made to preparing them for work in a changing environment are analysed.


Labour Market Public Sector Organisational Change Economic Sector Study Programme 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Allen, J., & van der Velden, R. (2005). The Flexible Professional in the Knowledge Society: Conceptual Framework of the REFLEX Project, REFLEX Working paper 1, Maastricht, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  2. European Council. (2000). Presidency conclusions Lisbon European Council, 23 and 24 March 2000, Brussels: EC.Google Scholar
  3. Reyneri, E. (2002). Sociologia del mercato del lavoro. Bologna: Il Mulino.Google Scholar
  4. Schmid, G. (2000). Transitional labour markets. A new European employment strategy. In B. Marin, D. Meulders, & J. Snower(Eds.), Innovative employment initiatives. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  5. Swedberg, R. (Ed.). (2000). Entrepreneurship. The social science view. Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress.Google Scholar
  6. Trigilia, C. (2002). Economic sociology. State, market, and society in modern capitalism. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julien Calmand
    • 1
  • Michela Frontini
    • 2
  • Michele Rostan
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut de Recherche sur l’Economie de l’Education & Centre d’études et de recherches sur les qualificationsDijon & MarseilleFrance
  2. 2.Istituto IARD RPS srlMilanItaly
  3. 3.Centre for Study and Research on Higher Education SystemsUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly

Personalised recommendations