Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers
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Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers

  • Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Ans De Vos and Beatrice I.J.M. van der Heijden

What is a sustainable career and how can individuals and organizations develop pathways that lead to them? With current levels of global unemployment and the need for life-long learning and employability enhancement these questions assume a pressing significance. With twenty-eight chapters from leading scholars, the Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers makes an important contribution to our understanding of sustainable careers and lays the foundation for the direction of future research.
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Chapter 6: Career capital acquisition through corporate volunteering

Chen Fleisher, Svetlana N. Khapova and Mette M. Schipper

Abstract

More and more organizations promote employees’ engagement in corporate volunteering initiatives. Such initiatives are tuned towards developing organizational legitimacy and image branding in the eyes of different stakeholders. However, a growing number of studies are beginning to signal that volunteer experiences can also help employees to develop new skills and competencies. This chapter presents a qualitative case study of corporate volunteers in the Netherlands, exploring the benefits of corporate volunteering for both individuals and organizations. Specifically, it investigates how corporate volunteering contributes to employees’ career capital development and how and for what purposes employees apply this career capital upon returning from volunteering. The study shows that through corporate volunteering employees develop psychological, human and social capital. In turn, employees use their capital to contribute to organizational culture, capabilities and connections upon their return. We discuss these findings in light of a ‘matching process’, where sustainable careers can contribute both to individuals’ employability as well as organizational development.

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