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

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 24: Organizational and labor markets as career ecosystem

Yehuda Baruch


The chapter offers a novel perspective on internal and external labor markets (within and outside organizations), exploring factors that influence talent flow in a fragmented, dynamic and global employment environment. Paradoxes are presented and discussed, such as the co-existence of stable and dynamic labor markets or the existence of different ‘rules of the game’ for different segments of markets. I discuss the different meaning that the term ‘employability’ may have for individuals, for organizations, and for nations in a competitive business environment. Through the lenses of contemporary career theories, I offer a comprehensive view that covers several theoretical perspectives, including human capital theory, psychological-contract and contemporary career ideas. The concept of the ecosystem as a framework is introduced, alongside human capital theory, depicting the relevance and importance of considering labor markets as ecosystems for understanding and managing careers at the organizational and national level. Lessons are drawn for individuals employed in different professions, sectors and geographies. Practical implications are presented for people management, with a realistic career preview for individuals and for organizational and national decision makers.

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