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 21: Sustainable HRM for sustainable careers: introducing the ‘Respect Openness Continuity (ROC)’ model

Peggy De Prins, Ans De Vos, Lou Van Beirendonck and Jesse Segers


In this chapter, the concept of sustainable careers is positioned within a broader framework of sustainable HRM. It broadens the scope from a single career-perspective to a more integrated HRM and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) perspective. ‘Respect’, ‘Openness’ and ‘Continuity’ are introduced as the three building blocks of sustainable HRM. Although interest in these blocks is not new in itself, our contribution lies in the critical reflection upon and redirection of existing HRM practices, systems and themes towards the ROC model. As such, sustainable HRM should be seen as a complementary perspective. Its aim is not to substitute the strategic HRM perspective, but to offer a correction given the concretization of the latter from a unilateral business management point of view. Sustainable career management, as a specific domain of HRM, brings respect, openness and continuity into the management of employees’ careers by balancing short-term and long-term needs, focusing on employability and work ability, following an inclusive approach, tailoring to individuals’ needs and providing career support.

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