Constructing alignment for sustainable careers: Insights from the career narratives of management consultants

Katharina Chudzikowski, Stefanie Gustafsson, Svenja Tams

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

While prior literature identifies a person's alignment of their career with the interests of their employing organization as a source of career sustainability, we still know little about how individuals construe such alignment. Our study contributes to understanding of the sustainable career framework by conceptualizing individual career alignment as a narrative accomplishment. Building on an interview study of 34 consultants in a large management consulting firm, we identify four narrative approaches for construing alignment within this challenging organizational context: overidentifying, conforming, creating symbiosis, and moving on. Our findings elaborate the sustainable career framework by suggesting alignment narratives as a contextually situated expression of agency in people's striving for sustainable careers. We discuss implications for theory and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103312
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019

Fingerprint

management consultant
Symbiosis
Consultants
career
Interviews
narrative
management counsulting
Management consultants
Alignment
sustainability
firm
organization
human being
interview
management

Keywords

  • Alignment
  • Construing career
  • Management consultant
  • Narrative
  • Sustainable career
  • Tension

Cite this

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Constructing alignment for sustainable careers : Insights from the career narratives of management consultants. / Chudzikowski, Katharina; Gustafsson, Stefanie; Tams, Svenja.

In: Journal of Vocational Behavior, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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