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The relational nature of undergraduates' career management

The relational nature of undergraduates' career management

Emmanuel, Myrtle ORCID: 0000-0002-7975-9751 (2015) The relational nature of undergraduates' career management. [Working Paper] (Unpublished)

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The study examines the relational nature of early career management. It is driven by the dearth of research examining the impact of social influences on the early career outcomes of undergraduates who are in the transitory period from education to work. This is particularly important since the early foundations of career success literature usually relates to post-graduates, even though employment expectations are formed way before graduates enter the labour market (Scurry and Blenkinsopp 2011). The research also responds to the requests for researchers to examine the influence of the individuals’ multi-developmental network on their career outcomes (e.g. Chandler, 2011 et al; Chandler & Kram, 2010; Higgins, 2000).

Design /Methodology

An online survey was sent to all second-year undergraduate students from a pre and post-1992 university (resulting in 793 responses). It was later followed up with the same students in the third year of their studies (resulting in 222 responses).


Formal developers play an instrumental role in enhancing students’ labour market awareness, career self-confidence and clarity of professional identity. Moreover developmental network dynamics such as a decrease in the number of formal developers was associated with lower levels of clarity of professional identity and career support.


Data collected through self-reports.

Research / Practical implications

Formal developmental relationships and the emotional intensity of these relations shaped the perception of early career success of individuals in the transitory period of university to work.


The study provides a relational approach to early career management by investigating the early career outcomes of multiple developmental relationships.

Item Type: Working Paper
Additional Information: The conceptual paper is the first draft on the foundations and conceptualisation of career success for undergraduates. It is a work in progress and based on my recent PhD study. I aim to develop this paper further between May and September this year and submit to the Work Employment & Society journal after the internal review process. Further empirical work using the measures described in the paper has already began in another paper that is planned to be submitted to the Journal of Vocational Behavior.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Early career success, Objective and subjective measures
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW)
Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Work & Employment Research Unit (WERU)
Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 12:19

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