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Keywords:

  • global career;
  • career structuration;
  • individual career management;
  • global economy

Abstract

This qualitative study examines how globally-oriented career actors engage with the opportunities and constraints of organizational career development. Drawing theoretically on career structuration, we study how individuals develop their global careers with reference to their employment setting and the global economy. Our findings indicate that managers intentionally engage in career practices that act upon those elements of the organizational career script which they experience as constraints for developing a career in the global economy. In addition, our findings suggest that tight organizational career scripts provoke explicit individual career actions whereas loose scripts initiate reflection and pondering. We discuss the theoretical implications of this study in terms of the interaction between multiple contexts and individual career actions, and the meaning of global careers. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.