Explaining Influences on Career 'Choice': The Case of MBA Students

International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 16, No. 11, pp. 2000-2028, November 2005

29 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2006

See all articles by Mustafa F. Ozbilgin

Mustafa F. Ozbilgin

Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia

Fatma Kusku

Istanbul Technical University

Nihat Erdogmus

Istanbul Sehir Uniersity

Abstract

This study explores the micro-individual, meso-institutional and relational and macro-structural level influences on career choices of MBA students from three countries, questioning the apparent dominance of 'free choice' in the context of persistent forms of structural constraints in career markets. The paper takes a critical perspective on career 'choice', acknowledging the contested nature of 'choice' and identifying career as a socially and historically situated phenomenon. The central hypothesis of the study is that 'it is more likely for the MBA students to report micro-agentic or meso-instutional and relational rather than macro-structural conditions as key influences on their career choices'. The study draws on the findings of a cross-national survey on careers involving Britain, Israel and Turkey. Findings show that MBA students consider the impact of structural conditions as less significant on their career choices than their own human capital and capacity to make free choices. The study provides an understanding of the main cross-national similarities and differences in reporting of influences on career 'choice', and brings to bare interesting theoretical and methodological insights.

Keywords: career, choice, Israel, Greece, Turkey, MBA, management education, vocational counseling

JEL Classification: J20, J30, J40, J60, J70

Suggested Citation

Ozbilgin, Mustafa F. and Kusku, Fatma and Erdogmus, Nihat, Explaining Influences on Career 'Choice': The Case of MBA Students. International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 16, No. 11, pp. 2000-2028, November 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=929926

Mustafa F. Ozbilgin (Contact Author)

Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia ( email )

Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

Fatma Kusku

Istanbul Technical University ( email )

Macka, 34367
Turkey

Nihat Erdogmus

Istanbul Sehir Uniersity ( email )

Altunizade Mah. Kusbakisi Cad. No. 27
Uskudar
Istanbul, 34662
Turkey

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