Saturday, May 7, 2011


It is obvious from the foregoing analysis that individuals differ a great deal in terms of their career orientation. The career orientation is influenced by the preference for a particular career anchor, the life-cycle stage one is in and individual differences in values, goals, priorities and aspirations. Organizations also differ in terms of the career paths and opportunities that they can provide given the reality of their internal and external environments. The career systems available in organizations also depend on their value system, growth potential, goals and priorities. The difference between what the employees look for in terms of their career progression and what career growth opportunities the organization is able to provide, gives rise to a situation of potential conflict between the individual aspiration and organizational opportunities. If the con­flict is allowed to persist, the employees will experience dissatisfaction and withdraw from being actively engaged in the productive pursuits. They might even choose the option of leaving the organization. In either case, the organization is not able to op­timally utilize the potential contributions of its employees towards the achievement of its goals.

The possibility of conflict between the individual and organization objectives calls for career planning efforts which can help identify areas of conflict and initiate such actions as necessary to resolve the conflict. Career planning, thus, involves matching of rewards and incentives offered by the career path and career structure with hopes and aspirations of different categories of employees regarding their own concept of progression. A general approach to career planning would involve the following steps:

(i) Analysis of the characteristics of the rewards and incentives offered by the prevail­ing career system needs to be done and made known to employees. Many individuals may not be aware of their own career progression paths as such information may be confined to only a select group of managers.

(ii) Analysis of the characteristics of the hopes and aspirations of different categories of employees including identification of their career anchors must be done through objective assessment. Most organizations assume the career aspirations of individual employees which need not be in tune with the reality. The individuals may not have a clear idea of their short and long-term career and life goals, and may not be aware of their aspirations and career anchors.

(iii) Mechanisms for identifying congruence between individual career aspirations and organisational career systems must be developed so as to enable the organization to discuss cases of mismatch or incongruence. On the basis of above analyses, it will be necessary to compare and identify specific areas of match and mismatch for dif­ferent category of employees.

(iv) Alternative strategies for dealing with mismatch will have to be formulated. Some of the strategies adopted by several organizations include the following:

(a) Changes in the career system by creating new career paths, new incentives, new rewards, by providing challenges through job redesign opportunities for lateral movement and the like.

(b) change in the employees' hopes and aspirations by creating new needs, new goals, new aspirations or by helping the employees to scale down goals and aspira­tions that are unrealistic or unattainable for one reason or the other.

(c) seek new basis of integration, compromise or other forms of mutual change on the part of both employees and organization through problem-solving, negotiations or other devices.


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