The measurement and enhancement of employability and career success: over different life and career stages

C.M. van der Heijde

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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The employability of workers enables organizations to cope with their fluctuating demand for numerical and functional flexibility. Clear definitions and instruments are needed to facilitate this process. For individual workers, professional expertise and employability are needed to deliver high quality performances during their whole career (and with that also to other career outcomes such as salary and work satisfaction), providing continuity to work and development. The first goal of this thesis is the definition of employability and the development of a valid and reliable measurement instrument to measure the employability of individual workers. In the Resource Based View of the Firm, a balance is strived for between gains of the workers and those of the organization. Five generic competences: professional expertise, anticipation and optimization, personal flexibility, corporate sense and balance, are Human Resources, that may be beneficial for both career outcomes of individual workers as well as organizational outcomes. Secondly, we studied the relationship between possible enhancing HR practices (also defined as informal learning climate factors) and employability and career success, including the factor age. A fair amount of variance in employability could be explained by these informal learning climate factors. Besides we demonstrated relationships between employability and different career success factors (salary, promotions and satisfaction with career outcomes). We found these relationships both for younger as well as for older workers. Each worker is unique in the sense that there is always a unique interplay between informal learning climate factors of the organization and the career and life stage of the individual worker. Only age is not enough information for employers to focus on and should not lead to age -related stereotyping. These findings are perfectly compatible with a sustainable employability- and career policy (SHRM), which is characterized by a flourishing productivity, health, and wellbeing of the individual workers as well as a flourishing output and flexibility of the organization. (sustained competitive advantage).
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Looise, Jan C., Supervisor
  • van der Heijden, Beatrice, Supervisor
  • Looise, J.C., Supervisor, External person
  • van der Heijden, B.I.J.M., Supervisor, External person
Award date10 Feb 2016
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-4051-3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2016


  • METIS-315458
  • IR-99454


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