Understanding the Impact of Organisational Culture on Managers' Internal Career Needs

Understanding the Impact of Organisational Culture on Managers' Internal Career Needs

Chi Maher (St. Mary's University Twickenham, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2480-9.ch014
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This chapter explores the influence of organisational culture on managerial internal career needs in small third sector social enterprises. Every organisation develops and maintains a unique culture, which provides guidelines and boundaries for the career management of members of the organisation. The research methodology was designed to allow the collection of data from three case study organisations and 24 operational managers working in these organisations. The qualitative findings of the study add to, and help to explain the inter-play between individual manager's internal career needs and organisational culture. Most importantly the findings suggest that when individual manager's internal career needs are closely supported by organisational culture, it increases their desire to stay with the organisation. The findings make an important contribution in the field of organisational career management.
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This chapter seeks to contribute to our understanding of the influence of organisational culture on managerial internal career needs in small third sector social enterprise organisations. Despite changes in career structures in the 21st Century, for example, the growing number of self-employment and contract work, etc. Majority of career still takes place in organisations (Baruch, 2004; Maher, 2016), including small social enterprises (Maher, 2015b). Successive UK government acknowledges the importance of these organisations role in building social capital and developing the social economy (Kendall and Knapp, 1996; Ridley-Duff and Bull 2015).

Third sector social enterprise organisations expect commitment and performance from managers to deliver their contractual obligations (Maher, 2015b). They expect managers to deliver projects on time and to budget; with the expected outcomes and benefits to the client group and the community. What organisations do not always realise is that individual managers differ in their career aspirations and career needs (Herriot, 1992; Maher, 2009). Organisational culture can often influence their decision to leave or stay in a particular organisation (Lok and Crawford, 2004). Therefore, the importance of understanding the influence or organisational culture on the internal career needs of managers who manage and develop small social enterprise organisation’s activities has increased.

The internal career is conceptualised in terms of an individual’s values, motivation and view of their career orientations and decisions between personal and professional life (Ng and Feldman, 2014, Bidwell and Mollick, 2015). It is connected with the individual’s goals, aspirations and interests. A key question when considering the internal career is “what do I want from work? (Derr and Laurent, 1989; Ng and Feldman, 2014). This is about the way the individual defines the work they enjoy and cherish. The self-concept that seeks explicit answers from the following questions: ‘what are my talents, skills, areas of competence? What are my main motives, drives, goal in life? What are my values: How good do I feel about my job?’ (Schein, 1982). Therefore, the internal career will vary between individuals within the same organisation and even those doing the same job (Maher, 2015b).

Studies from the internal career perspective suggest that the individual’s internal career needs influence their selection of specific occupations and work settings (Derr and Laurent, 1989; Chompookum and Brooklyn Derr, 2004). These studies contend that organisations whose culture and values do not fulfill an individual’s internal career needs; are likely to find that they will be unable to retain these individuals in the long term (Schein, 1990). This may lead to dysfunctional organisational outcomes such as reduced organisational commitment and high turnover (Schein, 1978; Tschopp et al., 2014).

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