Article

Ports and Ladders: The Nature and Relevance of Internal Labor Markets in a Changing World

Paul Osterman and M. Diane Burton

in The Oxford Handbook of Work and Organization

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780199299249
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199299249.003.0022

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

 Ports and Ladders: The Nature and Relevance of Internal Labor Markets in a Changing World

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Many believe that the nature of careers has changed dramatically in the past twenty years. One scholar writes that internal labor markets have been ‘demolished’, while a human resources manager at Intel comments that, in contrast to the past, today, ‘You own your own employability. You are responsible’ (Knoke 2001: 31). The idea of the ‘boundaryless career’ seems increasingly popular (Arthur and Rousseau 1996). If it is in fact true that the old rules for organizing work have disappeared, this would represent a fundamental change for employees. It would also have major implications for how scholars think about the labor market. Not surprisingly, the reality is more complicated, with evidence of both change and stability in the nature of the employment relationship. This article discusses the nature of these developments and their implications for the internal labor market literature.

Keywords: internal labor markets; human resources manager; boundaryless career; employment relationship; market literature

Article.  8429 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Business Ethics ; Business Strategy

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