Career success across 11 countries: implications for international human resource management

Y. Shen*, B. Demel, J. Unite, J. P. Briscoe, D. T. Hall, K. Chudzikowski, W. Mayrhofer, R. Abdul-Ghani, B. Bogicevic Milikic, O. Colorado, Z. Fei, M. Las Heras, E. Ogliastri, A. Pazy, J. M.L. Poon, D. Shefer, M. Taniguchi, J. Zikic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


This qualitative study examines perceived meanings of career success across 11 countries. The results show that people define career success in ways that enrich and illuminate the basic dichotomy of objective and subjective career success and establish their relative strengths across countries. Juxtaposing our data with human resource management (HRM) practices, we contribute to the universalist versus contextualist debate in HRM by adding the career management angle. We shed light on the relative importance of cultural and institutional factors for HRM in the area of careers and add a global perspective to the discussion about agentic careers. In our discussion we offer practical suggestions for multinational companies including how to individualize HRM to address diverse views of career success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1753-1778
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jul 20


  • agentic careers
  • career success
  • cross-cultural comparison
  • qualitative study
  • universalist versus contextualist HRM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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