Life History and Career Paths: A Study of Brazilian Executives

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Lisiane Quadrado Closs
Sidinei Rocha-de-Oliveira


The notion of what constitutes a career is interdisciplinary by nature, congregating views from an individual, organizations and society. Nevertheless, despite progress in discussions on the subject, recent studies have pointed towards the limitations of currently used theories, calling for greater interdisciplinarity (Arthur, 2008; Chudzikowski & Mayrhofer, 2011; Khapova & Arthur, 2011; Lawrence, 2011), since little evolution has occurred in this sense. In order to respond to the need for multidisciplinary research in career studies, this paperaims to presentandillustrate thepotential use oflife histories by analyzing the influences and limits on seven Brazilian executives' career paths through this method. Results are presented in two broad categories of analysis: (a) contextual influencesoncareers involving changes in the Brazilian economic and organizational setting, increased competition and need to increase knowledge in face of globalization, mobility demand and gender discrimination;(b) life stages andcareer choices, including individual aspects of their trajectories, such as family values, choice of undergraduate courses, entering the labor market and parenthood.


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Closs, L. Q., & Rocha-de-Oliveira, S. (1). Life History and Career Paths: A Study of Brazilian Executives. Journal of Contemporary Administration, 19(4), 525-543.