Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Rethinking underemployment and overqualification in organizations: The not so ugly truth

an article by Katina W. Thompson, Pamela L. Perrewé and Gerald R. Ferris (Florida State University, Tallahassee), Thomas H. Shea (Right Management, Fort Lauderdale) and David M. Sikora (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo) published in Business Horizons Volume 56 Issue 1 (January–February 2013)


What comes to mind when you hear the term underemployment?
Does a slight, disapproving frown purse your lips?
Does pity flood your heart?
Or do forgotten mental notations to study the topic permeate your brain?

Although we are intimately familiar with unemployment and its effects, we are much less aware of underemployment and its impact on people and organisations.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in January 2012, underemployment was estimated to affect more than 10 million people in the American civilian labour force. Its magnitude suggests that underemployment is a significant issue for all involved.

By combining practical experiences from an outplacement firm (Right Management, headed by Thomas H Shea as above) and what we have learned from academic research, we herein describe five types of underemployment, discuss widely held assumptions about the issue, and offer suggestions regarding ways that organisations might harness the power of this economy-wide phenomenon.

Hazel’s comment:
It is, of course, not only in the USA that underemployment is a problem for many people. There are significant challenges faced by many people in the UK as well.

Related posts:
Involuntary part-time workers in Britain
Chasing graduate jobs?

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