Friday, 9 June 2017

Ambition at work and career satisfaction: The mediating role of taking charge behavior and the moderating role of pay

an article by Sabrine El Baroudi (Canadian University Dubai, United Arab Emirates), Chen Fleisher, (Utrecht University, The Netherlands) and Svetlana N. Khapova and Paul Jansen (VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands) Julia Richardson, (Curtin Business School, Perth, Australia) published in Career Development International Volume 22 Issue 1 (2017)


The purpose of this paper is to examine the moderating role of pay in the relationship between employee ambition and taking charge behavior, and its subsequent effects on employee career satisfaction.

A two-wave quantitative investigation was conducted among alumni of a large public university in the Netherlands.

The results show that taking charge behavior mediates the positive relationship between employee ambition and career satisfaction. They also show that pay positively moderates this mediation, such that the relationship between employee ambition and taking charge behavior is stronger when ambitious employees receive an increase in pay, leading to increased career satisfaction. Conversely, a decrease in pay does not moderate ambitious employees’ taking charge behavior and the impact on their career satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications
The study draws on self-report data collected in one country: the Netherlands.

Practical implications
The study highlights the importance of pay for higher job involvement, demonstrating its impact on taking charge behavior among employees with higher levels of ambition.

This is the first empirical study to examine the impact of pay on employees’ taking charge behavior and the subsequent implications for career satisfaction.

University students in the workplace strategies for successful industry placement experiences

an article by Jane Burdett and Sandy Barker (UniSA's Business School, Adelaide, Australia) published in Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal Volume 31 Issue 1 (2017)


Increasing numbers of university students in USA, UK and Australia are undertaking industry placements to gain workplace experience. However, outcomes are not always as expected. This paper aims to identify challenges for universities and host organizations in delivering quality student industry placement and presents strategies to achieve successful learning outcomes.

The reflections, evaluation and feedback data received from stakeholders, namely, university students, host organizations and faculty mentors in a large Australian university were used to formulate strategies.

Lessons learned from the authors’ experience in industry placement programs over 5 years with 180 students in 127 organizations indicate that careful planning and management of placements is needed to achieve successful learning outcomes.

Research limitations/implications
Further research into the application of these strategies in other universities would be valuable.

Practical implications
Lessons learned and recommendations offered provide strategies to assist in planning and management of industry placements.

Given the growing popularity of work experience in university programs, this should be of interest to faculty and organizations.

Earnings exemptions for unemployed workers: The relationship between marginal employment, unemployment duration and job quality

an article by Marco Caliendo (University of Potsdam; IZA Bonn; DIW Berlin; IAB Nuremberg (all in Germany)) and Steffen Künn (Maastricht University, The Netherlands; IZA Bonn, Germany) and Arne Uhlendorff (CNRS, CREST, France; IZA Bonn, Germany; DIW Berlin, Germany; IAB Nuremberg, Germany) published in Labour Economics Volume 42 (October 2016)

  • In some countries unemployed workers are allowed to work and to keep some of the earnings without a reduction in unemployment benefits.
  • Unemployed workers in Germany have an additional incentive to make use of such an earnings exemption due to marginal employment.
  • We estimate multivariate duration models to analyze the unemployment dynamics of job seekers with and without marginal employment.
  • We find that marginal employment increases the job finding probabilities of long-term unemployed individuals.
  • Furthermore, our results suggest that job seekers with marginal employment find more stable post-unemployment jobs.

In some countries including Germany unemployed workers can increase their income by working a few hours per week. The intention is to keep unemployed job seekers attached to the labour market and to increase their job-finding probabilities.

To analyze the unemployment dynamics of job seekers with and without marginal employment, we consider an inflow sample into unemployment and estimate multivariate duration models.

While we do not find any significant impact on the job finding probability in a model with homogeneous effects, models allowing for time-varying coefficients indicate a decreased job finding probability of marginal employment at the beginning of the unemployment spell and an increased job finding probability for the long-term unemployed.

Our results suggest that job seekers with marginal employment find more stable post-unemployment jobs, and we find some evidence that the relationship between marginal employment and wages and employment stability varies with respect to skill levels, sector and labor market tightness.

JEL classification: J64, C41, C33

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Welfare rights, self-help and social enterprise: Unpicking neoliberalism’s mess

an article by Jessica Gerrard (University of Melbourne, Australia) published in Journal of Sociology Volume 53 Issue 1 (March 2017)


Neoliberalism is often represented as a fundamental intrusion of individualism into post-war welfare policy settlements. This article seeks to unpick this understanding through a case study of the intersections between the welfare rights and self-help approaches of the homeless and community sectors in the 1970s and 1980s, and the emergence of social enterprise and The Big Issue in the 1990s.

First, I outline the development of a dedicated ‘homeless sector’ in the 1970s.

Second, the ways in which this sector developed in relation to challenges to state authority in social welfare is examined.

Finally, I explore the discursive intersections between the critiques of the welfare state, and the rise of neoliberalism and social enterprise.

I suggest the emergence of social enterprise is emblematic of wider claims to individual agency, while also interwoven with the rise of neoliberalism and the capitalist recuperation of self-help and welfare rights challenges to state strategies.

Domestic robots: Has their time finally come?

an article by Robert Bogue , (Independent Consultant, Okehampton, UK) published in Industrial Robot: An International Journal Volume 44 Issue 2 (2017)


This paper aims to provide details of commercially available domestic robots and recent product developments and consider whether a significant boost in the robot population is imminent.

Following a short introduction, this paper first provides a brief overview of existing domestic robots and identifies recent product trends. It then discusses some newer product developments which extend the capabilities of domestic robots. This is followed by a consideration of the many recently launched companion robots, and the paper concludes with a discussion of the likely impact on the domestic robot market.

This paper shows that domestic robots have benefited from developments in artificial intelligence, sensor technology and connectivity, which have led to greater versatility and enhanced ease of use. Several new product developments are extending the range of functions conducted by domestic robots. Many small, mobile companion/social robots have recently been developed which interact with humans by speech and vision and conduct functions such as entertainment, the control of household appliances and security.

This paper provides an insight into the wide range of domestic robots which are available or under development and considers their commercial prospects.

Skillset and match (Cedefop’s magazine promoting learning for work) – May 2017 issue 10

The May 2017 issue of Skillset and match, Cedefop’s magazine promoting learning for work, is now available to read and download.

In this issue, we present the findings of the first Cedefop opinion survey on vocational education and training (VET) in Europe.

Malta’s Minister for Education Evarist Bartolo, whose country holds the rotating EU Presidency in the first semester of 2017, tells us that education must be considered strategic investment to human capital.

Cedefop Deputy Director Mara Brugia writes about the roots of today’s European VET policy in the Treaty of Rome, as 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the treaty that laid the foundation of the European Union.

Also, don’t miss articles on:
  • VET in the 21st century;
  • skills and employment for refugees and asylum seekers; and
  • skill mismatch in the European labour market.
The Member State contribution this time comes from France.

And, as usual, you can browse through the latest Cedefop publications and upcoming events.

It is all here

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Age at immigration matters for labor market integration – the Swedish example

an article by Bjorn Anders Gustafsson (University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn, Germany) and Hanna Mac Innes and Torun Österberg (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) published in IZA Journal of Development and Migration Volume 7 Issue 1 (2017)


This paper analyses how age at immigration to Sweden and getting a first foothold in the labor market is related. We estimate hazard rate models using registry data on all persons who arrived in each of the years 1990, 1994, 1998, and 2002.

The results show that the number of years taken to get a foothold in the Swedish labor market increases rapidly by age among immigrants from middle- and low-income countries aged 40+.

Most individuals who are born in middle- or low-income countries who immigrate after age 50 never get a foothold in the Swedish labor market.

JEL classification: J15, J21, J61

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Nearly 10 million Britons are in insecure work, says union

via the Guardian by Sarah Butler
Deliveroo rider flanked by London double-decker
Up to 10 million Britons or nearly a third of the UK workforce do not have secure employment, according to the GMB union, which has warned of a heavy impact on health and family life.
The union’s research, unveiled at its 100th annual congress in Plymouth on Monday, attempts to quantify people in what it calls precarious employment – those in the gig economy, on zero- or short-hours contracts, temporary workers, the underemployed and those at risk of false self-employment.
The data, based on a survey of nearly 3,500 people of working age, emerged before the publication this month of recommendations from Matthew Taylor, a former adviser to Tony Blair [and current chief executive of the RSA] who was appointed by the current prime minister to lead a review into the gig economy. He is expected to recommend changes to the rights of self-employed workers.
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Aesthetic Local Search of Wind Farm Layouts

an article by Michael Mayo and Maisa Daoud (University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand) published in Information Volume 8 2017 article 39


The visual impact of wind farm layouts has seen little consideration in the literature on the wind farm layout optimisation problem to date.

Most existing algorithms focus on optimising layouts for power or the cost of energy alone.

In this paper, we consider the geometry of wind farm layouts and whether it is possible to bi-optimise a layout for both energy efficiency and the degree of visual impact that the layout exhibits. We develop a novel optimisation approach for solving the problem which measures mathematically the degree of visual impact of a layout.

The approach draws inspiration from the field of architecture. To evaluate our ideas, we demonstrate them on three benchmark problems for the wind farm layout optimisation problem in conjunction with two recently-published stochastic local search algorithms.

Optimal patterned layouts are shown to be very close in terms of energy efficiency to optimal non-patterned layouts.

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