A Typology of Labour Market Intermediaries Securing Nonstandard Career Paths

Saturday, June 25, 2016: 10:45 AM-12:15 PM
206 Dwinelle (Dwinelle Hall)
Nadege Lorquet, University of Liege/HEC-LENTIC, Liege, Belgium
Francois Pichault, University of Liege/HEC-LENTIC, Liege, Belgium
Jean-Francois Orianne, University of Liege/Faculty of Social Sciences-CRIS, Liege, Belgium
In a context in which the classical vision of organizational careers is more and more eroded, this paper explores how Labour Market Intermediaries (LMIs) can secure nonstandard career paths. In order to characterize LMIs’ emerging roles, we created a multidimensional grid made up of 6 criteria in an attempt to answer the following questions: 1) where do LMIs come from? 2) who is responsible for the matchmaking process? 3) when do LMIs secure career paths? 4) how do they support professional transitions? 5) what kind of information do they produce and diffuse on the labour market? 6) why do they intervene on the labour market? We validate this analytical framework through its application to five case studies selected in order to compare systematically the roles LMIs can play in securing professional transitions. Beyond the creation of an original multidimensional grid, our results outline two ideal-typical ways of securing nonstandard careers paths. Some LMIs offer security by reconstructing internal labour markets and consider workers as “quasi employees”. Conversely, other LMIs suggest more disruptive solutions in which workers are supported in their job transitions while becoming fully responsible for their career: they may be considered as “quasi self-employers”.  We then raise some final comments about the moral challenges surrounding these two ideal-typical situations.