Latest Research on Career Progression : July – 2020

The informal dimension of human resource management in Korea: Yongo, recruiting practices and career progression

This research reports on the influence of informal social networks in Korea (i.e. Yongo) on recruitment and promotions practices of large, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). By using a social network theory frame, this research contributes to the convergence–divergence debate in International Human Resource Management. From our analysis, we can conclude that large firms use Yongo and related practices on the upper management level, whereas SMEs draw on informal social networks on middle and upper management level. The influence of Yongo is weakened by the recent need for skillful employees with specialized competencies. We regard Korean HR practices as being in a state of ‘soft divergence’ because Yongo still represents an influential factor in HR practices. Moreover, we refer to the debate on the persistence of informal relationships in East Asia by demonstrating that Yongo is a rather culturally driven institution; hence, we assume that it may persist and not diminish any time soon. Finally, implications for practice are drawn by outlining the difficulties expatriates face without being able to establish Yongo-based ties and propose solutions. [1]


We analyze occupational attainment and career progression over the life course for Swedish men and women, born in 1925–1974. Careers progress (measured as improvements in occupational prestige) fast during the first 5–10 years in the labour market, and flatten out afterwards (approximately between 30–40 years of age). This is in line with the occupational status maturation hypothesis. Both class origin and educational attainment affect occupational attainment. The effects of educational attainment vary more over the career, but depend on the educational attainment level in question. Successive cohorts of women gain higher occupational prestige, and continue to gain in occupational prestige longer across their careers. We also find that cohorts that entered the labour market in times of economic downturns and restructuring (the oil crisis years and the early 1990s) had more difficulties in establishing their careers. Returns to education generally increase across cohorts, while class background differences decrease, as has been reported in earlier research. [2]

Higher Education Scholarships: A review of their impact on workplace retention and career progression

The community-managed mental health sector is facing a crisis. Funding is less certain, demand for services is increasing, and retaining a skilled and competent workforce is proving a challenge. In order to respond to this workforce crisis a literature review was conducted on the effectiveness of higher education scholarship programmes, as a workforce strategy to encourage mental health workers to remain in the community sector and to determine the key elements in the design of a successful scholarship programme.

The review focused on whether undertaking tertiary studies influenced workers’ intentions to remain in their chosen area of work and their future career plans; however evaluations on the successful provision of higher education scholarships and their influence on workforce retention proved limited.

The review resulted in the development of a list of key elements that may contribute to the successful design and delivery of an industry focused, higher education scholarship programme. [3]

Socio-cultural Career Progression Barriers for Women in Academics: A Case of the Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo, Nigeria

Gender challenges in career remains a deterrent to career progression and has largely affected the female population in the workplace environment. In Nigerian society, women have a quite significant socio-cultural role. This study, therefore, examined the understandings of women academics on the cultural family issues that serve as barriers to their careers. The study is a contribution to the existing literature on women academics’ career experiences which have been less investigated in developing countries compared to the developed ones. In doing this, the study tried to provide explanations to the impact of cultural family roles of women in achieving progression in their careers, using the Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo, Nigeria as a case. The study utilized a mixed research approach to investigate this relationship. The qualitative data was used to corroborate quantitative findings. The study found that the socio-cultural roles of women as wives and mothers play a crucial role in their career progression as academics. The impact of a partner’s support plays a crucial role in either the academics family or her partners family’s ability to support her career thereby facilitating academic career progression. Also, a coping strategy that has been widely explored has been the sourcing for assistance with executing some of the socio-cultural roles of women. [4]


[1] Horak, S., 2017. The informal dimension of human resource management in Korea: Yongo, recruiting practices and career progression. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 28(10), pp.1409-1432.

[2] Härkönen, J. and Bihagen, E., 2011. Occupational attainment and career progression in Sweden. European Societies, 13(3), pp.451-479.

[3] Foreman, E., Perry, C. and Wheeler, A., 2015. Higher Education Scholarships: A review of their impact on workplace retention and career progression. Open Review of Educational Research, 2(1), pp.155-166.

[4] M. Laniran, A. and J. Laniran, T. (2017) “Socio-cultural Career Progression Barriers for Women in Academics: A Case of the Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo, Nigeria”, Asian Research Journal of Arts & Social Sciences, 2(2), pp. 1-10. doi: 10.9734/ARJASS/2017/31674.

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