(Re)Framing Sustainable Careers: Towards a Conceptual Model and Future Research Agenda

William Donald, Beatrice van der Heijden, Graham Manville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: By adopting a Social Exchange Theory (SET) lens, this paper aims to integrate the
often-fragmented literature streams of Vocational Behavior (VB), Career Development (CD),
and Human Resource Management (HRM) to offer a conceptual model for framing
sustainable careers.
Design/methodology/approach: A conceptual approach is taken whereby eight propositions
are developed to integrate the fragmented literature streams of VB, CD, and HRM.
Findings: We posit that external factors and career counseling moderate the positive
relationship between employability capital and self-perceived employability. We also argue
that self-perceived employability is positively associated with career success and that career
crafting moderates this relationship. Finally, we propose that career success is positively
associated with a sustainable career, which, in turn, is positively associated with a sustainable
Originality: The theoretical contribution comes from integrating the three literature streams
to offer a conceptual model as the basis for further interdisciplinary collaborations.
Practical Implications: The practical contribution comes from informing VB, CD, and HRM
policies and practices to maximize sustainable outcomes for individuals and organizations.
The paper concludes with recommendations for future research.
Keywords: career development; human resource management; sustainable careers;
sustainable organizations; vocational behavior
Original languageEnglish
JournalCareer Development International
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Mar 2024

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