Investigating employability: the perspective of the business school graduate

Jackson, Victoria
Investigating employability: the perspective of the business school graduate. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Graduate employability is a current and high profile concept, which has received much attention over recent decades. This attention however, has mostly centred on employer perspectives and their views regarding skill demands or shortfalls. Where the graduate viewpoint has been sought, this has largely involved the mass collection of career destination and employment outcome information (Woodley & Brennan, 2000; Tomlinson, 2007; Holmes, 2013). This career destination approach however, has been criticised for its simplicity, with arguments that it is not an accurate measure of employability (Harvey, 2001; Tymon, 2011). As a consequence, the graduate perspective of their employability enhancement is an under-researched and largely neglected area, resulting in a lack of understanding of this particular viewpoint (Nabi & Bagley, 1999; Harvey, 1999; Nabi, 2003; Shah et al. 2004; Sleep & Reed, 2006; Rothwell et al. 2009). To address this situation, the overall aim of this research is to investigate employability from the graduate perspective, and to research this within the context of the current economic climate. The critical realist philosophy was adopted for this research, which supports the implementation of a multiple case study methodology, utilising mixed data collection methods. Employing this approach, three key employability stakeholder perspectives were collected and analysed: graduates, curriculum developers and employers. A fourth stakeholder view, the policy makers, was obtained from secondary sources comprising of recent policy documents. Addressing the four stakeholder perspectives assists in the acquisition of a holistic understanding of the graduate employability concept. This facilitates the connection of the graduate perspective to those of the other stakeholders, which is currently lacking in the employability literature (Andrews & Higson, 2008). A range of interesting employability perspectives were produced, which most notably highlighted the importance of the type of institution attended, employer focuses upon behaviours over skills, and the significance of the prevailing economic climate. These fresh insights were incorporated into a revised model of graduate employability. The original contribution to knowledge is threefold. Firstly, a deeper understanding of the graduate perspective has been obtained. Secondly, clarity over employer requirements has been produced, and thirdly, the economic climate and labour market conditions have increased awareness of the effect these have upon stakeholder perceptions of graduate employability.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy)
Additional Information: Date: 2013-06 (completed)
Subjects: ?? HD28 ??
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Management
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2014 10:10
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 04:41
DOI: 10.17638/00017213
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