Improving the process of career decision-making amongst undergraduates: an action research approach

P. Greenbank

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Purpose – This study adopts an action research approach with the aim of improving the process of career decision making among undergraduates in a business school at a “new” university in the UK. Design/methodology/approach – The study utilised unfreezing techniques, multiple case studies in conjunction with the principle of analogical encoding, and lecture input to influence the values underpinning the way students intend to engage in the process of career decision making. The paper draws on evidence collected over three cycles of an action research project and from different data sources, i.e. questionnaires, interviews and observations. Findings – The study found that students from working class and middle class backgrounds exhibited similar types of career decision making behaviour. The students tended not to have a future orientation; they relied on informally absorbed information and their intuition rather than rational approaches to decision making; and they demonstrated an unwillingness to be instrumental and operate as “players”. The series of interventions (i.e. the unfreezing exercise, the case studies and the lecture input) resulted in shifts in attitude to career decision making and preparation, particularly for those students who engaged in all three stages of the intervention The unfreezing exercise was seen as particularly important in encouraging students to critically reflect on their career decision making. Originality/value – This research provides new insights into the factors influencing the way undergraduates approach career decision making. It also provides suggestions for encouraging students to critically reflect on how they make career decisions and prepare for the transition to the graduate labour market
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event3rd International Pedagogical Research in Higher Education Conference - Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 25 Oct 201026 Oct 2010

Conference

Conference3rd International Pedagogical Research in Higher Education Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLiverpool
Period25/10/1026/10/10

Fingerprint

Career decision making
Undergraduate
Exercise
Preparation
Decision-making process
Middle class
Labour market
Questionnaire
Design methodology
Decision making
Career decision
Business schools
Intuition
Working class
Influencing factors

Cite this

Greenbank, P. (2010). Improving the process of career decision-making amongst undergraduates: an action research approach. Paper presented at 3rd International Pedagogical Research in Higher Education Conference, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
Greenbank, P. / Improving the process of career decision-making amongst undergraduates: an action research approach. Paper presented at 3rd International Pedagogical Research in Higher Education Conference, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
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Greenbank, P 2010, 'Improving the process of career decision-making amongst undergraduates: an action research approach' Paper presented at 3rd International Pedagogical Research in Higher Education Conference, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 25/10/10 - 26/10/10, .

Improving the process of career decision-making amongst undergraduates: an action research approach. / Greenbank, P.

2010. Paper presented at 3rd International Pedagogical Research in Higher Education Conference, Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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T1 - Improving the process of career decision-making amongst undergraduates: an action research approach

AU - Greenbank, P.

PY - 2010

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AB - Purpose – This study adopts an action research approach with the aim of improving the process of career decision making among undergraduates in a business school at a “new” university in the UK. Design/methodology/approach – The study utilised unfreezing techniques, multiple case studies in conjunction with the principle of analogical encoding, and lecture input to influence the values underpinning the way students intend to engage in the process of career decision making. The paper draws on evidence collected over three cycles of an action research project and from different data sources, i.e. questionnaires, interviews and observations. Findings – The study found that students from working class and middle class backgrounds exhibited similar types of career decision making behaviour. The students tended not to have a future orientation; they relied on informally absorbed information and their intuition rather than rational approaches to decision making; and they demonstrated an unwillingness to be instrumental and operate as “players”. The series of interventions (i.e. the unfreezing exercise, the case studies and the lecture input) resulted in shifts in attitude to career decision making and preparation, particularly for those students who engaged in all three stages of the intervention The unfreezing exercise was seen as particularly important in encouraging students to critically reflect on their career decision making. Originality/value – This research provides new insights into the factors influencing the way undergraduates approach career decision making. It also provides suggestions for encouraging students to critically reflect on how they make career decisions and prepare for the transition to the graduate labour market

M3 - Paper

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Greenbank P. Improving the process of career decision-making amongst undergraduates: an action research approach. 2010. Paper presented at 3rd International Pedagogical Research in Higher Education Conference, Liverpool, United Kingdom.