Title: Understanding low-skilled labour's protean-boundaryless mental maps and employability traps

Authors: Rebecca McPherson

Addresses: Department of Management and Marketing, College of Business Administration, Texas A&M University-Central Texas, 1001 Leadership Place, Killeen, 76549 Texas, USA

Abstract: A job mobility phenomenon appears to be that low-skilled labour does not understand employability or how job mobility works, resulting in poor choices and, subsequently, poor employment outcomes. This qualitative study investigated ten staffing and human resource (HR) professionals' perspectives of labour's employability and job mobility across organisations and industries. Staffing professionals provided unique insight elucidating labour's lack-of-understanding about job mobility describing success factors and bridgeable deficits. HR professionals were anticipated to have insider knowledge of labour's experiences in being successful or unsuccessful within their organisations. A cross-participant analysis contributes to the existing literature by providing insight into mental maps and employability traps, which may explain poor employment outcomes such as truncated, lateral career paths. Participants' insider perspectives of low-skilled labour's experience-based schema suggest labour's initial mental mapping of job mobility is accurate but becomes limited or inaccurate as successive job mobility is sought. Suggestions for future research are provided.

Keywords: low-skill; employability; job mobility; protean; boundaryless; career success; career development; staffing; mental maps; schema; human resource; secondary job market.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBSR.2021.114948

International Journal of Business and Systems Research, 2021 Vol.15 No.3, pp.356 - 370

Received: 05 Aug 2019
Accepted: 11 Nov 2019

Published online: 12 May 2021 *

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