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A personal construct approach to employability: comparing stakeholders’ implicit theories

A personal construct approach to employability: comparing stakeholders’ implicit theories The purpose of this paper is to adopt the perspective of personal construct theory to conceptualise employability. The study explores differences in the implicit employability theories of those involved in developing employability (educators) and those selecting and recruiting higher education (HE) students and graduates (employers).Design/methodology/approachA repertory grid technique (RGT) was employed to uncover the implicit theories of 22 employers and 14 educators across the UK.FindingsA total of 717 constructs were elicited. A differential analysis of data gathered demonstrated several areas of consensus among employers and educators (including emotional management, confidence, professionalism), as well as divergence in representations of commitment, proactivity, interpersonal competencies and vision to the conceptualisation of employability.Practical implicationsFindings from this analysis indicate a need to integrate group process assessments within undergraduate programmes and recruitment procedures.Originality/valueThis study represents a personal construct approach to employability, utilising the unique value of RGT to further inform our understanding of employability within an HE context. This study contributes to an understanding of employability as a continually re-constructed concept. This study provides insights to its nature via two information rich cases that have extensive knowledge on the topic. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Education + Training Emerald Publishing

A personal construct approach to employability: comparing stakeholders’ implicit theories

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References (97)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0040-0912
DOI
10.1108/et-08-2017-0112
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to adopt the perspective of personal construct theory to conceptualise employability. The study explores differences in the implicit employability theories of those involved in developing employability (educators) and those selecting and recruiting higher education (HE) students and graduates (employers).Design/methodology/approachA repertory grid technique (RGT) was employed to uncover the implicit theories of 22 employers and 14 educators across the UK.FindingsA total of 717 constructs were elicited. A differential analysis of data gathered demonstrated several areas of consensus among employers and educators (including emotional management, confidence, professionalism), as well as divergence in representations of commitment, proactivity, interpersonal competencies and vision to the conceptualisation of employability.Practical implicationsFindings from this analysis indicate a need to integrate group process assessments within undergraduate programmes and recruitment procedures.Originality/valueThis study represents a personal construct approach to employability, utilising the unique value of RGT to further inform our understanding of employability within an HE context. This study contributes to an understanding of employability as a continually re-constructed concept. This study provides insights to its nature via two information rich cases that have extensive knowledge on the topic.

Journal

Education + TrainingEmerald Publishing

Published: May 15, 2019

Keywords: Employers; Employability; Educators; Personal construct theory; Repertory grid technique

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