Work and organisational issues affecting young workers

Okay-Somerville, B. , Selenko, E. and Searle, R. (2022) Work and organisational issues affecting young workers. In: Braddick, O. (ed.) Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780190236557 (doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190236557.013.863)

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Young people (between ages 15 and 24 years) experience unique difficulties in access to work, compared to the rest of the working population. Young people are in the process of developing career competencies and therefore lack the necessary know-how, know-why and know-whom relevant for securing jobs and developing sustainable careers. Social disadvantage creates a major obstacle in the way of young people’s career competency development. Lifespan career development theories, with a focus on career competency development, explain young people’s struggle for access to work. When we are younger, we tend to have high growth needs relevant for achieving educational and occupational aspirations and becoming independent adults. These motives may be explained by lifespan theories of aging. Yet, there is a tendency to attribute young people’s work-related motives and behavior to generational differences. Generational perspectives are conceptually and operationally muddled and may serve to heighten age-related stereotypes at work. Psychological science can make further impactful contributions to improving youth employment, especially by taking the socioeconomic context into account.

Item Type:Book Sections (Encyclopaedia entry)
Keywords:Young workers, youth employment, unemployment, lifespan development, generations, career competencies, work identity, over-qualification, employability, work motives.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Okay-Somerville, Dr Belgin and Searle, Professor Rosalind
Authors: Okay-Somerville, B., Selenko, E., and Searle, R.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Research Group:HRM&OB
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Published Online:23 March 2022
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