Tag: employability

Accepted Publication: On the relation between task variety, social informal learning, and employability

The article “On the relation between task variety, social informal learning, and employability” will soon the published in Vocations & Learning (I’ll update you once it is ready).


Fluctuating demands and fast changing job-requirements require organizations to invest in employees so that they are able to take up new tasks. In this respect, fostering employees’ employability is high on the agenda of many organizations. As a prerequisite for creating employability, many scholars have focused on the role of social informal learning. In this study, we extend this perspective and examine the relationships between task variety, social informal learning, and employability. We hypothesized that task variety is a catalyst for social informal learning, which in turn enhances employees’ employability. We contribute empirical evidence for this mechanism. However, while task variety leads to social informal learning and, subsequently, the competences needed for employability, task variety also may have negative direct effects on employability. We discuss the implications of these findings for future research and practice.

Keywords: employability, social informal learning, task variety, workplace learning


Froehlich, D. E., Segers, M. S. R., Beausaert, S. A. J., & Kremer, M. (Forthcoming). On the relation between task-variety, social informal learning, and employability. Vocations and Learning.

New publication: Work in progress: the progression of competence-based employability

My paper “Work in progress: the progression of competence-based employability” was just published in Career Development International.


Purpose:  Employability and its components have received a lot of attention from scholars and practitioners. However, little is known about the interrelations between these different components of employability and how employees progress within their employability trajectories. Therefore, a model of such progression was constructed and tested using Van der Heijde and Van der Heijden’s (2006) employability measurement instrument. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach: The propositions were tested empirically by applying a Rasch model using a sample of 167 Austrian business consultants.

Findings: The findings lend some support for the hypothesized progression model of employability. Specifically, the items measuring occupational expertise are largely located in the group of items that were relatively likely to be endorsed. Also, the items of personal flexibility and anticipation and optimization were, in general, less likely to be endorsed than the items of occupational expertise.

Research limitations/implications: The major thrust of this paper is a theoretical one. However, the empirical demonstration tentatively supports the proposed model, which implies that further, more robust longitudinal research in this direction may be a worthwhile endeavor.

Practical implications: By understanding which competences are important at which stage or across which stages of an individual’s career, career advisors and human resource management professionals can give more targeted advice concerning career management practices.

Originality/value: The present study contributes to the literature by investigating how employees may make progress within their employability trajectories.

Cite as

Froehlich, D. E., Liu, M., & Van der Heijden, B. I. J. M. (2018). Work in Progress: The Progression of Competence-Based Employability. Career Development International, 23(2), 230–244.

Revisited Publication: Aging and the motivation to stay employable

In 2016, my paper “Aging and the motivation to stay employable” was published in the Journal of Managerial Psychology.


Purpose – The demographic shift and the rapid rate of innovations put age and employability high on policy makers’ and human resource managers’ agenda. However, the authors do not sufficiently understand the link between these concepts. The authors set out to investigate the relationship between age and employability and aim to identify motivational mediators of this relationship. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the roles of future time perspective and goal orientation.

Design/methodology/approach – The authors conducted quantitative, cross-sectional survey research (n=282) in three Dutch and Austrian organizations. The authors used structural equation modeling to investigate the relationships between chronological age, future time perspective, goal orientations, and employability.

Findings – Future time perspective and goal orientation strongly relate to employability. The authors found indirect relationships between age and employability via perceived remaining opportunities.

Research limitations/implications – The results question the often simplistic use of chronological age in employability and human resource management research. Therefore, the authors call for more research to investigate the relationship between age and employability more deeply.

Practical implications – The findings contribute new insights for the career development issues of an increasingly older workforce. This shifts the focus from age, a factor outside our control, to motivation. Originality/value – This study contributes evidence for the relationships of chronological age, future time perspective, and goal orientation with employability. It extends literature by criticizing the prevalent use of chronological age and investigating mediation effects.
Keywords: Competences, Age groups, Older workers, Human resource management, Motivation, Career development

Cite as

Froehlich, D. E., Beausaert, S. A. J., & Segers, M. (2016). Aging and the motivation to stay employable. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 31(3), 756–770. http://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-08-2014-0224


Access the publication via the publisher’s website or drop me a line.