Ports and Ladders: The Nature and Relevance of Internal Labor Markets in a Changing World
Osterman, Paul; Burton, M. Diane
[Excerpt] Many believe that the nature of careers has changed dramatically in the past twenty years. One scholar writes that internal labor markets have been 'demolished', while a human resources manager at Intel comments that, in contrast to the past, today, 'You own your own employability. You are responsible' (Knoke 2001: 31). The idea of the 'boundaryless career' seems increasingly popular (Arthur and Rousseau 1996). If it is in fact true that the old rules for organizing work have disappeared, this would represent a fundamental change for employees. It would also have major implications for how scholars think about the labor market. Not surprisingly, the reality is more complicated, with evidence of both change and stability in the nature of the employment relationship. In this chapter we discuss the nature of these developments and their implications for the internal labor market literature.
internal labor markets; organizations; human resource managements
Required Publisher Statement: © Oxford University Press. Final version published as: Osterman, P., & Burton, M. D. (2006). Ports and ladders: The nature and relevance of internal labor markets in a changing world. In S. Ackroyd, R. Batt, P. Thompson, & P. S. Tolbert (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of work and organization. New York: Oxford University Press. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.