In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Career Transitions and Job Mobility

  • Introduction
  • Journals
  • Foundational Texts
  • Reviews
  • Methods and Data

Management Career Transitions and Job Mobility
Gina Dokko, Katharina Chudzikowski
  • LAST REVIEWED: 22 August 2023
  • LAST MODIFIED: 22 August 2023
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0189


Individual careers have been transformed by new ways of working within organizations and beyond, and specifically the imposition of market models on employment, the intensification of competition, and flexible employment contracts. As a result, the study of job mobility (i.e., individuals changing jobs within or between organizations) and career transitions (i.e., how the change is understood and managed by individuals and organizations) has become an increasingly important subject of study, with causes and implications that span multiple disciplines and subfields of management, such as careers, human resources management, organization theory, organizational behavior, and strategy. Although the roots of academic inquiry into job mobility and career transitions go back to the beginning of modern management studies, the past twenty years have seen an upsurge in these studies, enabled by new data sources (e.g., online resumes) and methods (e.g., text analysis and big data methods) that track individual careers, as well as recognition that job mobility and career transitions are important social phenomena. See also the separate Oxford Bibliographies in Management article “Career Studies” by Yehuda Baruch, especially the section on Contemporary Careers. The perspective of this article is primarily based in careers and organizational studies. Other Oxford Bibliographies in Management articles that cover related phenomena from different theoretical perspectives are “Turnover” by Peter Hom; “Human Capital Resource Pipelines” by Anthony Nyberg, Dhuha Abdulsalam, and Ingo Weller; and “Strategic Human Capital” by Rhett Brymer, Janice Molloy, and Clint Chadwick.


Because so many studies of career transitions and job mobility are relatively recent, much of the work has been published in academic journals, rather than books. In addition, there are currently no journals that are dedicated to job mobility and career transitions; instead, research questions on the topic are of interest to diverse subfields of management. Accordingly, general management journals, such as the journals of the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Organization Studies, and the Journal of Management, as well as more specialized journals such as the Journal of Vocational Behavior, Career Development International, Human Relations, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, and many others can be publication outlets for these studies.

  • Academy of Management Journal. 1958–.

    The lead empirical journal of the Academy of Management, the primary professional association for management academics. Publishes in all areas of the field of management.

  • Academy of Management Review. 1976–.

    The lead theory journal of the Academy of Management, the primary professional association for management academics. Publishes in all areas of the field of management.

  • Administrative Science Quarterly. 1956–.

    A top general management journal that publishes theory and empirical work. Primarily focuses on organization theory.

  • Career Development International. 1996–.

    A journal publishing empirical work on careers.

  • Human Relations. 1947–.

    An international leading journal of the Tavistock Institute focusing on the social relations in and around work, personal relationships in organizations, and wider political and economic systems.

  • Journal of Management. 1975–.

    The flagship journal of the Southern Management Association. Publishes on a full range of management topics, and is especially well known and valued for its comprehensive review papers.

  • Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. 1970–.

    A leading journal of the British Psychological Society focusing on interdisciplinary approaches, with empirical and theoretical articles on people and organizations at work and careers.

  • Journal of Vocational Behavior. 1971–.

    A leading specialized journal for the study of careers. Publishes empirical and theoretical articles on a variety of career-related topics.

  • Organization Science. 1990–.

    A major general management journal that publishes fundamental research about organizations. Focuses on interdisciplinary work.

  • Organization Studies. 1980–.

    The flagship journal of the European Group for Organizational Studies. Publishes empirical studies focused on organizations and organizing, prioritizing gender and geographic diversity.

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