This qualitative study examines perceived meanings of career success across 11 countries. The results show that people define career success in ways that enrich and illuminate the basic dichotomy of objective and subjective career success and establish their relative strengths across countries. Juxtaposing our data with human resource management (HRM) practices, we contribute to the universalist versus contextualist debate in HRM by adding the career management angle. We shed light on the relative importance of cultural and institutional factors for HRM in the area of careers and add a global perspective to the discussion about agentic careers. In our discussion we offer practical suggestions for multinational companies including how to individualize HRM to address diverse views of career success.
- Career success
- cross-cultural comparison
- universalist versus contextualist HRM
- agentic careers
- qualitative study