Raske og trege spor - En kvalitativ studie av spilleregler for karriereutvikling på et moderne kundesenter i Norge
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In this thesis I explore the opportunity structure and informal “rules of career” in a Norwegian customer service centre. The structures of large organizations put restrictions on the individual carreer opportunities, and the informal rules are not explicitly communicated. Young employees are concerned with career opportunities, and need development and challenges to thrive. It is interesting to investigate why some experience many opportunities in the workplace, while others seem to be stuck in their current positions. The main research question is: What opportunities and barriers to internal career development do we find in a modern customer service center in Norway? The thesis is conducted with a qualitative research design, and the analysis is based on fourteen in-depth interviews with ambitions young men and women. The study aims to investigate the different rules of career, and how they operate in the organization. The subject is analyzed through previous research and theories about the “new” workplace, opportunity structure, social capital and networks. The key findings include that the informal rules of career are tied to how well employees adapt to the changes in organizational structure, the strategies for positioning oneself, and the importance of personal characteristics, social capital and networks in the workplace. The analysis shows that the informal rules of career influence the individual opportunities directly, and that people in different positions, and with contrasting strategies, have different odds of success. The informal rules are decisive for the opportunities that the individual is presented with, and different adaptations lead to fast tracks and dead ends.