Title page for ETD etd-03162010-160056

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Sieber, Louisa
URN etd-03162010-160056
Document Title The employability paradox
Degree MBA
Department Gordon Institute of Business Science
Advisor Name Title
Prof M Sutherland Supervisor
  • employment
Date 2010-03-16
Availability unrestricted

Human assets are a source of competitive advantage to the firm. Studies have found that to attract and retain talented employees, firms need to offer more than just money – they need to offer challenging roles and development opportunities. However, the more organisations invest in an employee’s growth and development the more the employee is able to contribute to organisational goals, but their attractiveness to alternative employers and their capability of finding alternative employment (their employability) also increases.

This is the paradox central to this study. The study explores the dilemma of employability and how the employer can meet the needs of the knowledge worker whilst realising a firm specific competitive advantage through protecting the firms return on investment in employee development.

The information obtained from the literature was used as a basis for the construction of a de jure model, which indicates which strategies or best practices used by firms in responding to or managing the employability paradox, meet the needs of the knowledge worker and/or employing firm. This model was utilised as a discussion framework during eighteen expert interviews. The outcome of the primary data allowed for the validation and extension of the de jure model into an integrated and more robust de facto model.

The research affirms the existence of the employability paradox and provides examples of how the paradox is manifested within firms. Strategies and best practices used by firms in managing this paradox are integrated into a practical framework which indicates whether these strategies meet the needs of the firm and/or the knowledge worker.

Copyright © 2008, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Sieber, L 2008, The employability paradox, MBA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-03162010-160056/ >

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