Career scripts in clusters : A social position approach

This article examines the career scripts held by individuals working in clusters by studying the careers seen as desirable and possible by 42 micro-nanotechnology and computer science researchers in the ‘Minalogic’ cluster, the French equivalent of Silicon Valley. We consider the links between the researchers’ career scripts and their social positions and identify six discrete career scripts that we label organizational nomad, entrepreneurial, organizational extension, cloister, escape and conversion. Central social positions in the cluster are linked with boundaryless career scripts (organizational nomad and entrepreneurial scripts), but individuals also use the resources associated with their central social positions to envisage both extending their careers and the range of tasks they undertake (organizational extension script) within their employing organizations. Others ? those holding peripheral social positions ? may be unable to match the cluster’s expectations, and so feel trapped in involuntary immobility (cloister script), constrained to leave the cluster (escape script) or to change their occupations or broaden their skill sets to advance their careers within it (conversion script). Our article goes beyond simply using scripts as descriptions to propose a more comprehensive approach by highlighting the social dimension of career scripts. Our results qualify the supposed predominance of the boundaryless career notion by confronting it with the wider generic notion of the career script, so proposing a more complete description of how a cluster shapes individuals’ career definitions and aspirations, as well as a more complex theorization of how those careers are influenced by the cluster context.


Career scripts in clusters : A social position approach
Type de publication
Article de revue
Année de publication
Human Relations
Soumis le 17 septembre 2018