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Welcome Prof Dr Robot QC – Is a New Era of Career-Management Dawning?

by Klaus Niedl

The exponential growth of new technology – especially Artificial Intelligence – will have an increasing impact on the nature of tasks and will consequently lead to a different portfolio of professions. According to Gartner (2019) AI adoption in organizations has tripled in the past year. Influenced by technological and social changes, specific professional tasks will become obsolete and new ones will appear.

A professional discussion regarding the future of career management has to be started. What does the technological impact - especially of AI in combination with social changes - mean for successful career development in organizations? What are the consequences and challenges for individuals and HR as a profession? And who will be in charge of career development in a world of technology based self-organization?

Klaus Niedl is Global HR Director at Novomatic AG in Austria.With more than 28 years experience in strategic/operational human resources and change management, 2 years experience as board director of a stock listed company. He has combined technical (automotive) and business education and is a certified executive coach and worked in financial services, airline, manufacturiing and service industry. His background also includes compliance, process and IT security experience.

Since 2005 he focusses on HR-turnaround management and has experience in project management of comprehensive restructuring programs (organizational change such as transformation, rightsizing, downsizing). As a manager, he focusses on companies in transition, with experience in developing and managing learning & development and talent management units. With these activities, Klaus Niedl had success in developing and implementing of human resources systems and business processes like performance related reward systems, profit centres, in-/outsourcing of business units, workforce planning and performance management systems (MbO), TQM-systems, flexible work time systems etc.

His HR management activities also include work in CEE and SEE (focus on Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine as well as Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia&Herzegovina, Montenegro). Klaus Niedl is co-founder/partner of the “Digital Champions Network” in Austria and currently a lecturer at Vienna University of Economics and Business, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, and IMC Krems.

“To everything … there is a season … and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Reflections on time and career studies.

by Wolfgang Mayrhofer

Time is fundamental not only for organization studies, but also for understanding careers. This is reflected in Hughes’s (1958: 63) understanding of career as “moving perspective in which the person sees his life as a whole” and in Kierkegaard’s (1960: 111) notion that “[i]t is quite true what Philosophy says: that Life must be understood backwards. But that makes one forget the other saying: that it must be lived—forwards. The more one ponders this, the more it comes to mean that life in the temporal existence never becomes quite intelligible, precisely because at no moment can I find complete quiet to take the backward-looking position.”

However, for the last few decades, career research has only partially reflected the importance of time. At a closer look, this is hardly surprising since integrating time leads to a number of formidable tasks that one faces in practical or theoretical terms. The presentation addresses major views on time emerging in different scientific disciplines and reflects on the integration of time into career, human resource management and organization studies. It advocates a renewed and deepened interest in time in order to understand more fully the complexities and dynamics of individual and organizational behavior.

Wolfgang Mayrhofer is Full Professor and head of the Interdisciplinary Institute of Management and Organisational Behaviour, Department of Management, WU Vienna (Vienna University of Economics and Business), Austria. He previously has held full-time research and teaching positions at the University of Paderborn, Germany, and at Dresden University of Technology, Germany, after receiving his diploma and doctoral degree, and post-doctoral degree (Habilitation) in Business Administration from WU.

He conducts research in comparative international human resource management, comparative careers, and systems theory and management and has received several national and international awards for outstanding research and service to the academic community. With his co-authors he published 32 books, most recently Gunz, H. P., Lazarova, M. B., & Mayrhofer, W. (Eds.). 2019 [in press]. The Routledge Companion to Career Studies. Milton Park: Routledge; Brewster, C., Mayrhofer, W., & Farndale, E. (Eds.). 2018. Handbook Of Research On Comparative Human Resource Management. (2 ed.). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar and Gunz, H. & Mayrhofer, W. 2018. Rethinking Career Studies. Facilitating Conversation Across Boundaries with the Social Chronology Framework. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, and more than 130 book chapters and 80 peer reviewed articles.

Wolfgang Mayrhofer is a member of the editorial board of several international journals, a research fellow at the Simon Fraser University Centre for Global Workforce Strategy (Vancouver, Canada), and a member of the academic advisory board of AHRMIO, the Association of Human Resource Management in International Organisations. His teaching assignments both at the graduate and executive level and his role as visiting scholar have led him to many universities around the globe. He regularly consults with organisations in the for-profit and non-profit world and does management trainings, among others on sailboats (www.championSHIPS.at).