Entrepreneurship-Professionalism-Leadership as Dimensions of Career Space: Career Agency in the Macro Context of Boundaryless Careers

  • Kim-Yin ChanEmail author
  • Jeffrey C. Kennedy
  • Regena Ramaya


The emergence of the boundaryless career paradigm in the 21st century has triggered new approaches to career guidance that aim to strengthen individual agency in the context of a wide variety of work arrangements and career forms. A divide has emerged between the person-centered, psychological approach to careers versus the sociological approach that focusses on macro structural factors in society that shape individuals’ careers. While the former has focused on examining within- and between-person factors like personality traits, skills, new career mindsets and attitudes, the latter has focused on studying different forms of boundaryless careers. Chan et al. (2012) offered an alternative approach; drawing on Kanter’s (1989) ideas, they reframed Entrepreneurship, Professionalism and Leadership (EPL) as the dimensions of subjective career space with which individuals may envision or think of their careers. This chapter discusses how Chan et al.’s EPL framework for subjective careers complements recent career education and guidance approaches such as Arthur’s Intelligent Career Theory, and the vocational psychologists’ focus on certain traits, attitudes, and psychological resources. We suggest that the EPL framework presents individuals with a conceptual tool to envision and describe their career journeys in context of the structural dimensions of work and careers that exist in nations and societies. We also discuss the implications of a multidimensional approach in relation to Intelligent Career development.


Entrepreneurial Professional Leadership Boundaryless careers Agency Context Intelligent careers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kim-Yin Chan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jeffrey C. Kennedy
    • 2
  • Regena Ramaya
    • 3
  1. 1.Nanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Massey UniversityAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.OPAS ConsultingSingaporeSingapore

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