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Journal Article

Ascription into Achievement: Models of Career Systems at Lloyds Bank, 1890-1970

Katherine Stovel, Michael Savage and Peter Bearman
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 102, No. 2 (Sep., 1996), pp. 358-399
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2782629
Page Count: 42
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Ascription into Achievement: Models of Career Systems at Lloyds Bank, 1890-1970
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Abstract

Optimal matching algorithms are used to model the transformation of career systems in a large British bank (Lloyds) from 1890 to 1970. The authors first model the breakdown of the traditional ascriptive, status-based system, and then identify a more dynamic, achievement-based system, and then identify a more dynamic, achievement-based system as its replacement. By relating the structure of careers to organizational growth and social change, the authors explore how the modern achievement career came about. More broadly, they argue that optimal matching enables one to see clearly the multiple time frames that are necessarily intercalated into career systems and hence provides new insights into the discontinuous and contingent nature of organizational change.

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