Although sociologists have written extensively on the broad subject of occupational careers, generally they have referred only incidentally to organizational careers within work organizations. In this pioneering sourcebook, now considered a classic, Glaser gathered from the literature of occupational sociology those studies that bear most directly on organizational careers. His objective was to provide the first survey of the substantial body of data on the subject and to place this data in a framework that illustrates its significance for the development of theory.
In an extensive introduction, the editor explains the several purposes of the book and describes in detail the process of comparative analysis through which sociological theory on organizational careers can be generated. Organized around general themes such as recruitment, motivation, commitment, mobility, and succession, the writings of prominent sociologists--including Riesman, Caplow, Hughes, Becker, and Wilensky--form the content of the book and systematically cover every important facet of organizational careers. The editor's introductions to each section of the book alert the reader to the general phenomena--such as processes, conditions, categories, hypotheses, and properties--that crosscut and are generally relevant to all organizational careers and are, therefore, the raw material of theory. These introductions also suggest questions and problems for further analysis and research.
This book as a whole stands as a demonstration of the contributors' method of how the sociologist, working from the data of research, can generate grounded, formal theory on this or any social phenomenon. This book also presents a vital body of data on organizational careers and a guide to further research that will be of great use both to occupational sociologists and to all those involved in the study of organizations.