Setting sail in a new direction: career transitions of US Navy Admirals to the civilian sector.

Baruch, Yehuda and Quick, James Campbell (2009) Setting sail in a new direction: career transitions of US Navy Admirals to the civilian sector. Personnel Review, 38 (3) . pp. 270-285. ISSN 0048-3486 [Article] (doi:10.1108/00483480910943331)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss why organizations who are looking for top executives, should enlist former military officers and senior enlisted leaders, who make excellent candidates.

Design/methodology/approach – Questionnaires with both closed- and open-ended questions generate responses from more than 300 former Navy admirals. This paper reports the qualitative findings emerging from the open-ended questions.

Findings – The authors identify the perspectives that enable a smooth transition from the structured military to a civilian career. Embracing the new environment proves essential, while clinging to the past has detrimental outcomes.

Research limitations/implications – It is yet to be determined whether former military leaders represent the wider population of executives at traditional organizations moving to a business environment.

Practical implications – The admirals' career shift should shed light on broader questions of transition into a business environment, as well as the specific element of embarking on a second career at a late age and the impact of organizational support mechanisms.

Originality/value – Careers in industry since the last quarter of the twentieth century have become boundaryless, turbulent, even chaotic. Many people have to change their approach to careers, yet few studies examine mass transition from traditional systems to a second career in business. This paper should assist HR theorists and practitioners who deal with such career transition.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
ISI Impact: 0
Item ID: 7593
Depositing User: Devika Mohan
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2011 07:13
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:22

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