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‘Green careers’: A study of the interplay between career practices and the natural environment

Project Description


The aim of this PhD project is to study the interdependence between careers and the natural environment. Recent events such as the resignation of the UN’s environment chief Erik Solheim following criticisms of his extensive global travel suggest that there is a link between people’s individualistic career making and environmental dynamics. However, the interdependence between careers practices and environmental outcomes has not yet been investigated through scholarly research. This is because careers as a phenomenon are mostly associated with individual growth aspects such as success, subjective wellbeing over a life course, employability and mobility. While career studies recognize that careers happen in context and are part of a wider ecosystem, the focus has not been extended to the natural/environmental context. Similarly, while new career concepts have emerged such as the sustainable career and responsible career, these do not capture the interplay between career practices and the use and creation of environmental resources.

We are looking to supervise a PhD student focusing on the interplay between careers and the environment with the following aims:
1) Identifying how natural resources are used and created in career making and the environmental effect of career practices
2) Identifying interdependencies of career making and positive/negative environmental externalities
3) Developing the concept of a ‘green career’, including the identification of environmentally responsible career practices and what environmentally responsible career practices (‘Green careers’) imply for the organisation of careers. Examples of career practices may include: flying for work, products consumed as part of career making, eating habits, waste production etc.
4) Informing academic and practitioner debates around how individuals and organizations can accomplish environmentally responsible careers


This project will require a cross-disciplinary, systematic literature review. It will further adopt a qualitative, multimodal methodology. This will include the collection of interviews, possibly observations, and related visual resources.
The project findings will be communicated and disseminated to international academic and (HR) policy audiences. An important proposed output will be the development of trainings and policies relevant for organising careers.


The successful candidate should have, or expect to have, an Honours Degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Business and Management, Social Sciences or a related discipline. Further, the candidate should ideally have a general interest in environmental issues.

Funding Notes

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a First or high Upper Second Class UK Honours degree (or the equivalent qualification gained outside the UK) in a relevant subject. Applicants applying for a +3 award should hold, or expect to receive, a relevant Master’s level qualification.

Application Deadline is 29th January 2019, 12 Noon GMT

Full details on funded applications and how to apply can be found here: View Website

How good is research at University of Bath in Business and Management Studies?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 64.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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