Career Development and Systems Theory

Connecting Theory and Practice (4th Edition)

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This fourth edition of the book represents a milestone in the history of the Systems Theory Framework of career development that attests to its continuing influence and contemporary relevance. It emphasises changes in career development theory, practice, and research since its first edition in 1999. At that time, the publication of the STF was described by reviewers as a “groundbreaking departure from traditional counseling texts”, a “landmark work leading to the convergence of career development theories”, and as a “rare book that not only illuminates a field of study but also advances it”. Subsequent commentary attests to the strength of the metatheoretical contribution of the STF and its facilitation of links between theory, research, and practice. This book introduces systems theory and the STF, and comprehensively overviews traditional and contemporary career theory and analyses it through the metatheoretical lens of the STF. It then describes applications of the STF by applying systems thinking, systems mapping and experiential learning. Finally, the contributions and future directions of the STF are highlighted. This book provides a record of almost 30 years of contribution of the STF to career theory, research, and practice.

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Wendy Patton, PhD (The University of Queensland, 1991), is Emeritus Professor at the Queensland University of Technology, author, co-author and editor of more than ten books and more than 150 book chapters and refereed journal articles, and Founding Editor of the "Career Development Series" (Sense, now Brill).
Mary McMahon, PhD (Queensland University of Technology, 1998), is an Honorary Associate Professor at The University of Queensland, Australia. She is an author, co-author and editor of more than 15 books, 90 book chapters, and 110 refereed journal articles.
Preface
List of Figures and Tables
About the Authors

PART 1: Introducing Systems Theory and the Systems Theory Framework of Career Development


1 Introducing Career Development and Systems Theory
 1 History of Career Development
 2 Terminology
 3 Philosophical Underpinnings of Our Understandings of Career
 4 Career Development Theory
 5 Conclusion

2 Systems Theory
 1 The Development of Systems Theory
 2 General Systems Theory
 3 Major Contributors to Systems Theory
 4 Themes in Systems Theory
 5 Systems Theory Elements
 6 Systems Theory Perspectives in Career Theory
 7 Systems Theory and Related Conceptualisations
 8 Conclusion

3 The Systems Theory Framework of Career Development
 1 Development of the Systems Theory Framework
 2 The Systems Theory Framework
 3 Advantages of the Systems Theory Framework
 4 Limitations of a Systems Theory Perspective
 5 Implications of a Systems Theory Perspective
 6 Conclusion

PART 2: Review of Career Theory


4 Theories Focusing on Content
 1 The Work of Frank Parsons
 2 Differential Psychology
 3 Bordin’s Psychodynamic Model of Career Choice
 4 D. Brown’s Values-Based Theory
 5 Similarities and Differences between Theories of Content
 6 Conclusion

5 Theories Focusing on Process
 1 The Work of Ginzberg and Colleagues
 2 Super’s Life-Span, Life-Space Approach
 3 L. S. Gottfredson’s Circumscription and Compromise Theory
 4 Similarities and Differences between Theories
 5 Conclusion

6 Theories Focusing on Content and Process
 1 Roe’s Theory of Personality Development and Career Choice
 2 Law’s Career Learning Theory
 3 Krumboltz’s Social Learning Theory of Career Decision-Making (SLTCDM)
 4 Social Cognitive Career Theory
 5 Cognitive Information Processing Model
 6 Developmental-Contextual Approach
 7 Similarities and Differences between Theories
 8 Conclusion

7 Constructivist, Social Constructionist, and Systems Theories
 1 Individualistic Approach
 2 Career Construction: A Developmental Theory of Vocational Behaviour
 3 A Contextual Action Theory Explanation of Career
 4 Chaos Theory of Careers
 5 Living Systems Theory of Vocational Behaviour and Development (LSVD)
 6 Psychology of Working Theory
 7 Similarities and Differences between Theories
 8 Conclusion

8 Complex Status of Career Theory
 1 The Individual
 2 The Context of Career Development
 3 Development
 4 Philosophical Underpinnings
 5 Relationship between Variables
 6 Decision-Making
 7 Chance
 8 Interaction Process
 9 Conclusion

9 Theories of Career Development: Social Justice, Culture, and Context
 1 Social Justice Agenda in Career Development
 2 Sociological Approaches to Career Development
 3 Theorising Women’s Career Development
 4 Theories Related to Career Development of Women
 5 Theories Related to Racial and Ethnic Groups
 6 Theories Related to the Career Development of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals
 7 Theories Related to the Career Development of Children and Adolescents
 8 Theories Related to Career Development of People with a Disability
 9 The Renewed Focus on Social Class in Career Development
 10 Conclusion

10 Toward Integration in Career Theory
 1 Underlying Worldviews
 2 Stages in Integration and Convergence
 3 Integrative Frameworks
 4 Theorists’ Modification of Theories and New Theories
 5 The 1990s Focus on Convergence
 6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Convergence
 7 Bridging Frameworks
 8 The Present Position of Career Theory
 9 Conclusion

PART 3: Practical Applications of the Systems Theory Framework


11 Applying the STF: Systems Thinking and Systems Mapping
 1 Systems Thinking
 2 Systems Mapping
 3 Applying Systems Thinking and Systems Mapping
 4 System of Career Influences at School Leaving Age
 5 System of Career Influences 10 Years after Leaving School
 6 System of Career Influences 20 Years after Leaving School
 7 System of Career Influences 30 Years after Leaving School
 8 System of Career Influences 40 Years after Leaving School
 9 Linking Theory and Practice: Systems Theory Constructs Applied
 10 The Individual as a Learning System
 11 Conclusion

12 Applying the STF: Context, Career Services, and Career Learning
 1 The Context of Career Services and Career Learning
 2 Learning
 3 Experiential Learning
 4 Learning Systems
 5 Conclusion

13 Career Practitioner Training and Supervision: Systems Thinking, Systems Mapping and Learning Systems
 1 Career Practitioner Training
 2 Creating a Learning System
 3 Experiential Learning Viewed from a Systems Theory Perspective
 4 Career Practitioner Supervision
 5 Conclusion

14 Career Learning in School Systems: Applying the STF, Systems Mapping and Systems Thinking
 1 History of Career Guidance in Schools
 2 Relationship between Career Learning and Theory
 3 Implementing Career Learning in Schools
 4 Career Learning in Schools: Applying the Systems Theory Framework, Systems Mapping and Systems Thinking
 5 Reflecting on Career Learning in Schools: Applying Systems Thinking
 6 Conclusion

15 Career Counselling Systems
 1 History of Career Counselling
 2 The Systems Theory Framework and Career Counselling
 3 The STF Story Telling Approach to Narrative Career Counselling
 4 Connectedness
 5 Reflection
 6 Meaning-Making
 7 Learning
 8 Agency
 9 The STF, Culture and Career Counselling
 10 Reflecting on Practice
 11 Conclusion

16 Career Assessment: Systems Approaches
 1 Overview of Career Assessment
 2 The Systems Theory Framework and Career Assessment
 3 Conclusion

17 Career Research: Systems Approaches
 1 Overview of Career Research
 2 The Status Quo Remains
 3 Systems Research
 4 The Systems Theory Framework and Career Research
 5 Conclusion

18 Organisational and Individual Career Systems: New Relationships
 1 Historical (Dis)connections of Career Theory
 2 The Context for Change
 3 Career Responses to Change
 4 Changing Careers for Young People: Examplar for Change
 5 Critiques of and Supports for the ‘New Career’
 6 Integration of Individual and Organisational Approaches to Career Development
 7 Theory and Practice: Traditional Organisational Careers to New Careers
 8 Conclusion

PART 4: Conclusion and Future Directions


19 The Systems Theory Framework: Contributions and Future Directions
 1 Part 1: Contributions of the STF
 2 Part 2: Future Directions of the STF in Theory, Research and Practice
 3 Conclusion

References
Index
This book is relevant for all students, undergraduate and postgraduate, of career development theory and counselling practice and career practitioners. It will also be a key reference for research students.
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