Breaking the boundaries of careers. A study of the mobility effects of a program for career councelling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this paper a study of a career planning project launched by the Swedish National Tax Board is reported. The project, named Propeller, was initiated in 1998 as a joint endeavour among three agencies: the Swedish National Tax Board, the Regional Stockholm Tax Office and the Enforcement Authority. The intention was to create a common micro labour market in order to encourage employees to become more aware of their own development, as well as to create a competence exchange in and between the agencies, i.e. create greater mobility among the agencies. In this paper the focus is on the follow-up study of the project. The program for career counselling contained at most eight hours of consultation over a period of six weeks to three months when the employee or Propellers “customer” met with an external consultant. The consultation should terminate with an action and time schedule that includes concrete steps to be taken to reach the specific goals set by the employee. The study is based on both a written questionnaire administered to 72 respondents and interviews with 46 persons who had finished the career-counselling program during the first half-year of the Propeller project. The results indicated that the model for career planning used by the Swedish National Tax Board was exceedingly effective and that all the goals of the project were successfully completed. In summary, the model was found to increase the mobility among the three agencies included in the Propeller project. The results showed that, by the end of the study, 43% (20 of 46) of those persons who used the program during the first year had already moved internally between departments within an agency or had changed affiliation from one agency to another. Additionally, 11 persons planned to change or move from their position to another sometime in the next few years. This rate of changing position or location implies that the mobility effect could be expected to become as high as 67%. The managers evaluated the project and felt that this sort of initiative for active career planning would increase the attraction of the agency on the labour market. Moreover, it implies a higher employability among those persons that took part in the evaluation. According to the managers, the relatively small sum of money used for the career planning project was seen as a good investment in personnel.


  • Birgitta Olsson
External organisations
  • External Organization - Unknown
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • career development, mobility effects, personnel economics, Propeller, micro labour market, competence
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-59
JournalJournal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes