Life's chances and choices: a study of entrapment in career decisions with particular reference to Becker's side-bets theory


Drummond, Helga and Chell, Elizabeth (2001) Life's chances and choices: a study of entrapment in career decisions with particular reference to Becker's side-bets theory. Personnel Review, 30, (2), 186-202. (doi:10.1108/00483480110380343).

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Description/Abstract

This paper explores a phenomenon known as entrapment. Entrapment refers to situations where people become “locked into” decisions through the passage of time as distinct from actively re-investing in failing projects. The present study examines Becker’s so called “side bets” theory which suggests that entrapment results from extraneous investments made during the course of employment. The exploration is conducted via two contrasting case studies of solicitors, one successful, the other unsuccessful. Analysis suggests some support for Becker’s theme. More importantly the study reveals that post hoc rationalization of events plays an important part in sustaining persistence. This insight raises a question. Do people become trapped by events as Becker suggests, or, do they largely imprison themselves?

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0048-3486 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: decision making, careers, commitment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Management
ePrint ID: 35656
Date Deposited: 22 May 2006
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:22
Contact Email Address: ec4@socsci.soton.ac.uk
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/35656

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