Graduates' Experiences of Work in Small Organizations in the UK and the Netherlands: Better than Expected

J. Arnold, R. Schalk, S. Bosley, S. van Overbeek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This project was designed to examine university graduates' expectations and experiences of employment in small organizations in the UK and the Netherlands. Specifically, three predictions were made on the basis of existing literature and tested using self-report questionnaire data gathered from 126 graduate employees in small organizations (67 in the UK; 59 in the Netherlands). Where possible, comparisons are made with an earlier study of graduates in large UK-based organizations. Graduates reported positive experiences in many areas. These often exceeded their expectations, and in general over-met expectations were much more common than under-met ones. The graduates' work appeared to offer quite high autonomy, the chance to develop a wide range of skills, and to progress towards career goals, at least in the short term. In line with previous research, there were some signs that pay, training and within-organization career prospects were relatively weak areas. Taken as a whole, the results challenge some of the more negative images of employment in small organizations, and also the preoccupation with under-met expectations in the literature on new entrants to organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-497
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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