The boundaryless nature of the dairy farming career and its impact on the individual, the family, and the community : An ethnographic case study of Culverden, a rural North Canterbury town
Thesis DisciplineBusiness administration
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
The boundaryless career has become a remarkably popular, albeit contentious, concept, with various academics and practitioners offering cautionary notes concerning the lack of understanding of boundary less career implications. This thesis argues that the boundaryless career concept is theoretically and empirically under-developed with regard to the impact of such careers, particularly those in what literature appears to consider 'non-professional' occupations. Beginning with a review of existing boundaryless career literature, this thesis moves on to introduce the notion of dairy farming as a boundaryless career and provides an insight into the impact such a career can have. Observations and interviews are then combined to produce an ethnographic case study of the experiences of the Culverden community with the findings being presented in three sections - individual, family and community. The discussion of each of these sections partially supports prevailing literature by confirming the existence of a number of positive aspects of boundaryless careers. At the same time however, these discussions identify a number of negative aspects associated with this type of career. The limitations of existing research are thus highlighted through confirming that career literature neglects the potential impacts of the positive aspects it regularly refers to, and almost entirely overlooks potential impacts of the negative aspects of boundaryless careers. This thesis therefore has not only theoretical significance through contributing to existing literature by providing insight into both the positive and negative impacts of boundaryless careers from not only an individual perspective, but also a family and community perspective, but also practical significance in that it provides an awareness of the potential implications of the boundaryless nature of dairy farming which may aid in the development of strategies to address problems and simultaneously take advantage of the opportunities created by the boundaryless nature of dairy farming. In this way, this thesis has the potential to play a crucial role in the maintenance of a cohesive, sustainable rural community.