To move or not to move? The relationship between career management and preferred career moves
This paper explores professional employees’ career move preferences and the impact of both individual and organizational career management. Departing from theoretical work on the “new career”, different types of career moves employees can make on the internal labor market are discussed (i.e. vertical moves, lateral moves, job enrichment and temporary moves). Next, these are related to the literature on both organizational and individual career management. Hypotheses are formulated about professional employees’ preferences for making distinct types of internal career moves and about the extent to which these preferences are affected by (a) employees’ individual career management initiatives and (b) four distinct bundles of organizational career management practices (succession management, potential assessment, feedback and development). The results of a study among 472 professional employees from one company are presented, which indicate that the preferences for both vertical career moves and moves relating to job enrichment and temporary moves are significantly affected by individual career management, but not by organizational career management practices. The preference for making lateral moves could not be explained by our antecedent variables, but was affected by managerial ambition and variables relating to respondents’ family situation. The implications of our findings for stimulating internal career mobility are discussed, and suggestions for further research are made.
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