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Career‐focused employee transfer processes

J. Bruce Prince (Management Department, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 1 June 2005




The employee selection process has generally focused on the near‐term performance potential of internal candidates in filling vacant positions. This research addresses the potential influence of adding a career development emphasis to the employee transfer decision process. In a career‐focused transfer process the applicants' individual career development needs and growth opportunities are a key basis for internal selection decisions.


Using web‐based survey methodology, a US financial services firm is used to evaluate the relationship between the use of career‐focused employee transfer criteria and key employee attitudes.


The study finds that the use of career‐focused processes are positively related to employees' developmental opportunity satisfaction and perceived support for career development. Regression analyses finds that these two attitudes mediate the positive relationship between the use of career‐focused transfer criteria and perceived organization support (POS). Other research efforts (e.g. Allen and Shore) have linked POS to a variety of positive outcomes, including lower employee turnover. Past research, however, has not considered how specific human resource practices can be the basis for the development of key attitudes.

Research limitations/implications

This research – while limited due to it cross‐sectional methodology – builds on that stream of research by focuses on the design of the employee transfer process and how it can be a key practice for achieving a developmental focus and associated benefits.


The results suggest that focusing on performance potential of applicants and career‐focused criteria are not necessarily antagonistic but can be used jointly to make internal selection decisions.



Prince, J.B. (2005), "Career‐focused employee transfer processes", Career Development International, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 293-309.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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