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The impact of organisational support for career development on career satisfaction

Belinda Renee Barnett (Queensland Rail, Sandgate, Australia)
Lisa Bradley (School of Management, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 30 October 2007




The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between organisational support for career development (OSCD) and employees' career satisfaction. Based on an extended model of social cognitive career theory (SCCT) and an integrative model of proactive behaviours, the study proposed that career management behaviours would mediate the relationship between OSCD and career satisfaction, and between proactive personality and career satisfaction.


Public and private sector employees (N=90) participating in career development activities completed a survey regarding their proactivity, OSCD, career management behaviours and career satisfaction.


OSCD, proactive personality and career management behaviours were all positively related to career satisfaction and career management behaviours mediated the relationship between proactive personality and career satisfaction. There was no support for the career management behaviours mediating between OSCD and career satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

This study provided support for the extended SCCT model by testing a subset of its proposed relationships using a cross‐sectional approach. The sample surveyed (employees participating in career development activities) and the large proportion of full‐time employees, may limit the generalisability of the findings. Future longitudinal research could more fully test the relationships proposed by the extended SCCT model and include a greater representation of part‐time and casual employees.

Practical implications

The results suggest that there are benefits for organisations and individuals investing in career development.. First, from an organisational perspective, investing in OSCD may enhance employees' career satisfaction. Second, employees may enhance their own career satisfaction by participating in career management behaviours.


This study integrated the predictions of two models (an extension of SCCT and a model of proactive behaviours) to test the influence of environmental (OSCD) and individual difference (proactive personality) variables on career satisfaction. Exploring how organisational and individual variables together influence career satisfaction provides a more balanced approach to theoretical development.



Renee Barnett, B. and Bradley, L. (2007), "The impact of organisational support for career development on career satisfaction", Career Development International, Vol. 12 No. 7, pp. 617-636.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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