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Congruence in career calling and employees’ innovation performance: work passion as a mediator

Zhengqiao Liu (Yango University, Fuzhou, China)
Yongzhong Jiang (School of Management Sciences, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu, China)
Zhu Yao (School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai, China)
Xiliang Liu (School of Public Administration, Hunan University, Changsha, China)
Li Zhao (Yango University, Fuzhou, China)
Xianchun Zhang (Maritime Silk Road Tourism Economic Research Center, Guilin Tourism University, Guilin, China)

Chinese Management Studies

ISSN: 1750-614X

Article publication date: 8 February 2021

Issue publication date: 31 March 2021




Based on self-consistency theory and conservation of resource theory, this study aims to discuss the impact of career calling congruence on employees’ innovation performance (IP) and analyzes the mediating effect of work passion [harmonious passion (HP) and obsessive passion (OP)].


To avoid serious common method biases, data in this paper were collected at three-wave. This paper investigated 381 employees to assess their career calling in time 1, measured their work passion in time 2 and assessed the IP of these employees in time 3. This paper also conducts confirmatory factor analysis, polynomial regression, response surface analysis, bootstrapping test and simple slope test to verify the research hypothesis in this paper.


In the career calling congruence case, employees’ HP, OP and IP are higher when both levels of serving oneself career calling and helping others career calling are high than when both are low; In the career calling incongruence case, employees’ HP, OP and IP are higher in the “low serving oneself and high helping others” case than in the “high serving oneself and low helping others” case; The more congruent the “serving oneself” and “helping others” career calling are, the higher the employees’ HP, OP and IP will be; and HP and OP mediate the relationship between career calling congruence and IP.


This study further clarifies the structure of career calling and find the positive effects of career calling on IP. The results present a deeper understanding of career calling and are universal applicable to the eastern culture context.



All authors declare no conflicts of interest. This paper and all authors’ compliance with ethical standards, we are willing to accept all responsibility for any violation of ethical standards in the study.

Funding: Funding was provided by National Social Science Fund of China (Grant No. 19BJY090).


Liu, Z., Jiang, Y., Yao, Z., Liu, X., Zhao, L. and Zhang, X. (2021), "Congruence in career calling and employees’ innovation performance: work passion as a mediator", Chinese Management Studies, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 363-381.



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