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Disappointed but still dedicated: when and why career dissatisfied employees might still go beyond the call of duty

Dirk De Clercq (Goodman School of Business, Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada)
Imanol Belausteguigoitia (Centro de Desarrollo de la Empresa Familiar, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), Mexico City, Mexico)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 27 October 2020

Issue publication date: 29 June 2021




The purpose of this research is to examine how employees' experience of career dissatisfaction might curtail their organizational citizenship behavior, as well as how this detrimental effect might be mitigated by employees' access to valuable peer-, supervisor- and organizational-level resources. The frustrations stemming from a dissatisfactory career might be better contained in the presence of these resources, such that employees are less likely to respond to this resource-depleting work circumstance by staying away from extra-role activities.


The research hypotheses were tested with survey data collected from employees who work in the retail sector.


Career dissatisfaction relates negatively to organizational citizenship behaviors, and this relationship is weaker at higher levels of peer goal congruence, supervisor communication efficiency and organization-level informational justice.

Practical implications

For organizations that cannot completely eradicate their employees' career-related disappointment, this study shows that they can still maintain a certain level of work-related voluntarism, to the extent that they develop and hone valuable resources internally.


This study adds to extant research by detailing the contingent effects of a hitherto understudied determinant of employees' extra-role work behavior, namely, perceptions of limited career progress.



De Clercq, D. and Belausteguigoitia, I. (2021), "Disappointed but still dedicated: when and why career dissatisfied employees might still go beyond the call of duty", Personnel Review, Vol. 50 No. 5, pp. 1336-1355.



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