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The mediating influence of career success in relationship between career mobility criteria, career anchors and satisfaction with organization

Michel Tremblay (Human Resource Department, HEC-Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada)
Jacqueline Dahan (Department of Management and Human Resources Management, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada)
Martina Gianecchini (Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova, Padova, Italy)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 26 August 2014




The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how perceived career channels and career anchors are related to objective internal career success, and how subjective career success mediates the effects of objective success on employer satisfaction.


Data were collected using questionnaires, and hypotheses were tested on a sample of 800 engineers and managers. Of the sample, 35 percent were female and 67 percent worked in the private sector.


The findings show that the more respondents perceive that performance carries weight in promotion decisions, the higher their level of objective career success. In contrast, the importance placed on relations with the hierarchy has no significant influence. Respondents with a strong management anchor report greater objective career success, and those with a strong life style anchor report lesser objective career success, but greater success in life outside work. Finally, the findings indicate that job success is associated with greater satisfaction with employer, whereas life success is related to lesser satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

This study is based on a sample taken from one profession (engineers), in a specific cultural context. The cross-sectional research design precludes the inference of some causality conclusions.

Practical implications

Organizations may benefit from disseminating promotion attribution criteria and reducing perceptions of favoritism in reward allocation. In addition, this study shows that not only individuals but also the employer can benefit from greater positive interdependence between career success and life success.


This study represents the first comprehensive attempt to examine the role of perceived career channels and career anchors in objective and subjective career success.



Tremblay, M., Dahan, J. and Gianecchini, M. (2014), "The mediating influence of career success in relationship between career mobility criteria, career anchors and satisfaction with organization", Personnel Review, Vol. 43 No. 6, pp. 818-844.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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