Career construction in social exchange: a dual-path model linking career adaptability to turnover intention

Fei Zhu, Zijun Cai, Emma E. Buchtel, Yanjun Guan

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although the negative relationship between career adaptability and turnover intention has been established in previous research, understanding of the mechanisms and boundary conditions is still incomplete. In this study we attempt to address this gap by developing a dual-path moderated mediation model based on career construction theory, social exchange theory and trait activation theory. Specifically, we propose two mediators - career satisfaction and perceived organizational support (POS) - to explain the negative effect of career adaptability on turnover intention. Moreover, following the trait activation perspective, we propose that organizational brands, including symbolic and instrumental brands, could separately moderate these two mediation paths. We collected multi-source data among a sample of 1013 employees and 200 HRs from 200 organizations in China to test these ideas. The results show that both career satisfaction and POS mediate the negative effect of career adaptability on turnover intention. Moreover, the mediation path through career satisfaction to turnover intention is stronger in companies with more favorable symbolic brands, and the mediation path through POS to turnover intention is stronger in companies with more favorable instrumental brands. The findings have important implications for both career construction research and organizational career management practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-293
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Volume112
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Career adaptability
  • Career construction theory
  • Social exchange theory
  • Turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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