Boundaryless Career and Career Outcomes: The Mediating Role of Individual Career Management Behaviours

Open access


The main objective of this paper is to study individuals’ attitude towards mobility both psychological and physical and the behavioural paths that people may use to experience career success. In a structural equation model, we consider boundaryless career attitudes and the mediating role of career management behaviours to career outcomes. Psychological mobility appears to be a better predictor of career satisfaction and career advancement than physical mobility. All career strategies have a positive effect on career advancement, except for extended work involvement. Relationships oriented career strategies are not linked with career satisfaction. Physically mobile people adopt to a lesser extent relationship- oriented career strategies. Our results showed that people with a psychological mobility attitude are more likely to achieve career satisfaction through remaining flexible in their career. This knowledge is very important for practitioners and managers working with psychologically mobile personnel, as it underlines the need for employers to provide opportunities for training, skill development and challenging work. The study adds to the existing literature in that it provides empirical evidence regarding the career behavioural paths individuals with a boundaryless career attitude may use when they expect to advance their careers. Our findings help us understand better the psychological mobility attitude which has been examined less in the literature.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Apospori E. Nikandrou I. and Panayotopoulou L. (2006) “Mentoring and women’s career advancement in Greece” Human Resource Development International Vol.9 No 4 pp.509-527.

  • Abele A.E. and Spurk D. (2009). ”The longitudinal impact of self-effi cacy and career goals on objective and subjective career success” Journal of Vocational Behavior Vol.74 pp.53-62.

  • Allen T.D. Eby L.T. Poteet M.L. and Lima L. (2004) “Career benefi ts associated with mentoring for protégés: A meta-analysis” Journal of Applied Psychology Vol.89 pp.127-136.

  • Arthur M.B. Hall D.T. and Lawrence B.S. (1989) Handbook of career theory Cambridge University Press New York NY.

  • Arthur M.B. Khapova S.N. and Wilderom C.P.M. (2005) “Career success in a boundaryless career world” Journal of Organizational Behavior Vol.26 pp.177-202.

  • Arthur M.B. and Rousseau D. M. (1996) “A career lexicon for the 21st century” Academy of Management Executive Vol.10 No.4 pp.28-39.

  • Bray M. and MacNeil J. (2011) “Individualism Collectivism and the Case of Awards in Australia” Journal of Industrial Relations Vol.53 pp.149-167.

  • Briscoe H. P. & Hall D. T. (2002). “The Protean orientation: creating the adaptable workforce necessary for fl exibility and speed”. Paper given at the Academy of Management Denver.

  • Briscoe J.P. & Hall D.T. (2006). “The interplay of boundaryless and protean careers: Combinations and implications”. Journal of Vocational Behavior Vol.69 pp.4-18.

  • Briscoe J. P. Hall D. T. and Frautschy Demuth R. L. (2006) “Protean and boundaryless careers: An empirical exploration” Journal of Vocational Behavior Vol.69 pp. 30-47.

  • Brunetto Y. Teo S. T. T. Shacklock K. and Farr-Wharton R. (2012) “Emotional intelligence job satisfaction well-being and engagement: explaining organisational commitment and turnover intentions in policing” Human Resource Management Journal Vol.22 pp.428-441.

  • Colakoglu S.N. (2011) “The impact of career boundarylessness on subjective career success: The role of career competencies career autonomy and career insecurity” Journal of Vocational Behavior Vol.79 pp.47-59.

  • Danish Technological Institute (2008) “Job Mobility in the European Union: Optimising its Social and Economic Benefi ts” in Policy and Business Analysis European Commission - Directorate General for Employment Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities (ed.).

  • De Vos A. and Soens N. (2008) “Protean attitude and career success: The mediating role of self-management” Journal of Vocational Behavior Vol.73 pp.449-456.

  • Eby L.T. Butts M. and Lockwood A. (2003) “Predictors of success in the era of the boundaryless career” Journal of Organizational Behavior Vol.24 pp.689-708.

  • Eurobarometer (2010) “Geographical and labour market mobility” in Eurobarometer European Commission (Ed).

  • Fornell C. and Larcker D. F. (1981) “Structural Equation Models with Unobservable Variables and Measurement Error: Algebra and Statistics” Journal of Marketing Research Vol.18 pp.382-388.

  • Galanaki E. (2013) “Gender and the Importance of Fringe Benefi ts: Exploring their Link with Organizational Commitment and Job Satisfaction” paper presented at the European Academy of Management Conference Istanbul Turkey.

  • Galanaki E. and Papalexandris N. (2013) “The Critical Role of In-Group Collectivism and Humane Orientation for Employee Commitment and Satisfaction”. Available at SSRN: or

  • Gould S. and Penley L. (1984) “Career strategies and salary progression: a study of their relationships in a municipal bureaucracy” Organizational Behavior and Human Performance Vol. 34 pp. 244-65.

  • Greenhaus J.H. Callanan G.A. and Godshalk V.M. (2000) Career Management The Dryden Press Harcourt College Publishers 3rd ed. Hinsdale IL.

  • Greenhaus J. H. Parasuraman S. and Wormley W. M. (1990) “Effects of Race on Organizational Experience Job Performance Evaluations and Careeer Outcomes “ Academy of Management Journal Vol.33 pp.64-86.

  • Gunz H.P. and Heslin P.A. (2005) “Reconceptualizing career success” Journal of Organizational Behavior Vol.26 pp.105-111.

  • Gutrhie J. P. Coate C. J. and Schwoerer C. E. (1998) “Career management strategies: the role of personality” Journal of Managerial Psychology Vol.13 pp371 - 386.

  • Hair J. F. Ringle C. M. and Sarstedt M. (2013a) “Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling: Rigorous Applications Better Results and Higher Acceptance “ Long Range Planning Vol.46 forthcoming (online available).

  • Hair J. F. Hult G. T. M. Ringle C. M. and Sarstedt M. (2013b) A Primer on Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) Sage Thousand Oaks CA.

  • Hair J. F. Ringle C. M. and Sarstedt M. (2012) “Partial Least Squares: The Better Approach to Structural Equation Modeling?” Long Range Planning Vol.45 pp.312-319.

  • Hall D.T. (1996) “Protean careers of the 21st century” Academy of Management Executive Vol.10 No.4 pp.8-16.

  • Higgins M.C. and Kram K.E. (2001) “Reconceptualizing mentoring at work: a developmental network perspective” Academy of Management Review Vol. 26 pp. 264-288.

  • Judge T. A. Cable D. M. Boudreau J.W. and Bretz R. D. (1995) “An empirical investigation of the predictors of executive career success” Personnel Psychology Vol.48 pp.485-519.

  • King Z. (2004) „Career self-management: Its nature causes and consequences” Journal of Vocational Behavior Vol.65 pp.112-133.

  • King Z. (2001) “Career self-management: A framework for guidance of employed adults” British Journal of Guidance and Counselling Vol.29 No.1 pp.65-78.

  • Kuijpers M.A.C.T. Schyns B. and Scheerens J. (2005) “Career competencies for career success” The Career Development Quarterly Vol.55 pp.168-178.

  • Lee P. (2002) “Career goals and career management strategy among information technology professionals” Career Development International Vol. 7 No. 1 pp. 6-13.

  • Martins L. L. Eddleston K. A. and Veiga J. F. (2002) “Moderators of the Relationship between Work-Family Conflict and Career Satisfaction” Academy of Management Journal Vol.45 pp.399-409.

  • Mannheim B. (1993) “Gender and the effects of demographics status and work values on work centrality” Work and Occupations Vol.20 No.1 pp. 3-22.

  • Nabi G. (2003) “Situational characteristics and subjective career success: the mediating role of career- enhancing strategies” International Journal of Manpower Vol. 24 No. 3 pp. 653-71.

  • Ng T.W.H. Eby L.T. Sorensen K.L. and Feldman D.C. (2005) “Predictors of objective and subjective career success: A meta- analysis” Personnel Psychology Vol.58 367-408.

  • Nikandrou I. Panayotopoulou L. and Apospori E. (2008) “The Impact of Individual and Organizational Characteristics on Work-Family Conflict and Career Outcomes”. Journal of Managerial Psychology Vol.23 No.5 pp.576-598.

  • Nikandrou I. Apospori E and Papalexandris N. (2003) “Cultural and leadership similarities and variations in the southern part of the European Union” Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies Vol.9 No.3 pp.61-84.

  • Papalexandris N. (2007) “Greece from Ancient Myths to Modern Realities” in Chhokar J.C. Brodbeck F.C. and House R.J. (Ed) Culture and Leadership Across the World: The GLOBE Book of In-Depth Studies of 25 Societies ch. 21 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Mahaw N.J..

  • Parker R. S. Haytko D. L. and Hermans C. M. (2009) “Individualism and collectivism: Reconsidering old assumptions” Journal of International Business Research Vol.8 pp.127-139.

  • Podsakoff P.M. Mackenzie S. B. Lee J.-Y. and Podsakoff N. P. (2003) “Common Method Biases in Behavioral Research: A Critical Review of the Literature and Recommended Remedies” Journal of Applied Psychology Vol.88 pp.879-903.

  • Ringle C. M. Sarstedt M. and Straub D. W. (2012) “A Critical Look at the Use of PLS-SEM” MIS Quarterly Vol.36 pp.iii-xiv.

  • Ringle C. M. Wende S. and Will A. (2005) SmartPLS 2.0

  • Segers J. Inceoglu I. Vloeberghs D. Bartram D. and Henderickx E. (2008) “Protean and boundaryless careers: A study on potential motivators” Journal of Vocational Behavior Vol.73 pp.212-230.

  • Sturges J. Guest D. Conway N. and Mackenzie Davey K. (2002) “A longitudinal study of the relationship between career management and organizational commitment among graduates in the fi rst ten years at work” Journal of Organizational Behavior Vol. 23 pp.731-748.

  • Sullivan S.E. and Arthur M.B. (2006) “The evolution of the boundaryless career concept: Examining physical and psychological mobility” Journal of Vocational Behavior Vol. 69 pp.19-29.

  • Super D. E. (1980) “A Life-Span Life-Space Approach to Career Development” Journal of Vocational Behavior Vol. 16 pp.282-298.

  • Van Hooft E. A. J. and De Jong M. (2009) “Predicting job seeking for temporary employment using the theory of planned behavior: The moderating role of individualism and collectivism” Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology Vol.82 pp.295-316.

  • Wanberg C.R. Welsh E.T. and Hezlett S.A. (2003) “Mentoring research: a review and dynamic process model” in Martocchio J.J. and Ferris G.R. (Ed.) Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management Elsevier Science Oxford Vol. 22 pp. 39-124.

  • Wilensky (1961) “Orderly careers and social participation: the impact of work history on social integration in the middle mass” American Sociological Review Vol.26 pp.521-539.

Journal information
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 401 104 3
PDF Downloads 243 89 4