Organizations are increasingly opting to offer alternative career paths to the traditional managerial ladder (particularly, a technical ladder). Although research has mainly focused on differences between the managerial and technical paths with regard to rewards and prestige, our study focuses on gaps between employees’ actual (current) and preferred career paths, that is, being on the technical path while preferring the managerial path and vice versa. We examine how employees experiencing career path gaps compare with employees experiencing career path fit, in terms of self-rated performance and burnout. The results, based on data from 210 professional employees working in four global high-technology companies, suggest that performance levels are lowest among employees who are currently on the technical career path but would prefer the managerial path, whereas burnout levels are lowest among employees experiencing career path fit. Furthermore, among employees experiencing the former, career path gap, performance is lower when supervisor support is high.
- career path gap
- employee development
- supervisor support
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management