Title

Does career timing of challenging job assignments influence the relationship with in-role job performance?

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

8-2013

Abstract

To prevent the potential threats of career plateauing for mid-career employees, it has been suggested to give them challenging assignments. This approach is inspired by empirical findings demonstrating that challenging job assignments generally have positive effects on job performance and career development. However, these studies have predominantly investigated the performance effects of job challenge for employees who are in their early career. Drawing on work experience theory and in line with contemporary career theories, we argue that the relationship between challenging assignments and in-role job performance may depend on when people encounter them in their career. Data were collected in a local branch of an international furniture retailer. For early-career employees, a positive relationship emerged between having challenging assignments and peer-rated in-role job performance. For mid-career employees, the relationship exhibited an inverted U-shaped curve, such that challenging assignments have a positive influence on in-role job performance up to some point and then begin to exhibit diminishing returns. Our findings suggest that challenging assignments should be tailored to the experiential background of the employee. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords

Challenging assignments, Work tenure, Career timing, Work experience, In-role job performance

Discipline

Human Resources Management | Organizational Behavior and Theory

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources

Publication

Journal of Vocational Behavior

Volume

83

Issue

1

First Page

61

Last Page

67

ISSN

0001-8791

Identifier

10.1016/j.jvb.2013.03.001

Publisher

Elsevier

Additional URL

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2013.03.001

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