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Career plateauism: End of the road or just another fork?

Joseph, J., Simmons, B., Abramowicz, K. and Girardi, T. (2002) Career plateauism: End of the road or just another fork? Journal of Management & Organization, 8 (2). pp. 14-21.

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This paper is based on a study of a large U.S. multinational corporation, examining the importance of career plateauism, the condition whereby more employees find that opportunities for promotions are limited or non-existent. This phenomenon has gained special attention with corporate downsizing and the emergence of "flatter" organizations. This exploratory study suggests that plateauism is a multi-faceted construct. Plateauism can have adverse effects upon certain employees in the organization; however, a segment of plateaued employees commonly referred to as "solid citizens" can manage to function effectively. Instead of viewing plateauism solely by its traditional definition of hierarchical movement, the assessment of plateauism needs to be expanded to include factors such as the content of the job, change in work responsibilities, and the learning of new skills. "Content" plateauism is contrasted as being distinctly different from the conventional measure referred to as "structural" plateauism. This difference in the assessment of plateauism may explain why one type of plateauism has detrimental effects while the negative repercussions attributable to the other type of plateauism can be moderated; consequently, the different types of plateauism may require different interventions. The implications for managers, organizations, and plateaued employees are discussed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Murdoch Business School
Publisher: eContent Management Pty Ltd
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