Linking career adaptability to supervisor-rated task performance: a serial mediation model

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Purpose: Based on a combination of career construction theory (CCT) and conservation of resources (COR) theory, this study proposes and examines a serial mediation model connecting proactive personality with supervisor-rated task performance sequentially through career adaptability and job engagement. Design/methodology/approach: A sample of 177 supervisor–subordinate dyads in the United States participated in the multisource survey, and structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses. The proposed indirect effects were evaluated using a bootstrap procedure. Findings: Results indicated that career adaptability mediated the relationship between proactive personality and job engagement, job engagement mediated the relationship between career adaptability and supervisor-rated task performance and career adaptability and job engagement sequentially mediated the relationship between proactive personality and supervisor-rated task performance. Research limitations/implications: Through an examination of the nomological network pertaining to career adaptability, the results provide strong evidence in support of integrating CCT with COR theory in this research stream. Future studies should continue to expand upon the model presented here by considering potential moderators that might influence certain paths within this relationship network and use longitudinal designs to allow for stronger causal inferences. Practical implications: Given the central role proactive personality plays in career construction and job engagement, organizations should encourage workers to be more proactive while on the job. This may help engender career adaptability and work engagement among employees – ultimately contributing to organizational success. Originality/value: This study responds to calls linking career adaptability to supervisory ratings of work performance. In doing so, it advances the literatures on proactive personality and career adaptability by highlighting the importance of considering the tenets of both CCT and COR theory.

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Career Development International





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