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The Effect of Career Plateau on Chinese Employees’ Affective Commitment: An Indigenous Career Plateau Scale and Two-Mediator Model

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The two-dimensional (hierarchical and job content) model have been predominating the extant career plateau literature. However, based on Schein’s cone-shaped organizational mobility model, we contend that stagnation in organizational centrality (inclusive plateau) may be another dimension of career plateau. Furthermore, grounded in social exchange theory and need-satisfaction models, we aim to examine the effects of career plateau on affective commitment and underlying mechanisms. In Study 1, based on a sample of 219 employees from different professions, we developed a primary validation of our threedimensional career plateau scale. In Study 2, we examined our hypothesized model with another dataset of 288 employees. The results suggest that job satisfaction fully mediates the relationship between the job content plateau, the inclusive plateau and affective commitment. The analysis demonstrates that the specific indirect effect of job content plateauing and inclusion on affective commitment through intrinsic job satisfaction was greater than through extrinsic job satisfaction. However, the hypothesis regarding the relationship between hierarchical plateau and affective commitment was not supported, when another two dimensions of career plateau were added to the model. Our findings provide some theoretical and practical implications.


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