The role of line managers in employee career management:an attachment theory perspective


Line managers increasingly play a key role in organizational career development systems, yet few studies have examined the nature of this role or its implications for employee career attitudes and behaviors. In two studies, we used attachment theory to explore this issue. In Study 1, in-depth interviews (N = 20) showed that employees viewed career management as a relational process in which line managers are expected to act as ‘caregiver’ to support individualized career development. Study 2 was a large-scale international survey (N = 891). Participants scoring higher on attachment avoidance in their line manager relationships reported more negative perceptions of career growth opportunities, lower participation in organizational career development activities and higher turnover intentions. Trust in the organization partially mediated the relationship. Theoretical and practical implications for HRM are discussed.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Work & Organisational Psychology
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The International Journal of Human Resource Management on 14/7/14, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords: attachment,careers,career management,line manager,trust,Management of Technology and Innovation,Strategy and Management,Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
Publication ISSN: 1466-4399
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2024 07:02
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2015 10:25
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2015
Published Online Date: 2014-07-14
Authors: Crawshaw, Jonathan R. (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-7168-5607)
Game, Annilee



Version: Accepted Version

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record