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Are "Job Hoppers" Trapped in Hedonic Treadmills? Effects of Career Orientations on Newcomers’ Attitude Trajectories

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Wiebke Doden, Julian Pfrombeck, Gudela Grote

Original languageEnglish
Accepted/In press7 Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This research was supported by the Ecoscientia Foundation, a research grant awarded to the first author by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF [Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung]), grant no. P2EZP1_172153, and a grant by the Suzanne and Hans Biäsch Stiftung zur Förderung der angewandten Psychologie (grant no. 2016‐39) also awarded to the first author. The second author was supported by the SNSF, grant no. P500PS_202984/1. We thank our Editor Justin DeSimone and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions as well as David Guest, Levke Henningsen, Michael Clinton, and Ricardo Rodrigues for their helpful feedback on earlier versions of this paper. We also thank Nives Stiefel, Irene Egli, and Antonios Karatzas‐Pliakas for their assistance in data collection. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Authors. Journal of Organizational Behavior published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

King's Authors


Joining a new organization to change jobs is an influential event in an employee's career. Thus, inter-organizational job changes have sparked growing scholarly interest, especially in the temporal dynamics involved in detaching from organizations and adapting to new ones. While it is widely accepted that employees adapt differently to job changes, the influence of employees' career orientations on changes in job attitudes has not yet been considered. This is surprising given that a key difference between self-centered and organization-centered career orientations is a positive attitude toward job changes. Building on hedonic adaptation, we examined how career orientations influence changes in job satisfaction and turnover intention throughout a job change. We compared self-centered and organization-centered employees using random coefficient modeling on two longitudinal data sets with voluntary job changers. Our results illustrate that self-centered career orientations foster a stronger decline in job satisfaction with the new employer, as well as a larger increase in turnover intention, than organization-centered career orientations. In contrast, employees with organization-centered career orientations experienced an upward trend in job satisfaction toward the end of the first year. Our findings offer important implications for research on the determinants of job attitude trajectories when individuals join a new organization.

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