The gap between career management expectations and reality - empirical insights from the IT industry

The Information Technology (IT) industry has become an important economic factor in many Western countries, but it is well known for suffering from skills shortages and high turnover rates. Organizational career management (OCM) may help to attract new talent and reduce IT turnover by satisfying individuals’ career needs. However, to date, little is known about what, exactly, IT professionals expect in terms of career-related support, and whether their expectations match with what IT organizations provide. This paper reports on a quantitative study that investigated what 1686 IT professionals in Switzerland, Germany and the UK expected and what their employers provided in terms of OCM. Findings indicate that there are substantial mismatches between OCM ‘supply’ and ‘demand’. The paper makes an important contribution by providing a more in-depth understanding of IT professionals’ OCM preferences, leading to various practical implications for IT organizations and beyond.