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An examination of the effects of early and late entry on career attainment : The clean slate effect?

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Sharon L. Segrest

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Literature on tournament mobility in internal labor markets (ILMs) is reviewed revealing a paucity of studies examining the promotion patterns of late entrants into internal promotion systems. An investigation of 502 managers in a large corporation indicated that late entry into the ILM organization was significantly and positively related to career attainment, supporting the "clean slate effect". In addition, experience in the corporate office was positively related to managerial career attainment, while being female was negatively related to career attainment. In contrast to the tournament model theory, the number of years to reach middle management was positively related to career success. While no effect for race was found, this may be due to the relatively low representation of minorities in the firm studied. Moderating effects of late entry on gender, race or corporate experience were also not found.


Abstract only. Full-text article is available only through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in Personnel Review, 32(2),133-150. doi: 10.1108/00483480310460180 Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.

This article received a Highly Commended Award for Research Excellence 2004. This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


MCB University Press