Motivating Employees Through Career Paths

30 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2019 Last revised: 14 Nov 2019

See all articles by Heski Bar-Isaac

Heski Bar-Isaac

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Raphaël Levy

HEC Paris

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 26, 2019


Firms have discretion over task allocations, which may dampen employees' career prospects, and, hence, motivation. Task assignments and worker motivation interact through the extent of labor market competition; that is, the possibility of moving to another firm. More competition enhances motivation but decreases firms' incentives to assign workers to informative tasks. One consequence is that competitive firms sometimes choose strategies that lead to intermediate competition. When the employee pool is heterogeneous, firms might choose different human resources practices that attract different kinds of workers, and differentiate themselves through the career opportunities within and beyond the firms that they offer.

Keywords: career concerns, task assignments, labour market competition, professional service firms

JEL Classification: J32, M50, M52

Suggested Citation

Bar-Isaac, Heski and Levy, Raphaël, Motivating Employees Through Career Paths (June 26, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Heski Bar-Isaac

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

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Raphaël Levy (Contact Author)

HEC Paris ( email )

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