How relationship-building behavior induces new employees’ career success: Effects of mentor tie strength and network density

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Miaomiao Li
Zhenxing Gong
Ganli Liao
Cite this article:  Li, M., Gong, Z., & Liao, G. (2022). How relationship-building behavior induces new employees’ career success: Effects of mentor tie strength and network density. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 50(1), e10791.


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This longitudinal study explored how the relationship-building behavior of new employees induces career success. First, we proposed and tested a model based on mentoring and social capital theories, using mentor tie strength as a mediator to explain the association between relationship-building behavior and career success (career satisfaction and promotion). Next, we examined the moderating role of social network density and the moderated mediation effect. Survey data were collected at two time points from 252 new employees of a Chinese company. The results indicate that mentor tie strength mediated the association between relationship-building behavior and subjective career success (career satisfaction), and that social network density moderated the relationship between mentor tie strength and career satisfaction. Further, mentor tie strength mediated the association between relationship-building behavior and subjective career success (career satisfaction) when social network density was low; however, the mediation effect was nonsignificant when social network density was high. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications.

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