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

Amy E. Hurley, Stefan Wally, Sharon L. Segrest, Teresa Scandura, Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-150
Number of pages18
JournalPersonnel Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003



  • Career development
  • Gender
  • Minorities
  • Model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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