Chance events in managers' careers: Positive and negative events, their expected and unexpected outcomes

Celine Legrand, Christine Naschberger, Yehuda Baruch*, Nikos Bozionelos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


Current literature focuses on factors that explain career success but mostly ignores the role of chance events and the way they affect careers. Furthermore, the literature does not distinguish between different types of chance events and their outcomes. We draw on 682 questionnaires with both qualitative and quantitative elements completed by managers in a major European country, more than 60% of whom indicated they had experienced a significant chance event that had influenced their career. While the majority reported positive events that led to positive career outcomes, substantial numbers reported other scenarios of perceived event-impact cases (e.g., approximately 16% reported a negative event that had positive career consequences). Qualitative analysis revealed specific attributes of a four-quadrant framework, whereas quantitative analysis compared the groups regarding career-related outcomes and psychological characteristics that reflect career orientations. Some of the differences between the groups are counterintuitive. Our study makes a unique and original contribution by uncovering the role of chance events in careers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-476
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Management Review
Issue number3
Early online date4 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023
Externally publishedYes

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