Occur when an employee changes job, department, or location in an organization, but remains at a similar level in the hierarchy. Tendencies towards delayering mean there are fewer promotion opportunities and so employees are encouraged to see lateral career moves as a positive opportunity to broaden their portfolio of skills and experience. For example, an employee might face new challenges and responsibilities through a secondment to a different department or working on a series of projects, rather than being promoted. Of course, the problem is that promotion is normally associated with higher salary and enhanced status, whereas lateral career moves do not necessarily entail either of these. Therefore, it is obviously difficult to persuade employees that a lateral career move is a satisfactory alternative to promotion up the hierarchy.
Subjects: Human Resource Management.