© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.Despite the increasing number of studies that address various types of developmental relationships and their outcomes, we still know little about the mechanisms through which these relationships affect career outcomes. We investigated the mediating role of academics’ research productivity in the relationship between both developmental network quantity and developmental relationship, and career satisfaction. This study proposed a theoretical model for the aforementioned mechanism, and empirically tested it. Questionnaires were administered in-person to academics across eighteen universities in Turkey and 564 responses were received. Findings revealed that research productivity plays a significant mediating role in the relationship between developmental networks and career satisfaction. Results were evaluated for theoretical contributions and practical implications and discussed with regard to future research in the field.