Relationships between Frequency of Use of Career Management Practices and Employee Attitudes, Intention to Turnover, and Job Search Behavior

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

A questionnaire measuring the frequency in which employees used various career management practices, as well as employee attitudes and behaviors was administered to employees in divisions of a southern state's government departments of revenue, auditing and education. Results show that frequency of use of career management practices was positively related to job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and negatively related to perceived job stress and job insecurity. Further frequency of use of career management practices was significantly and inversely associated with turnover preparation activities.

INTRODUCTION

There is substantial evidence of a link between human resource management practices and important work related outcomes such as employee attitudes and behavior and firm financial performance. However, one set of human resource management practices has not been fully examined in this line of research. Few organizational career management practices (e.g., career counseling, training, mentoring, career paths, career planning workshops) have been examined for their relationships with employee attitudes and behaviors (Eby, Allen & Brinley, in press).

Researchers have linked a number of human resource management practices to employee attitudes and behaviors, as well as to organizational performance (Boudreau, 1991; Jones & Write, 1992; Huselid, 1995; Collins & Clark, 2003; Barte, 2004). Human resource management practices may improve organizational performance through employee attitudes and behaviors by providing a qualified pool of applicants, improving employee knowledge and skills, increasing employee motivation and organizational commitment, and reducing employee absenteeism and turnover. Jackson and Schüler (1995) argue that human resource management practices are one means to develop and sustain a firm's competitive advantage.

A number of studies have found HR practices (e.g., training, performance appraisal, compensation, and incentives) are connected to various employee attitudes and behaviors and to organizational performance. Olgilvie (1987) produced evidence that employee perceptions of the organization's human resource practices were correlated to organizational commitment. Kinicki, Carson and Bohlander' s (1992) results suggest that employee perceptions of their organization's human resource management practices (e.g., employee training, advancement opportunities, and hiring qualified employees) were positively correlated with several employee attitudes including job satisfaction, pride in working for the company, and attitude toward providing good customer service).

Lambert (2000) found the perceived utility of work- life benefits was positively correlated to organizational citizenship behavior. Huselid (1995) produced evidence that combinations of human resource management practices (called "HR bundles") were positively associated with lower employee turnover, greater productivity, and higher firm financial performance. Terpstra and Rozelle (1993) produced a positive relationship between the extensiveness of recruiting, selection test validation, and the use of formal selection procedures and organizational profitability. A similar positive link was found by Russell, Terborg and Powers (1985) between employee training programs and firm profitability.

Firm profitability has also been linked to the use of formal performance appraisal systems (Borman, 1991), and to linking performance appraisals with compensation (Gerhart & Milkovich, 1992). More recently, Bartel (2004) produced evidence in retail banking firms that employee satisfaction with the quality of performance evaluation, feedback, and recognition were all positively related to branch bank performance.

Career management is defined as "the process by which individuals develop insight into themselves and their environment, formulate career goals and strategies, and acquire feedback regarding career progress" (Greenhaus, Callahan & Godshalk, 2000, pp. …