Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Psychological Meaningfulness and Availability Mediate the High Potential Program–affective Commitment Relationship

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Psychological Meaningfulness and Availability Mediate the High Potential Program–affective Commitment Relationship

Article excerpt

With traditional resources gradually losing their ability to give organizations a competitive advantage, the renewable resource of talented, high potential (HiPo) employees who are not easily imitated by competitors, has begun to attract considerable research attention (Dries & De Gieter, 2014; King, 2016). HiPo employees are defined as distinctively talented individuals who are valuable and unique to the organization (Gelens, Dries, Hofmans, & Pepermans, 2013). Accordingly, HiPo programs are one method organizations use to selectively identify employees as high performers and subsequently give them priority for special assignments, training, promotions, and flexible work arrangements (Gelens, Hofmans, Dries, & Pepermans, 2014; Malik & Singh, 2014), to enhance organizational competitiveness and promote the employees' future advancement within the company (King, 2016).

Scholars have recently begun to investigate the practical effects of HiPo programs on employees' organizational attitudes. For example, Björkman, Ehrnrooth, Mäkelä, Smale, and Sumelius (2013) examined if being identified as having high potential had an effect on employees' attitudes, such as employee acceptance of increasing performance demands. Despite their important contributions to the literature, previous researchers have not examined how the process features of HiPo programs work. Human resources (HR) practices, such as HiPo programs, relate to communication between employers and employees (Malik & Singh, 2014). According to Bowen and Ostroff (2004), metafeatures of HR practices, such as distinctiveness, consistency, and consensus, help to develop a strong organizational climate in which staff members have a common interpretation of appropriate responses. Further, several scholars have noted that consensus about HR practices is necessary for strengthening the distinctiveness and consistency of these practices (Bowen & Ostroff, 2004; Ostroff & Bowen, 2016). Thus, consensus on the use of HiPo programs is a precondition for creating a strong organizational climate within a work unit (Ostroff & Bowen, 2016).

Our aim in this study was to examine the process through which consensus on the use of HiPo programs affects employees' affective commitment (AC), which is defined as employees' attachment to, identification with, and involvement in the organization (Gao-Urhahn, Biemann, & Jaros, 2016). In particular, we focused on the mediating roles of psychological meaningfulness (PM)-defined in an organizational context as considering one's work as worthwhile, valuable, or conducive to professional or personal growth (Kahn, 1990)-and psychological availability (PA)-which is the degree of employees' confidence in their ability to cope with work demands-in the relationship between consensus on the use of HiPo programs and AC. We believed that it was important to explore these mediation effects because a typical goal for HiPo programs is to increase the commitment of employees (Collings & Mellahi, 2009; Dries & De Gieter, 2014).

In addition, in past studies on the relationship between consensus on the use of HR practices and AC (King, 2016; Malik & Singh, 2014; Uen, Chen, & Yang, 2015), seemingly opposite results have been obtained. We aimed to resolve this paradox by drawing on social exchange theory (SET; Homans, 1958) to understand the relationship between consensus on the use of HiPo programs and employees' AC through the mediators of PM and PA.

Literature Review and Development of Hypotheses

Consensus on the Use of High Potential Programs and Affective Commitment

Consensus involves individuals reaching an agreement about the relationship between event and effect (Bowen & Ostroff, 2004). When managers have a consensus on the use of HR practices, employees can assess the likelihood of specific outcomes and required behaviors (Ostroff & Bowen, 2016). For example, when supervisors concur on offering greater rewards, promotion opportunities, and autonomy to innovators, employees will realize that people who express more innovative behaviors are valued by the organization (Dickson, Resick, & Hanges, 2006). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.