Relating career stage to attitudes towards HR practices and commitment: evidence of interaction effects?
Conway, Edel (2003) Relating career stage to attitudes towards HR practices and commitment: evidence of interaction effects? LInK Working Paper Series. (Paper No. 01-03). The Learning, Innovation and Knowledge Research Centre, Dublin City University, Ireland.
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A dominant theme within the HRM literature concerns the identification of 'best practices' that will enhance both organisational performance and employee commitment. Though research exploring the impact of these practices at the level of the individual is considerably limited, it is implied that they may be applied both across and within organisations, yielding favourable firm level outcomes and
employee behaviours. There is growing support among researchers for a more complex understanding of commitment. Meyer and Allen (1997) suggest that commitment is best viewed as multi-dimensional, comprising affective, continuance and normative dimensions. Employees displaying each dimension of commitment will remain in an organisation because they feel that they want to, need to or ought to do
so. Research suggests that certain organisational and individual variables are related to different forms of commitment. There is also evidence that both commitment and
work attitudes differ over the stages of an employee's career. This presents the possibility that organisations seeking to promote commitment may need to tailor HR
practices to suit employees' needs, thus challenging the best practice perspective at the employee level. This paper extends on the literature by examining whether career
stage has a moderating influence on the HR-commitment relationship. The empirical research is based on an employee attitude survey within three financial service
organisations in Ireland (N= 288). Using moderated multiple regression, the findings highlight the extent to which interaction effects are evident regarding attitudes
towards HR practices and continuance and normative commitment, though not affective commitment. The implications of these findings for the management of
commitment are discussed.
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