De Vos, Ans; Buyens, Dirk (Vlerick Business School, 2005)
This paper explores the relationship between organizational career management and career self-management and addresses their impact on employee outcomes. The results of a study among employees and linemanagers are presented, which partly support our hypotheses. The interaction between organizational and individual career management in explaining employee outcomes is discussed.
De Schamphelaere, Veroniek; De Vos, Ans; Buyens, Dirk (Vlerick Business School, 2004)
The development of a career is subject to an interaction and exchange process between employer and employee. In addition, the changing nature and meaning of a career in today's competitive labor market has stimulated researchers to relate this with the psychological contract theory (e.g. Herriot, 1998, Sparrow & Cooper, 1998). However, the research domain of career self-management and the potential influence on the perception and evaluation of the psychological contract and on career activities offered by the organization in particular, has not been explicitly explored yet. Studies of Kossek et al. (1998) and Sturges et al. (2000) show that employees who actively manage their own career, hold higher expectations towards their employer, since they develop a clear idea on what their career objectives are and on how they want to achieve them. Hence, hypotheses are formulated that address the relationship between career self-management and (1) the perception and evaluation of the psychological contract, (2) the esteemed value and perception of career activities offered by the employer. To test our hypotheses, a cross-sectional survey among 491 employees of six Belgian organizations has been conducted. Our results suggest that the extent to which employees manage their own career has a significant impact on (1) the perception and evaluation of promises exchanged with their employer and (2) the importance they attach to career activities and the evaluation they make of the career activities offered by the company. First, employees who actively manage their own career, believe their employer has made more promises to them relating to different content domains of the psychological contract. Secondly, employees who actively manage their own career, are more positive on the fulfillment of their psychological contract. More specifically, this conclusion can be applied to the two dimensions of the psychological contract that are job-related, i.e. career development opportunities, job content. Thirdly, employees who actively manage their own career, attach more importance to the career activities offered by the company. In particular those career activities that consist of real guidance and steering from the organization. Furthermore, these employees also evaluate the provision of career management practices in the organization more positively. Our findings are discussed in view of the literature on career self-management and psychological contracts and they add new important insights.
De Vos, Ans; Dewettinck, Koen; Buyens, Dirk (2006)
This paper explores professional employees' career move preferences and the impact of both individual and organizational career management. Departing from theoretical work on the “new career”, different types of career moves employees can make on the internal labor market are discussed (i.e. vertical moves, lateral moves, job enrichment and temporary moves). Next, these are related to the literature on both organizational and individual career management. Hypotheses are formulated about professional employees' preferences for making distinct types of internal career moves and about the extent to which these preferences are affected by (a) employees' individual career management initiatives and (b) four distinct bundles of organizational career management practices (succession management, potential assessment, feedback and development). The results of a study among 472 professional employees from one company are presented, which indicate that the preferences for both vertical career moves and moves relating to job enrichment and temporary moves are significantly affected by individual career management, but not by organizational career management practices. The preference for making lateral moves could not be explained by our antecedent variables, but was affected by managerial ambition and variables relating to respondents' family situation. The implications of our findings for stimulating internal career mobility are discussed, and suggestions for further research are made.
Although current career literature continues to build on the new career concepts that reflect a shift from ‘traditional' towards ‘transitional' career patterns, recent research presents a different reality. In Belgium, among other countries, the traditional career pattern remains the dominant picture on the labour market. This study seeks to explain this discrepancy between theory and practice by focussing on the meso-organizational influences on career choices of individuals. Drawing on Schmid's model of a transitional labour market, this qualitative empirical research explores the factors at company level that individuals point to as obstructing or facilitating career transitions. Results show that the existence of obstructing determinants at company level is one of the reasons why the ‘transitional career' hasn't become reality on the Belgian labour market yet. Implications for practitioners and policy makers are discussed.
De Vos, Ans; Buyens, Dirk; Schalk, M.J.D. (René) (Vlerick Business School, 2003)
This paper explores the information-seeking behaviors newcomers engage in relating to their psychological contract and addresses the impact of work values (Autonomy, Advancement, Group Orientation and Economic Rewards) and Work Locus of Control. We propose that these individual characteristics could explain differences in the frequency with which newcomers search for information about the promises their employer has made to them. A two-wave longitudinal study was conducted in which 527 newcomers from eight organizations (representing 3 sectors) participated. The results largely support the proposed relationships between work values and contract-related information seeking, while the relation between Work Locus of Control and contract-related information seeking is rather weak. Implications for psychological contract formation are discussed.
De Vos, Ans; Buyens, Dirk (Vlerick Business School, 2004)
Both socialization and psychological contract literature demonstrate that the first months of employment are critical for the development of a positive psychological contract with organizational newcomers (e.g. Bauer et al., 1994, Robinson et al., 1994, Thomas & Anderson, 1998). For this reason, it is the objective of this study to explicate newcomers' psychological contract perceptions and evaluations during the socialization process, using information seeking as the central antecedent variable. Based upon socialization and psychological contract literature, hypotheses are formulated that address the relationship between newcomer information seeking and (1) changes in newcomers' perceptions of promises exchanged with their employer, and (2) newcomers' evaluations of their employment relationship one year after entry. To test our hypotheses, a four-wave longitudinal survey among 333 newcomers has been conducted, covering the first year of their new employment relationship. These newcomers, all white-collar level, belonged to six large organizations located in Belgium. Data collections took place at four moments: (T1) at entry, (T2) three months after entry, (T3) six months after entry, and (T4) one year after entry. Results suggest that during the socialization process newcomers change their perceptions of promises but that, contrary to our expectations, these changes are not related to their information-seeking behaviors. On the other hand, and in line with our hypotheses, the frequency of contract-related information seeking during the socialization process significantly affects newcomers' evaluations of their employment relationship one year after entry. Newcomers who engage more frequently in information seeking make up a more positive evaluation of psychological contract fulfillment and they are also more satisfied with their employment relationship in general. Our findings are discussed in view of the available literature on newcomer socialization and psychological contract development and implications for theories on psychological contract development are drawn.
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