کشف رابطه بین مدیریت شغلی سازمانی و نیاز به مشاوره شغلی خارجی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|6374||2007||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 71, Issue 1, August 2007, Pages 69–83
This article unravels the relationship between organizational career management and the need for external career counseling. We conducted a path analysis using data of 803 Flemish employees. The results indicate a three-way relationship between organizational career management and external career counseling. First, experiencing organizational career management reduces the need for external career counseling by enhancing career satisfaction. Second, it also reinforces the need for career counseling by encouraging employees to invest in their external employability. Finally, organizational career management and external career counseling are complementary as well. The implications of the results and the directions to be taken in future research are discussed.
Governments are increasingly becoming convinced of the added value of external career counseling for employees (Cedefop, 2005, OECD, 2004 and Watts, 2005). Career counseling refers to services designed to assist people of any age, at any point in their lives, to make educational, training and occupational choices and to manage their careers (OECD, 2004). The notion “external” indicates that the career counseling is conducted independently from the counselee’s employer and is therefore likely to be impartial. At present, most external career counseling services are only available to a number of specific groups, mostly school leavers and the unemployed (OECD, 2004). However, since careers tend to involve a lifelong construction process, anyone might need career support at any time (Cedefop, 2005, Herr, 2003, OECD, 2004, Santos and Ferreira, 1998, Sultana, 2004 and Watts, 2000). For employees, it could be argued that employers may be in a better position than external career counseling services to offer career support on a substantial and sustained basis (Watts, 2000). However, research shows that organizational career management, i.e. organizational practices concerned with the career development of employees (Orpen, 1994), is often confined to large organizations and focuses chiefly on high-potential and core employees (Dreher and Dougherty, 1997, Forrier, 2003, Maurer et al., 2003, OECD, 2004 and Watts and Kidd, 2000). Moreover, career support provided by organizations may not be truly impartial, since the organizations in question are likely to have an interest in the outcome (OECD, 2004 and Watts, 2000). These findings support the argument that employees may benefit from access to external career counseling. The arguments in favor of external career counseling for employees reveal two assumptions about the relationship between organizational career support and external career counseling: • The first assumption is that external career counseling functions as a substitute for organizational career management. This is reflected in the belief that external career counseling may act as a safety net for employees who feel they receive little or no career support from their employer. In other words, a lack of organizational career management is believed to induce a need for external career counseling. Employees who experience little career support from their employer have been shown to be less satisfied with their career (Orpen, 1994) and low career satisfaction is likely to induce people to participate in career counseling (White & Killeen, 2002). • The second assumption considers external career counseling to be a complement of organizational career management. Indeed, it is believed that employees who are looking for impartiality may want to participate in external career counseling independently of the support they receive from their employer. Employees might look for impartial career support, for instance, when exploring external career opportunities, if they are seeking an unbiased assessment of their strengths and weaknesses or when dealing with sensitive career-endangering issues such as illness. Although these assumptions are widely accepted and substantiate the conviction that employees should have access to external career counseling (OECD, 2004, Watts, 2000 and Watts, 2005), little or no empirical research has been carried out to test them. Moreover, discussions on this subject have often neglected a third possible relationship between organizational career support and external career counseling. In fact, organizational career support may also reinforce the need for external career counseling owing to its impact on individual career management, i.e. the personal effort made by individuals to advance their own career goals (Orpen, 1994). Organizational career management is believed to encourage individuals to self-manage their careers ( Hiltrop, 1995 and Sturges et al., 2002). Moreover, people who are actively engaged in career self-management are better able to recognize the value of additional career investment (van der Heijden, 2002). Therefore they may be more likely to participate in career counseling. If this scenario is valid, universal access to external career counseling may widen the gap between those who do and those who do not receive career support and consequently heighten unequal opportunities. Governments might therefore want to examine the likelihood of this additional scenario. Given the readiness of many western governments to expand access to external career support (Cedefop, 2005 and OECD, 2004), an insight into the relationship between organizational career support and external career counseling seems decisive. This paper focuses on this issue. The paper is structured as follows. First, we develop the research hypotheses, then we present the methodology and the results. The paper concludes with a discussion on the key implications of the research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
We unraveled the relationship between organizational career management and the need for external career counseling. Our analyses revealed a complex relationship between both types of career support. In the first place, we found that experiencing organizational career management partly enhances the need for external career counseling through its effect on external individual career management (reinforcement scenario). Organizational career support is likely to encourage employees to invest in their external employability and the more experience employees have of such investments, the more interested they are in external career counseling. Second, experiencing organizational career management partly reduces the need for external career counseling through its effect on career satisfaction (substitute scenario). Employees who experience getting career support from their employer are more satisfied with their career and, consequently, are less inclined to participate in external career counseling. This effect is increased by the impact of career satisfaction on external individual career management. The more satisfied employees are with their career, the fewer initiatives they take to enhance their external employability and consequently the less interest they show in external career counseling. Finally, the lack of a direct effect between (experiencing) organizational career management and the need for external career counseling indicates that both forms of career support also complement one another (complement scenario). External career counseling and organizational career management seem to meet different needs. Moreover, the complement scenario is supported looking at the effect of internal individual career management: while experiencing organizational career management impacts positively on internal individual career management and encourages individuals to further their career within the current organization, the zero-effect of internal individual career management on the need for career counseling shows that individuals do not expect to receive similar encouragement from external career counseling. The support for both the complement and the substitute scenario backs up the widespread assumption that access to external career counseling is beneficial to employees. At the same time, the support for the reinforcement scenario points to a potential negative side-effect of this universal access. Since organizational career management stimulates external individual career management which in turn increases interest in external career counseling, universal access to external career counseling might widen the gap between employees who do and employees who do not receive organizational career support. To avoid this side-effect, wider access to external career counseling should be accompanied by measures designed to encourage organizations to offer career support to all employees. Encouraging organizational career management may also be needed to avoid free rider behavior on the part of organizations. Since external career counseling and organizational career counseling are partly substitutes, organizations might start under-investing in organizational career management and lay the burden upon external career counseling. Measures designed to encourage organizations to offer career support could include legal stipulations for employers to spend a certain percentage of the payroll on investment in employability, as has been done in Canada, or the development of quality-mark schemes, as is the case in the Netherlands (OECD, 2004). In addition, our analyses provide insights into the relationship between experiencing organizational career management and individual career initiatives. The results suggest that career support from the employer encourages employees to improve both their internal and external employability. Moreover, the effect of organizational career management on internal individual career management is six times as great as the effect on external individual career management. Since (internally) employable employees are believed to increase an organization’s flexibility and adaptability (Neault, 2000 and van Dam, 2004), this result might encourage organizations to improve their career support. However, the positive relationship between organizational career management and individual career management could also be explained differently. The method applied (structural equation modeling using cross-sectional data) does not enable the direction of the relationship to be determined. The causality could be reversed. For instance, individual career management could induce organizational career management. Internal individual career management includes activities such as making the boss aware of one’s accomplishments and pushing to be involved in high-profile projects. Employees who adopt such behavior become more visible and may therefore be more likely to receive organizational career support. Furthermore, both organizational career management and individual career management could be influenced by a similar third factor. For instance, individuals who are likely to receive promotion may take more career initiatives to speed up the promotion process. Employers, too, may be more inclined to offer these employees career support, because it can help them to prepare for the promotion for which they are being considered. The results further clarify the relationship between individual career management and external career counseling. The higher employees score on external individual career management, the more likely they are to express a need for career counseling. This suggests that a proactive approach stimulates an attitude of openness towards other employability enhancing activities. However, other factors could play a role here. For instance, people expecting or planning a career transition (for example a change of employer) could be more likely to undertake external individual career management and at the same time display a greater interest in career counseling. Internal individual career management does not have an effect on the need for external career counseling. Employees enhancing their internal employability through individual career management are neither more, nor less interested in counseling. This may be because external career counseling is not associated with investments in internal employability. Finally, we look at the role of career (dis)satisfaction. Our results show that career satisfaction has a negative impact on both external individual career management and on the need for career counseling. In other words, career dissatisfaction seems to trigger external career initiatives. This suggests that career initiative is more reactive than proactive. However, in the contemporary career era, in which organizations can no longer guarantee lifelong employment for every employee, even satisfied employees may benefit from a more proactive career attitude and from investment in their external employability. We did not find a relationship between internal individual career management and career satisfaction. This might indicate that dissatisfied employees do not increase their efforts to enhance their internal employability in response to their dissatisfaction. However, it could also be that career satisfaction and internal individual career management mutually affect each other. For instance, dissatisfied employees could undertake internal individual career management activities which, in turn, could positively affect their career satisfaction. However, given our cross-sectional dataset, we are not in a position to explore this possibility of mutual influence. 5.1. Limitations and directions for future research Our study has several limitations. First of all, the cross-sectional data cannot be used to study the direction of causal relationships (e.g. individual career management and career satisfaction). Studying the model using longitudinal data could help to overcome this weakness. Second, our model only explains a moderate proportion of the variance in the dependent variables. Future research might want to seek adequate additional explanatory variables. Third, we only have information about the “need for” external career counseling. This is due to the fact that the data was collected in the start-up phase of the entitlement to career counseling in Flanders. At that time, the population of actual participants was too small to use “actual participation in career counseling” as a dependent variable. Moreover, the general familiarity with external career counseling initiatives was limited. Although we gave the respondents a thorough explanation of career counseling prior to the survey, this may still have prevented them from accurately evaluating the likelihood that they may participate. Future research would need to collect additional information concerning actual participation in career counseling. Fourthly, both individual and organizational career management were measured by looking at specific activities. This list of activities is not exhaustive and, moreover, the usefulness of each activity may depend on the specific situation of the individual. Therefore activity-independent scales, such as the recent protean-career attitude scale of Briscoe, Hall, and DeMuth (2005) to measure career self-management, may be more appropriate. Fifthly, we only measured the respondents’ experience of organizational career management. This experience may differ from the actual initiatives the organization took to support the career development of its employees. Future research might want to investigate whether the actual organizational career support provided exerts similar effects. Finally, it remains unclear to what extent our results are accounted for by the specific features of the Flemish entitlement scheme, such as the decision to subsidize (and not, for instance, to employ) the external career counselors and the decision to limit subsidies to individual face-to-face career counseling. Cross-national research is needed to clarify this. Since many Western countries are looking for effective ways of ensuring access to external career counseling to employees ( OECD, 2004 and Sultana, 2004), such research seems highly relevant.