مشاوره و گردش اهداف در شرکت های حسابداری عمومی: یادداشت پژوهشی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|8429||2009||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Accounting, Organizations and Society, Volume 34, Issues 6–7, August–October 2009, Pages 695–704
Turnover in public accounting firms is a critically important issue as firms seek to retain quality accounting personnel in the face of skilled labour shortages. Mentoring is one initiative that has been suggested as a means of reducing the high costs associated with employee turnover. However, prior accounting research examining the association between mentoring and turnover intentions has produced mixed results, which may be due, at least in part, to difficulties in operationalizing the mentoring construct. Drawing on recent management literature regarding organizational turnover intentions, we challenge the conventional view that mentoring generally leads to reduced turnover intentions, by testing a theoretical model that posits that different functions of mentoring have differing effects on turnover intentions. Specifically, we argue that while the psychosocial support function of mentoring can serve to reduce public accountants’ turnover intentions, the career development function of mentoring has the potential to increase turnover intentions. Results support this conclusion.
In recent years there has been considerable interest surrounding the development, operation and effects of mentoring relationships within public accounting firms (see, for example, Herbohn, 2004, Kaplan et al., 2001 and Viator and Pasewark, 2005). A mentoring relationship is an interpersonal exchange between a senior experienced colleague (the mentor) and a less-experienced junior colleague (the protégé) in which the mentor provides direction, support and feedback to the protégé regarding career plans and personal development (Kram, 1985 and Russell and Adams, 1997). One of the strongest claims regarding mentoring relationships is that they assist public accounting firms in retaining employees (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 2007 and Gregg, 1999). However, despite numerous studies, it is unclear whether and how mentoring relationships affect public accountants’ organizational turnover intentions. Simply having a mentor does not necessarily result in lower turnover intentions; some studies find a negative association between having a mentor and intentions to leave the accounting firm (Barker et al., 1999, Scandura and Viator, 1994 and Viator and Scandura, 1991), whereas others report no association (Herbohn, 2004 and Viator, 2001). Studies focusing on the support provided by a mentor to a protégé also report mixed results. Some research finds that both career development and psychosocial support are associated with lower turnover intentions (Barker et al., 1999 and Herbohn, 2004), but other studies report mixed results (Scandura & Viator, 1994).1 We propose several explanations for these mixed findings. Most prior research has focused on differences in turnover intentions between those public accountants who have a mentor and those who do not (for example, Barker et al., 1999 and Viator and Scandura, 1991). Operationalizing mentoring as a dichotomous (yes/no) variable is problematic because it potentially masks the effects of mentoring relationships by combining good and poor quality mentoring in one category (Ragins, Cotton, & Miller, 2000). We argue that it is not the presence or absence of a mentor that is important; rather, it is the quality of a mentoring relationship that is likely to affect an individual’s turnover intentions (Allen et al., 2004 and Ragins et al., 2000). A mentor can provide two different types of support: career development support and psychosocial support (Kram, 1985). Prior research on mentoring has argued that both career development support and psychosocial support are negatively associated with intentions to leave the accounting firm (Barker et al., 1999, Herbohn, 2004 and Scandura and Viator, 1994). However, theory indicates that the two types of mentoring support can have different effects because they relate to different facets of the mentoring relationship (Allen et al., 2004, Kram, 1985 and Tharenou, 2005). Career development support is primarily concerned with preparing the protégé for career advancement, such as providing assistance with learning the job and sponsoring the protégé for important assignments (Allen et al., 2004, Kram, 1985 and Viator, 2001). In contrast, psychosocial support primarily relates to developing the protégé’s identity and sense of self, such as sharing of personal experiences, acts of friendship, and acting as a role model (Allen et al., 2004, Kram, 1985 and Viator, 2001). As such, it is questionable whether both types of mentor support would have the same effect on public accountants’ organizational turnover intentions. Prior research has focused almost exclusively on the direct-effect of mentoring relationships on organizational turnover intentions, rather than indirect-effects. There can be theoretical differences between direct- and indirect-effects models that have practical implications (Hall, 2008 and Shields et al., 2000). In particular, mentor support may serve to both increase and decrease turnover intentions through its effect on intervening psychological mechanisms, yet these conflicting effects are not examined in direct-effect models, potentially resulting in inconsistent results (Luft & Shields, 2007, p. 45). Indirect-effects models also allow an investigation into how and why a relationship between mentoring and organizational turnover intentions may exist (Lankau and Scandura, 2002 and Payne and Huffman, 2005). We test a theoretical model linking the two types of support provided by a mentor (career development and psychosocial support) to organizational turnover intentions through three intervening variables: psychological empowerment, affective organizational commitment, and procedural justice. Collectively, these three variables help to explain how and why mentor support is related to organizational turnover intentions. Through including three intervening variables in our theoretical model, we increase understanding of the psychological mechanisms through which mentoring relationships affect public accountants’ intentions to leave an accounting firm. The remainder of the paper contains four sections. The next section develops the theoretical model and presents hypotheses. The research method, including sample selection and variable measurement, is then presented. This is followed by presentation of the results. The final section discusses the results and concludes the paper.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our study contributes to the literature on public accountants’ mentoring and organizational turnover intentions by providing an explanation for prior conflicting results. First, we show that the mere presence/absence of a mentor has no effect on organizational turnover intentions or any other variables within our research model. This highlights the importance of investigating the nature of mentoring support, rather than the presence/absence of a mentor. Second, we show that some types of mentoring support (specifically, career development support) may increase organizational turnover intentions: we find that career development support is positively associated with psychological empowerment, which, in turn, is positively associated with organizational turnover intentions. This is contrary to the conventional view that “good” mentoring necessarily leads to desirable outcomes for the firm (e.g., employee retention). However, our findings are consistent with theory that predicts that forms of organizational support that enhance employees’ beliefs about their ability to secure valued alternative employment can increase turnover intentions (Benson et al., 2004, Harris et al., 2005, Ito and Brotheridge, 2005 and Maertz and Griffeth, 2004). Our findings raise an interesting question – should accounting firms de-emphasize career development support mentoring? We argue that both types of mentor support are important for protégés’ development, and that one should not be ignored in favour of the other. However, our results should encourage accounting firms to re-think the efficacy and design of mentoring programs insofar as they are aimed at reducing employee turnover. In particular, for formal mentoring, accounting firms can instruct mentors on the likely effects of different types of mentor support on protégés’ turnover intentions and behaviours. Whilst more difficult for informal mentoring, it appears necessary to develop an awareness among actual and potential mentors of the likely effects that career development support can have on turnover behaviour, perhaps through education programs and/or more specific guidance. The effect of career development support on turnover is likely to be particularly problematic in tight labour markets and in situations where protégés feel stressed, undervalued and/or dissatisfied at work. As such, a focus on mentoring practices should not occur in isolation from other mechanisms. In particular, it is important for accounting firms to examine closely the operation of other organizational practices (for example, internal promotion opportunities, salary increases, work flexibility – see Almer, Higgs, & Hooks, 2005) to counteract against the potential loss of staff who have received strong career development support. Our paper points to several fruitful areas for future research. First, as our results show that some forms of organizational support increase turnover intentions, further research could consider whether and how other types of organizational support (e.g., leader-member exchange, supervisor support) relate to turnover intentions in accounting firms. Second, whilst our study has focused on how mentor support affects protégés, future research could investigate the antecedents of different forms of mentor support. In particular, consideration of how firm (e.g., formal mentor programs, mentor training) and mentor (e.g., personality, interpersonal skills, and hierarchical position) characteristics affect a mentor’s ability to provide psychosocial and career development support represents a promising line of enquiry. Finally, it is also important to examine whether or how mentoring practices combine with other organizational practices to influence protégés’ beliefs and work behaviours. Such research could be pursued through field-studies of protégés where the wide variety of practices that shape their behaviours can be examined.