The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceived progress of graduates who have been recruited by organisations and to assess their expectations and corresponding satisfaction levels. Drawing on the psychological contract and graduate development literature, the objective of the study was to compare the opinions of graduates from an organisation that offers a graduate development programme (GDP) to graduates from an organisation that does not offer such a programme.
In this paper there are interviews with HR managers, coupled with the design and distribution of a questionnaire to 126 graduates in two organisations with a response rate of 71 per cent (89 completed questionnaires).
Interesting findings emerged from the research that suggest that while GDPs do have merit, they do not appear to result in graduates who are more satisfied. In fact the opposite appeared to be true. From the sample, it emerged that organisations that employ these programmes have graduates who are less satisfied than their counterparts in organisations with no such programmes.
A number of practical implications and recommendations were identified from the study, including the importance of monitoring graduate expectations and satisfaction levels, introducing short‐term development plans, re‐evaluating the terms of reference of the GDP and providing specific training for supervisors/managers of graduates. To ensure that GDPs play a positive part in ensuring the organisational commitment of the graduate, they must be carefully developed and managed.
The paper offers insights into satisfaction levels regarding GDPs.
McDermott, E., Mangan, J. and O'Connor, M. (2006), "Graduate development programmes and satisfaction levels", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 456-471. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090590610688834Download as .RIS
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