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Self-perceived employability, organization-rated potential, and the psychological contract

Nicky Dries (Research Centre for Organisation Studies, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)
Anneleen Forrier (Department of Business Studies, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)
Ans De Vos (Competence Center Next Generation Work, Antwerp Management School, Antwerpen, Belgium)
Roland Pepermans (Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 8 July 2014

2974

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship between self-perceived employability resources and perceived psychological contract (PC) obligations. To examine the extent to which organizational ratings of potential, through their “signaling” function, might serve as a buffer between employability and PC perceptions that are undesirable from an employer's point of view.

Design/methodology/approach

Both self-report data (i.e. self-perceived employability resources and perceived PC obligations) and data reported by the HR departments of the participating organizations (i.e. organizational ratings of potential) were collected in a case-control design (n=103).

Findings

Self-perceived employability resources are not related to lower intentions to stay with one's current employer. High-potential employees did not perceive themselves as particularly obliged to reciprocate their organizations’ additional investments in them by expressing longer term loyalty, or a higher performance level.

Practical implications

Organizations should not be hesitant to assist their employees in enhancing their employability resources. In addition, they should engage in deliberate PC building with their high-potential employees so as to align their perceived PC obligations with the organizational agenda.

Originality/value

The relationship between self-perceived employability resources and perceived PC obligations has been underexamined; hardly any PC research has taken organizational variables into account; hardly any research exists on the psychological implications of being identified as a high potential; and the study draws both on self-report data and data reported by the HR departments of the participating organizations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Elke Van Roy for her contributions throughout the process of setting up this research, and the editorial board at Journal of Managerial Psychology (including two anonymous reviewers) for their in-depth feedback on earlier versions of this manuscript. Special thanks go to Dianna Stone, Tim Vantilborgh, Nele De Cuyper, Beate van der Heijden, Joeri Hofmans, and Matthijs Bal for their helpful input.

Citation

Dries, N., Forrier, A., De Vos, A. and Pepermans, R. (2014), "Self-perceived employability, organization-rated potential, and the psychological contract", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 565-581. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-04-2013-0109

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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