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Employability and performance: The role of perceived control and affective organizational commitment

Kristien Philippaers (Research Group for Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)
Nele De Cuyper (KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)
Anneleen Forrier (Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 20 June 2019

Issue publication date: 22 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advance two seemingly conflicting paths from perceived employability to employee performance. Both paths start from the idea that feeling employable makes employees more independent from their employer. Framed positively, independence implies the perception of being in control, and perceived control may promote employee performance. Framed negatively, independence implies reduced attachment to the organization, while such ties drive employee performance. Innovative features in this study are threefold. First, the authors introduce perceived justice as a moderator. Second, the authors distinguish between perceived quantitative and qualitative employability: this relates to seeing “other” vs “better” job opportunities. Third, the authors include a range of performance indicators: task performance, organizational citizenship behavior and counterproductive work behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data were collected within one Belgian public-sector organization (n=1,500 employees) and analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

Perceived control mediated the relationship between perceived employability and employee performance, yet only upon high perceived justice. Affective organizational commitment mediated the relationship between perceived employability and employee performance, regardless of perceived justice. Those relationships were positive for quantitative perceived employability and negative for qualitative perceived employability.

Originality/value

Perceived employability relates positively to employee performance, especially upon high perceived justice. Yet this relationship is bounded to which job alternatives are perceived, just “other” or instead “better.”

Keywords

Citation

Philippaers, K., De Cuyper, N. and Forrier, A. (2019), "Employability and performance: The role of perceived control and affective organizational commitment", Personnel Review, Vol. 48 No. 5, pp. 1299-1317. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-04-2017-0098

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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