PERCEIVED ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT: LINKING HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES WITH IMPORTANT WORK OUTCOMES
Bartol, Kathryn M.
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It is widely believed that the implementation of progressive HR practices that affect employee skills, motivation, and behaviors can create strategic advantage for the organization (e.g., Arthur, 1994; Delaney and Huselid, 1996; Snell & Dean, 1992). However, the intervening mechanisms of this effect are yet to be examined. Given the strategic value of HR in successfully cultivating organizational culture and social relationships that cannot be readily replicated (Becker & Gerhart, 1996), researchers have pointed to the need to investigate the role of social relationships in the HR literature (Uhl-Bien, Graen, & Scandura, 2000). Drawing on social exchange theory (Blau, 1964) and organizational support theory (Eisenberger, Huntington, Hutchinson, & Sowa, 1986), this dissertation aims to meet this need by examining the role of perceived organizational support (POS) in linking employee perceptions of HR practices and important work outcomes. It is hypothesized that employee perceptions of the HR practices implemented that demonstrate organizational recognition of employee contribution and caring about employee well-being will increase employee POS, which in turn, will lead to positive employee attitudes and behaviors. Further, it is also proposed that employees' professional commitment will interact with POS to influence the outcomes. Survey data were collected from 193 information technology workers and their direct supervisors within a large corporation. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the hypothesized model, and hierarchical regression analysis was conducted to test the interaction effects. As expected, it was found that employee perceptions of HR practices, including pay level, career development opportunities, work-family support, and relationships with the leader, are positively related to their POS. Higher levels of POS, in turn, resulted in lower turnover intention, and a sense of obligation within the individuals to reciprocate the organization with better job performance and increased OCBs, as well as stronger organizational commitment. In addition, the effects of POS on turnover intention, felt obligation, and organizational commitment were found to be moderated by professional commitment. The findings of this study shed some light on the process through which the implementation of appropriate HR practices may influence employee attitudes and behaviors.