To Agree or Not to Agree, and Its Implications for Public Employee Turnover

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Michael S. Hayes of Rutgers University–Camden and Edmund C. Stazyk of the University at Albany–State University of New York. They recently published an article in the Public Personnel Management entitled “Mission Congruence: To Agree or Not to Agree, and Its Implications for Public Employee Turnover,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they briefly describes their research and its significance.]

What motivated you to pursue this research?

We were both interested in what factors motivate public employees to remain in their organizations. Specifically, in our current study, we examine whether or not mission congruence predicts employee retention. To examine our research question, our study focuses in the education sector because the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) collects data on a random sample of public teachers in the United States across two academic years. This longitudinal feature of the NCES data allows us to contribute to previous public administration scholarship by examining how mission congruence influences actual turnover, which has not been examined in previous studies. Previous studies have only examined turnover intention. In addition to testing our research question, we were also motivated to conduct this research to provide lessons learned for policymakers and public administrators.

What advice would you give to new scholars and incoming researchers in this particular field of study?

Earlier in my career, I sometimes avoided conducting a research project if there were a lot of published articles that addressed my particular research question. It was only recently that I realized that a published study usually can only offer a “finding”. The “finding” is based on a study that usually contains some limitations. For example, a common limitation to an individual study is external validity. It often takes a lot of rigorous research before a body of research can convert a set of “findings” into “knowledge/facts” that have practical use for policymakers and practitioners. Therefore, I recommend new scholars to not underestimate the value of their research, especially when another published paper has addressed a similar research question. If your research solves a limitation found in a previous published study, then your research is important and will move the field forward.

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70-20-10 and the Dominance of Informal Learning

[We’re pleased to welcome author Dr. Alan Clardy of Towson University. Dr. Clardy recently published an article in the Human Resource and Development Review entitled “70-20-10 and the Dominance of Informal Learning: A Fact in Search of Evidence,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Clardy reflects on the inspiration for conducting this research:]


What motivated you to pursue this research?

I reviewed the recent book “Using Experience to Develop Leadership Talent” for Personnel Psychology a few years ago. In that book, mention was made in an off-handed factual way at several points to a 70-20-10 rule. I had two reactions: I wasn’t that familiar with that rule, and I started to wonder where the original data could be found. I found myself wanting to see the original studies but the more I looked, the more disappointed I became. Then I wanted to discover where this 70-20-10 “fact” really came from.

What has been the most challenging aspect of conducting your research? Were there any surprising findings?

As I note my article, the literature on this matter is scattered and not particularly integrated. So back-tracking through citations, then finding the original sources became a chore at times. Perhaps the biggest challenge was looking through these original studies to see if they mentioned at 70% rule and/or presented any data for a 70% rule.

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

It was not uniquely innovative but doing a search for root data in a dispersed literature is somewhat distinctive. Even though I’m sure I did not identify every instance in which a 70-20-10 rule has been noted, I am pleased that I was able to identify as much as I did and then to organize and report it in a more coherent and connected manner.

My academic grounding in HRD has a strong foundation in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Interestingly, the chapters on employee training and development in all standard I/O textbooks and, as I’m recalling, texts on Organization Behavior do not cover, much less mention informal learning experiences. I/O texts, for example, focus almost exclusively on formal training. It would be a mistake to conclude from my paper that I disagree with the notion that much learning about job and work occurs “informally”. Rather, there is a great deal of evidence that much learning does occur “informally”. What I was objecting to was the dogmatic and unqualified assertion that 70% of job/work of all learning happens informally. So, if my article could help generate coverage of “informal” learning in I/O and OB texts, I think that would be a beneficial impact on all of these fields. I do call for more research on how to structure various kinds of “informal” learning venues to improve their effectiveness; seeing more of that would also be a positive impact.

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Strategic Value Contribution Role of HR

VisionIn the face of climate change and unaccountable corporations, consumers are increasingly vocal about their desire to support transparent companies that actively fight for social justice and offer eco-friendly products and alternatives to conventional items. In response, more brands are demonstrating accountability. Some of the fastest growing businesses are those in the natural product category, those with recycled and recyclable packaging, sweatshop-free and fair trade sourcing, and brands with affiliations with charitable organizations. All else equal, people are investing in brands they feel align with their values.

But, unfortunately it has been found that in spite of showing concern for the environment and advocating environmentally safe activities, the Indian consumer is still not ready to accept the hard truth that it the responsibility of one and all to minimize their contribution to the overall environmental pollution. This article from the journal ‘Vision’ aims at studying socio-psychological factors which contribute in the formation of environmental attitude of consumers. It further aims at establishing the connection between environmental attitude of the consumer and his/her willingness to buy environmentally friendly products.

The socio-cultural, psychological and demographic factors have manifested divergent relationship between attitude and behaviour. There is inadequate understanding of antecedents of consumer’s environmentally friendly attitude and willingness to buy environmentally friendly product. Some authors argue that many consumers claim that they care about the environment; their buying behaviour does not always reflect this concern.

It has been found that the dimensions, such as environmental knowledge (EK), perceived seriousness of environmental (PSE) problem, interpersonal influence (IPI), collectivism and long-term orientation (LTO), have positive relationship with consumer environmental attitude (CEA)

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Click here to read Consumer Environmental Attitude and Willingness to Purchase Environmentally Friendly Products: An SEM Approach for free from the journal Vision.

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Why some Boomers are Feeling Forced to Retire

[We’re pleased to welcome Matthew S. Rutledge, a Research Economist at the Center for Retirement Research, Boston College. Rutledge recently published an article in the ILR Review entitled “How do Financial Resources Affect the Timing of Retirement after a Job Separation?” From Rutledge:]6355844351_9ac538c7e6_z.jpg

This paper came out of an effort to grasp the plight of older workers in the Great Recession (as part of a grant funded by the Social Security Administration).  Older workers really faced a much different labor market in 2008-2011 than they had even in other recessions – the decline of long-tenured jobs and the move away from structures like defined benefit pensions that encouraged workers and employers to stay together for a long time helped make these workers much more vulnerable than they ever had been.  Their unemployment rate soared to unprecedented heights.  Remember that the unemployment rate only includes workers who are actively looking for a job, and part of the reason that it never got that high for older workers in the past is that they would bail on the labor market when times got tough.  This time, though, we were seeing them holding out hope for a new job, which made the unemployment rate skyrocket.  So I, along with my colleagues at the Center for Retirement Research, were looking to understand what factors would encourage them to keep looking, and what factors would enable them to stop looking and just retire.

Basically, this paper finds that all of the resources that could help sustain a long job search – pension wealth, Social Security (which doesn’t imply retirement), other financial wealth – instead were more likely to enable faster retirement, and the people that held out simply lacked these resources (or were still receiving unemployment benefits, which essentially requires them to keep looking).  This result isn’t all that surprising; once workers reach their 50s, it’s much easier to retire than try to find a job, especially when previous studies emphasize that older workers have much more trouble finding a new job for a variety of reasons.  What *was* surprising was that this decision has little to do with labor market conditions.  I expected that when the unemployment rate was high, people would leave the labor force sooner, especially if they had these resources.  But that was never the case, no matter how I cut the data; in some cases, it actually went the other way – a higher unemployment rate was associated with *slower* retirement, and I don’t have a good story for why that would occur (but it only seems to happen with some cuts of the data, so it might just be statistical noise).

I hope this paper helps us understand a bit more what motivates jobless older individuals to keep looking for work, and come to grips with how disheartening the experience of losing your job just before retirement can be.  I worry that with Social Security and pension wealth both helping people less due to financial concerns, and with a stagnant labor market for many workers, that job searches are only going to get longer – not because people are hopeful of recovering, but because their finances give them no choice.

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Retirement photo attributed to (CC)

How Has HR Become More Strategic and Integral to Businesses?

12669067945_e017b825c8_zIn today’s competitive and complex business environment, the role of human resources (HR) is constantly changing. With its increasing alignment to core business and integration to the bottom line, HR is a reflection of the constant changing nature of its functions. Being responsive to globalization, demographic and technological changes, as well as the turbulent, competitive and complex environment of business, HR itself has been changing dramatically. From the conventional role of “administrative expert,” HR has evolved to become more tactical and integral to business strategies.

A recent major change in the function of HR the strengthening partnership with line managers. By providing line managers better understanding of their responsibility in specific HR issues, such as absence control, team development, discipline, induction, health and safety, recruitment policy and performance management, HR aims to enhance Current Issue Coveremployee engagement and open communication between line managers and employees. These in turn lead to low turnover and high morale—keys to organizational performance and competitive success. In this regard, by replacing the traditional supervisory role of line managers and empowering them to act as leader, enabler and facilitator, HR is playing the strategic role of an “objective adviser”.

This change has made HR more strategic and more business integrated. This reorientation helps HR to not only play a critical role in the overall strategic planning of the business, but also to act as a messenger to clarify and direct employees about the desired goal of the organization. A recent article from the journal Vision entitled “Strategic Value Contribution Role of HR,” from authors Humaira Naznin and Md. Ashfaq Hussain,  delves into the evolution of HR.

 The abstract for the article:

This article aims to challenge the perceived lack of a strategic value of human resource (HR) function and seeks to focus on the devolution of HR from its transactional role to strategic effectiveness. Utilizing a range of secondary resources, this article aims to critically analyze the shift of HR from transactional to a strategic role and its value contribution role in business. HR needs to overcome conventional resistance and act as the driver of an organizational strategy through aligning the HR strategy to the business strategy, adopting workforce planning and measuring an organization’s competencies. The paper contributes to the evaluation of HR management from viewpoint perspective and offers help to HR practitioners in understanding the changing role of HR.

Click here to read Strategic Value Contribution Role of HR from the journal Vision free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Make sure to sign up for e-alerts and be notified of all  of the latest research published the journal Vision!

*Image attributed to woodleywonderworks (CC)

Call for Papers: Compensation & Benefits Review!

PenCompensation & Benefits Reivew is currently accepting submissions for manuscripts that discuss the design, implementation, evaluation and communication of compensation and benefits policies and programs. The journal supports human resources and compensation and benefits specialists and academic experts with up-to-date analyses and information on salary and wage trends, labor markets, pay plans, incentive compensation, legal compliance, retirement programs, and health care benefits. Do you have a manuscript that would fit well in Compensation & Benefits ReviewClick here to read more about the journal’s submission guidelines, and click here to submit your manuscript!

To highlight the kind of content Compensation & Benefits Review publishes, here’s the abstract from a recent paper published in the journal from author John G. Kilgour, entitled “Unemployment Insurance and the Great Recession”:

The Unemployment Insurance system of the United States is a federal-state Current Issue Coverpartnership. It responded well to the usual frictional unemployment and to the several recessions since its creation in 1935. The recent Great Recession beginning 2008, however, was its most severe test. Numerous extended-benefit programs were called upon to aid the large number of unemployed men and women who had exhausted their benefits. This article examines the performance of the Unemployment Insurance program during that test with emphasis on coverage, benefits, funding, the Unemployment Trust Fund and the several Extended Benefit programs. In addition to the entire United States system, it focuses on the experience of the five largest states: California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas as a sample of the whole.

You can read “Unemployment Insurance and the Great Recession” from Compensation & Benefits Review free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to stay current on all of the latest research published by Compensation & Benefits ReviewClick here to sign up for e-alerts!