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POST-EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIPS: EXTENDING THE EXCHANGE RELATIONSHIP FRAMEWORK BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES OF EMPLOYMENT

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Abstract

Over the past several decades, declining employee tenure and rising external employee mobility have emerged as defining employment trends changing employee-organization relationships. While the traditional perspective is that the relationship ends upon an employee’s exit, I argue that these relationships can transition into what I introduce as “post-employment relationships” or the interactions and exchanges between an organization and its former employees, also known as alumni. Drawing on social exchange theory and the inducements-contribution model, over the course of two studies I contend exchange relationships developed during employment can be extended through emerging organizational practices called Corporate Alumni Programs. In Study 1, I collected data from over 1,000 alumni in two corporate alumni networks and utilized structural equation modeling to find a positive association between involvement in corporate alumni programs and returns to the organization, also known as post-employment citizenship. Furthermore, while social and mission-driven motivations were positively related to alumni program involvement, career and pragmatic motivations were not significantly associated with involvement. The findings in Study 1 prompted additional questions that I examined in a second study. Study 2 draws on over 500 responses from a new alumni network to examine the relationships between demographics (i.e. age, sex, and race) and motivations as well as between motivations and specific alumni benefit use. I found age was negatively related to career motivations while females had stronger career and social motivations. Finally, results suggested motivation type plays a critical role in the specific benefits that alumni use. Career motivations were positively related to job board use. Pragmatic motivations were associated with use of benefits or perks provided by the alumni program, and social motivations were associated with increased use of in-person events and messaging features. In addition to traditional variable-centered analyses, I also employed the person-centered analytical method, latent profile analysis, to identify subgroups of alumni. These subgroups exhibit unique configurations of alumni motivations and vary in their relationships to alumni program involvement and post-employment citizenship.

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Date Issued

2019-08-30

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Keywords

Management; Corporate Alumni Programs; Employment Relationships; Turnover

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Employer

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Union Local

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Committee Chair

Nishii, Lisa H.

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Committee Member

Sturman, Michael Craig
Hausknecht, John P.
Rissing, Benjamin A

Degree Discipline

Industrial and Labor Relations

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Ph.D., Industrial and Labor Relations

Degree Level

Doctor of Philosophy

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Government Document

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dissertation or thesis

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