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Authors: Arora, Ridhi
Keywords: Managing a career committed workforce represents
major challenges before organizations
Career commitment
Issue Date: Jun-2015
Abstract: Managing a career committed workforce represents one of the major challenges before organizations in the 21st century due to the changing notion of careers from ‗traditional‘ to ‗boundaryless‘. Employees now days, consider themselves self-responsible for managing their careers and seek better career opportunities for enhancing their career development. This, along with rapid advancements in technology and globalization has forced organizations to give a considerable attention towards nurturing a career-committed workforce. Generally, career commitment is defined as the extent of individuals‘ motivation to work in a chosen career or line of work. Career commitment has been demonstrated to be potentially linked to several individual and organizational outcomes such as skill development, job attitudes (job satisfaction, job-embeddedness), career outcomes (career satisfaction, career success), professional training, and organizational commitment. Past research suggests that both individual and situational variables are crucial in influencing the career motivation of the individuals (London 1983, 1985). Based on this, in the present study, we investigated the potential role of personality factors and mentoring relationships in influencing the career commitment of managers working in public and private sector organizations in North India. Overall, the study was conducted with an aim to understand the role of the Big Five personality factors (extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, emotional stability, and openness to experience) and perceived mentoring relationships (psychosocial and career mentoring) on career commitment (career identity, career resilience, and career planning) of managers working in the Indian organizations. Additionally, we also reported about variation in personality factors, mentoring relationships, and career commitment of the managers according to the demographic variables. The study objectives were accomplished using survey data obtained from 363 managers (junior level, middle level, and senior level) employed in public and private sector organizations in North India. The results were analyzed using the statistical techniques of independent sample t-test, one-way ANOVA test, correlation, and multiple regression analyses. The results depicted that in the Indian context, managers are high on career identity and career planning, but average on career resilience dimensions of career commitment. Further, psychosocial mentoring functions were perceived most common among managers in contrast to career support functions. Also, Indian managers were found to be high on conscientiousness and agreeableness, and average on the personality factors of extraversion, emotional stability, and openness. iv Besides this, male managers were found to be high on career planning in contrast to female managers. Male managers also scored higher on openness than female managers. However, no difference was found in the perceptions of both the gender groups about mentoring relationships. Furthermore, considering sector-wise differences, managers working with public sector organizations scored high on the Big Five personality traits of conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion, emotional stability, and openness to experience in comparison to the private sector employees. Similarly, perceived mentoring support was determined high in case of public sector managers than for private sector managers. Likewise, career resilience was found higher for managers employed with public sector organizations in contrast to private sector organizations. Besides this, conscientiousness, extraversion, and openness personality traits varied according to the different age-groups of the managers. Additionally, managers belonging to different age-groups were found to differ in their career commitment levels as well as in their perceptions about psychosocial mentoring support. In terms of hierarchical level differences, senior level managers reported high levels of career identity than junior managers. In addition, we also found that though all the Big Five personality factors jointly influenced career commitment of the Indian managers; yet, specifically, considering the contribution of each personality trait, openness was found as the significant predictor of all the three dimensions of career commitment. Conscientiousness was found as the predictor of career identity and agreeableness acted as the predictor of career planning dimension of career commitment. Next, understanding the linkages of mentoring relationships and career commitment dimensions in the Indian context, we found psychosocial mentoring support to be the most significant predictor of career identity and career planning of the Indian managers. Career mentoring support was not found to have any sole contribution in influencing the career commitment of the Indian managers. Further, upon investigating the role of personality in mentoring relationships in the Indian context, we found emotional stability to be the significant predictor of both categories of mentoring relationships (psychosocial mentoring and career mentoring). Besides this, agreeableness was seen as the significant predictor of career mentoring support and conscientiousness was found to be the potential predictor of psychosocial mentoring support among the Indian managers. Most importantly, both Big Five personality factors and mentoring relationships were found to have significant impact on the career commitment dimensions (career identity, career resilience, and career planning) in the Indian context. v Conclusively, our research findings depicted that model consisting of the Big Five personality factors and mentoring relationships together explained variance of 16.3%, 10.3%, and 16.5% variance, respectively in the career commitment dimensions of career identity, career resilience, and career planning. There are several potential implications associated with the findings of the research. The implications suggest that Indian organizations should provide training to the mentors for practicing greater psychosocial support functions in the Indian context. For this, ‗Training of Trainers‘ should be strategized as the important mentoring initiatives for training potential mentors/ senior organizational members. Mentors should also be trained on how to deal with employees of different personality types. Furthermore, mentors should be encouraged to render their support to not only high performers but bottom performers as well. This could be done through the creation of experiential settings in the form of assessment centers for creating learning atmosphere enriched with work-supportive behaviors (Agarwal et al., 2012). In this regard, commitment and support of the top management is also crucial for establishing such initiatives. This could be further implemented by accentuating the important roles to senior managers and team leaders of the organizations. Along with this, the top management should demonstrate such leadership that motivates managers to maintain their persistence towards task accomplishment. Further, top management should stimulate career developmental activities of the managers by encouraging their participation in mentoring activities. In addition, we also suggested the incorporation of theme wise psychological assessments to assist managers in the identification of their specific personality traits. Additionally, specific sessions should be conducted to educate managers about the various techniques of environmental scanning to prepare them beforehand for effectively facing externalities as well as in making appropriate risk-assessments. This would further help them in enhancing their capacity of continuously learning as well as becoming more agile and adaptive according to changes in the external environment. This study also provides useful recommendations to scholars and academicians for conducting further studies using longitudinal research designs. Data should be collected from both the members of mentoring relationships for confirming generalizability of the findings of this research. Further, we also laid emphasis to investigate the impact of different types of mentoring (e.g. supervisory mentoring, peer mentoring, e-mentoring, and cross-functional mentoring) on vi career commitment dimensions. Along with this, we also encouraged future studies to consider deploying personality traits (e.g., creativity, self-reliance, professional self-efficacy) other than the Big Five Factor traits to study their influence on managers‘ career commitment and perceived mentoring relationships.
Appears in Collections:DOCTORAL THESES (Management)

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