Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Mixed Methods Study on the Relationship among Strategic Human Resource Practices, SOAR, and Affective Commitment in the Federal Workplace
by Devries, Valerie Low, D.B.A., Lawrence Technological University, 2016, 284; 10100301
Abstract (Summary)

Employees who remain with an organization because they want to, represent a positive organizational phenomenon known as affective commitment (AC). The purpose of this study is to investigate the predictive ability of strategic Human Resource (HR) practices to create AC in the context of federal knowledge workers, determine the role of SOAR in the relationship between strategic HR practices and AC, and the effect of AC on positive behavioral outcomes. SOAR stands for strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results.

This mixed methods study explored the relationship among strategic HR practices, SOAR, AC, and behavioral outcomes. Data were gathered using a survey instrument containing 42 items. The population was federal knowledge workers in a science and technology field. 204 participants completed the study survey and a final sample of N = 188 surveys were used for analysis.

Quantitative analysis was conducted using descriptive and inferential statistics; qualitative analysis included thematic analysis. Results from the quantitative analysis suggested that strategic HR practices predict AC; the SOAR construct is a partial mediator of the relationship between strategic HR practices and AC; SOAR did not function as a moderator of the relationship between strategic HR practices and AC; and AC encourages the development of positive behavioral outcomes. Results from the qualitative thematic analysis suggested that there are seven prominent themes that sustain commitment in this federal organization and they are: accountability, career advancement, leadership, meaningful work, mission, reward/recognition, and training.

For federal organizations similar to this one, it is recommended that they engage the SOAR approach to increase the effectiveness of strategic HR practices in generating AC; implement strategic HR practices that encompass the seven major themes; a positive proactive way of viewing employee commitment by cultivating AC as opposed to studying turnover trends; and engage in conversations about strategic change using dialogical methods based on appreciative inquiry. Future research could include studies on how the federal government communicates strategic HR practices to their employees and whether or not they choose to adopt dialogical versus diagnostic approaches.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stavros, Jacqueline M.
Commitee: Bush, Richard G., Cole, Matthew L.
School: Lawrence Technological University
Department: Management
School Location: United States -- Michigan
Source: DAI-A 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Management, Organization Theory, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Affective commitment, Human resources, Organization development, Positive organizational scholarship, Public administration, Strategic change
Publication Number: 10100301
ISBN: 9781339642161
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