The Relationship Between Organizational Support, Employee Development, and Organizational Commitment: An Empirical Study

Judith W. Tansky, DehraJ. Cohen
An empirical study conducted in a major midwestem hospital found that organizational commitment and perceived organizational support were significantly correlated with satisfaction with career development Results suggested that when organizations make efforts to develop their managers, the managers become more committed to the organization and also more likely to develop their employees.

Organizations today face many conflicting problems that must be balanced in order to compete successfully in the world economy. They must continually improve performance by reducing costs, innovating processes and products, and improving quality and productivity (Becker and Gerhart, 1996). At the same time, there is great concern about recruiting, retaining, managing, and motivating the workforce because of the changing relationship hetween employers and employees and a labor market that has been tight. Over the past ten to fifteen years, various arguments have been made that the firm's human resources may be its sole source of sustainable competitive advantage (Ferris, Hochwarter, Buckley, Harrell-Cook, and Frink, 1999). These arguments are drawn from the resource-based view of the firm (Barney, 1991, 1995). According to this point of view, human resources create value in a way that is rare, cannot be imitated, and cannot be substituted (Ferris, Hochwarter, Buckley, Harrell-Cook, and Frink, 1999). These arguments lay the foundation for the study of strategic human resource management.
Note: An earlier version of this article was presented to the Human Resources Division of the Academy of Management Meetings in 1997 in Boston. We would like to thank the reviewers for their helpful comments.
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This stream of research has focused on identifying human resource practices that may help the financial performance of the firm. In their recent work, Delery and Doty (1996) identified seven human resource practices considered to be strategic: career opportunities, formal training systems, appraisal measures, profit sharing, employment security voice mechanisms, and job definition. Focusing on this same argument that employees can provide a competitive advantage, we can look at the area of human resource development. Jarratt and Coates (1995) argued that organizations must achieve flexibility and skill interchangeability from an adaptable, responsive workforce. How do we acquire and maintain such a workforce? The traditional employment contract that offered workers security in exchange for commitment is no longer valid in most cases. Often workers are aware that job security is no longer part of the employment contract; indeed, they may live in fear of being laid off. Why should these workers be committed to the organization? What can organizations do to regain their commitment? London (1989) has argued that job secunty is being replaced by employment security. Although workers may remain with the same company, they need to be retrained to move into new jobs. In fact. Hall and Mirvis (1996) argued that the new psychological contract implies that the individual turns in a strong performance while continuously learning and adapting, and in exchange the organization offers meaning and purpose, developmental relationships, and good rewards and benefits. They argued that we need a greater understanding of how to provide work environments that not only support employee development (a key element of the new contract) but also provide an atmosphere that encourages managers to care for their people. One of the human resource practices that may offer a competitive advantage is continuous learning for all employees so that they can adapt, and in turn, perform (London, 1989). Employee development refers to the long-term personal and professional growth of individuals (London, 1989). It falls under the umbrella of human resource development, which refers to organized learning experiences provided by the employer to enhance performance and personal growth (Nadler and Nadler, 1989). An employee has grown if he or she becomes more competent in his or her interactions with the environment and feels more competent and confident (White, 1959). Employee development can play an important role in helping to maintain employee effectiveness in an organization. Some organizations refer to their employee development programs as career development programs because they help employees develop skills that are necessary to move to other jobs in the organization, or if necessary get jobs outside the organization. A study by Gutteridge, Leibowitz, and Shore (1993) found that organizational leaders perceive the following significant results because of organizational development efforts: enhanced employee retention, enhanced employee skills and morale, employee empowerment, improved HR planning and selection, and greater strategic advantage.

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Managers, who are involved with employees on a daily basis, are in a position to assist their employees in development. Schneier, MacCoy and Burchman (1988) argued that managers who coach, counsel, mentor, and train their employees can enhance their skills and motivation. By seeking out opportunities to develop new competencies in different areas, employees may make themselves more valuable to their present firm and at the same time make themselves more valuable in the external labor market should they decide to leave (Eeldman, 1996). No matter whether employee development is a formal or informal activity in an organization, the outcomes remain important. Considerable research has been conducted on organizational commitment, satisfaction, coaching, and employee development as individual or organizational outcomes. Very little research has been done on the relationship between organizational commitment, employee development, satisfaction with employee development, and coaching. In fact, Noe and Ford (1992) argued that additional research into training is needed on perceptual information such as supportiveness of the organizational climate for personal-developmental skills and technical skill upgrading. This article will explore employee development issues. Variables examined include satisfaction vnth employee development, organizational commitment, perceived organizational support, perceived self-efficacy of coaching, and knowledge of employee development plans. The article examines both the managers' organizational commitment, based on their perception of employee development, and the managers' knowledge of their subordinates' development plans. The hypotheses for the current study were tested using a sample of managers and supervisors from a large midwestern hospital.

Literature Review
No longer able to offer employees job security, organizations may offer opportunities for internal movement, continual growth, increased skills and abilities, and personal and professional development (that is, employee or career development opportunities). In return, organizations may expect certain employee attitudes, including commitment. Organizational commitment is the strength of an individual's identification with and involvement in a particular organization (Mowday, Porter, and Steers, 1982). Although little research has focused on the relationship between organizational commitment and employee development, there have been some related studies. In a study of the commitment of retail salespeople, Darden, Hampton, and Howell (1989) found that managerial style was positively related to satisfaction and that a friendly, participatory approach decreased role stress and increased career commitment to retail sales and organizational commitment to the firm. It has also been argued that organizational employee development initiatives are essential to maintaining employee morale and satisfaction (Jackson and Vitberg, 1987; Tyler, 1987). As individuals consider their career in an organization, it is possible that their perceptions of their career prospects

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in the organization (for example, assessments of promotions, employment security, continual growth) or job opportunities if they leave the organization (because of continual updating of skills) will have an effect on organizational commitment (Jans, 1989). Because satisfaction is usually broken dovm into facets for research purposes, we propose that the most relevant facet in an employee development study is satisfaction with employee development. Managers may become satisfied with employee development, leading to increased levels of commitment to the organization because they believe they have the opportunity to keep themselves current. Individuals interact with supervisors, peers, and other members of their organization in ways that evolve into relationships that involve transactions in which both parties give and receive in some way (Organ, 1988). These relationships involving transactions can be considered exchanges. Blau (1964) has characterized two types of exchanges: economic exchanges and social exchanges. A social exchange is based on implicit obligations and trust. The value of the exchange is influenced by the identities of the two parties. Each party has expectations about the behavior of the other party, but these expectations are not based on timing or the specifics of what each party must render. If both parties benefit from the exchange, neither will know whether the expectations of the other have been fully met. Social exchanges probably involve reciprocity (Adams, 1965; Blau, 1964). Gouldner (1960) defined reciprocity as the norm that assumes that the recipient of benefit is obligated to repay the donor in some way Thus, employee development might be viewed as a social exchange. It is based on impUcit obligations that require trust. It offers opportunities and benefits. In return for these opportunities and benefits, employees may feel obligated to reciprocate and may become more committed to the organization or help their fellow employees. At the same time, managers' satisfaction with career development may influence how much effort they make to develop their subordinates. Research suggests that social support from the work environment influences employee attitudes and perceptions and in turn influences development activities (Kozlowski and Hults, 1987; Noe and Wilk, 1993). Part ofa manager's job is working with and developing subordinates. Kram (1996) argued that dyadic relationships that individuals have at work can support learning (acquiring new skills and competencies) and development (advancing their career and developing self-esteem or a new sense of identity). If managers are satisfied with employee development, then they may be more likely to follow through with their responsibilities for subordinate development. We hypothesize the following:
HYPOTHESIS

1. Satisjaction with employee development will he positively related to organizational commitment. 2. A manager's satisjaction with employee development will be positively related to his or her knowledge oJ employee development plans.

HYPOTHESIS

The Relationship Between Support, Development, and Commitment Hall and Mirvis (1996) argued that firms will have to select and develop a core group of people who have an appetite for continuous learning and the ability to cope with ambiguity and shifting job assignments. Research has shown that the best development occurs on the job (Hall and Associates, 1986). In fact, Seibert, Hall, and Kram (1995) maintained that development strategies that are built on naturally occurring work experiences are more flexible and responsive and thus better suited to current conditions. The employee's supervisor or manager often does this type of development. Kram (1996) argued that the dyadic relationships that individuals have at work can support learning (acquiring new skills and competencies) and development (advancing their career and developing self-esteem or a new sense of identity). By seeking out opportunities to develop new competencies in different areas, employees and managers (acting as coaches) may make themselves more valuable to their present firms and at the same time make themselves more valuable in the external labor market should they decide to leave (Feldman, 1996). Coaching has been connected with mentoring and employee development in the literature (Evered and Selman, 1989; Shore and Bloom, 1986). Coaching allows individuals to see something about themselves or their environment that they did not see before or would not otherwise be able to see. Some of the literature on coaching and mentoring discusses the concept of superiorsubordinate career-enhancing relations. Kram (1988) found that careerenhancing relationships between managers and subordinates perform two types of functions for those involved. Career functions, activities that enhance career advancement and increase one's share of organizational resources and rewards, are one type. Psychosocial functions are the second type; they enhance a sense of competence, identity, and effectiveness in a professional role. It is suggested that both managers and subordinates benefit from career and psychosocial functions (Kram, 1988). Support is one of the recurring themes of coaching (Shore and Bloom, 1986). According to Whetten and Cameron (1995), coaching is a form of supportive communication that is a necessary skill for managers who are acting as developers for their subordinates. Maier (1958) argued that the role of a manager in employee development is supportive (for example, helping, coaching, and counseling). It has been argued that managers view employee development as an extra burden that they are ill-equipped to handle (Walker and Gutteridge, 1979). Thus, managers who perceive they have coaching skills (self-efficacy concerning coaching) will be more likely to develop their employees (Bandura, 1986). Noe and Ford (1992) argued that research on training and learning should include self-report measures of self-efficacy
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3. A manager's selj-ejjtcacy concerning coaching skills will be positively related to that manager having knowledge ojhis or her employees' development plans.

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Related to economic and social exchange theory is the research on perceived organizational support, which is based on the norm of reciprocity (Eisenberger, Huntington, Hutchison, and Sowa, 1986). This research has shovm that employees form global beliefs, termed perceived organizational support, concerning the extent to which the organization values their contributions and cares about their well-being. Perceived organizational support is influenced by aspects of the organization's treatment of the employees and can thus influence their interpretation of organizational motives. Eisenberger, Huntington, Hutchison, and Sowa (1986) argued that perceived organizational support will influence employees' expectations of the organization in a wide variety of situations. They reported a positive relationship between perceived organizational support and conscientiousness in carrying out conventional job responsibilities, expressed affective and calculative involvement in the organization or organizational commitment, and innovation on behalf of the organization in the absence of anticipated direct rewards or personal recognition. This innovation on behalf of the organization could mean becoming more knowledgeable about employee development plans so that it can more actively aid these employees. Employee development opportunities may be viewed as a positive action by the organization that sends a message to employees that the organization cares about their well-being and values their contributions (Nadler and Nadler, 1989). In turn, the managers may reciprocate with increased organizational commitment or by placing more emphasis on obtaining knowledge about their employees' development plans. Developmental opportunities offered to managers could include workshops and experiences that enable them to develop their coaching skills; these, in tum, will increase their self-efficacy concerning their coaching skills. Again, this may be viewed as organizational concern for employees. Managers who have high self-efficacy about their coaching skills may be more apt to perceive organizational support and may reciprocate by becoming committed to the organization or by gaining knowledge of their employees' development plans.
HYPOTHESIS 4. Satisjaction with employee development will be positively related to perceived organizational support. HYPOTHESIS 5. SelJ-eJJicacy concerning coaching skills will be positively related to perceived organizational support. HYPOTHESIS 6. Perceived organizational support will be positively related to organizational commitment. HYPOTHESIS 7. Perceived organizational support will be positively related to knowledge oJ employee development plans.

An area that has been getting increasing attention in the organizational behavior literature is a model of mediation in which an antecedent influences

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a consequence through an intervening variable (James and Brett, 1984). The relationship between satisfaction with employee development and organizational commitment, and the relationship between satisfaction with employee development and self-efficacy concerning coaching skills, and the outcome— knowledge of employee development plans—may be mediated by perceived organizational support. For example, satisfaction with employee development influences perceived organizational support, which in turn influences organizational commitment. Thus,
HYPOTHESIS

8. The relationship between satisjaction with employee development and organizational commitment will be mediated by perceived organizational support. 9. The relationship between satisjaction with employee development and selj-ejjicacy concerning coaching skills and knowledge oJ employee development plans will be mediated by perceived organizational support.

HYPOTHESIS

Method
This section describes the method used in this study Sample. The data were collected in a major metropolitan hospital in the Midwest. Managers and supervisors who were attending a workshop entitled Managers as Coaches were asked to fill out the survey at the beginning of the workshop. Two hundred and sixty-two supervisors and managers responded to the questionnaire during eight workshops. All managers and supervisors (including the COO) were required to attend the workshop. The questionnaire was the first step in the workshop and thus was filled out by all participants. The average age of participants was thirty-nine. Seventy-three percent of them were women and 77 percent had at least a four-year college degree. Measures. Unless otherwise noted, the measures were self-reported and were five-point scales. The items asked respondents to express affective reactions to a condition or to measure perceptions of themselves, their subordinates, their managers, or the organization. Organizational commitment was measured by the nine-item version of the Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ) developed by Mowday, Steers, and Porter (1979). These researchers characterized commitment along three dimensions: strong belief in and acceptance of the organization's goals and values, willingness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the organization, and strong desire to maintain membership in the organization. Price and Mueller (1986) argued that this scale is relatively vahd and reliable and that Cronbach's alpha has ranged from .82 to .93. In this study, Cronbach's alpha was .89. Perceived organizational support was measured by the sixteen-item scale developed by Eisenberger, Huntington, Hutchison, and Sowa (1986). This scale measures employees' global beliefs about the extent to which the organization values their contributions and cares about their well-being. These

Tansky, Cohen authors argued that the scale is valid and reliable. Cronbach's alpha was .85 for this study A six-item scale was developed to measure managers' selJ-eJJicacy concerning coaching skills. Items included these: "I feel competent that I can help my employees set developmental goals" and "I know a variety of ways to do on-the-job development with employees." A two-item scale, consisting of "I have discussed career development with each of my employees" and "I know each of my employees' career plans and developmental goals" was used to measure knowledge of employee development plans.
Satisjaction with employee development was measured with a five-item scale.

Items included these: "The organization cares about my career development" and "The organization is doing a satisfactory job of helping employees with their development." Respondents were asked to give their age and gender. Men were coded 1 and women were coded 2. Respondents were also asked to circle "the number that corresponds to your highest education level," with 1 representing less than a high school diploma and 8 representing a doctoral degree. Data Analysis. The first part of the investigation consisted of a correlation analysis that showed the strength of the zero order relationship between variables. Hierarchical multiple regression was then used to determine the effects of demographics, satisfaction with employee development, and perceived organizational support on organizational commitment. Third, a hierarchical multiple regression was performed to look at the effect of perceived organizational support on developing employees after controlling for demographics, satisfaction with employee development, and self-efficacy concerning coaching skills. The technique recommended by Baron and Kenny (1986) was used to test the hypotheses that perceptions of organizational support (mediator) would mediate the relationship between satisfaction with employee development (independent variable) and organizational commitment (dependent variable) and the relationship between satisfaction with employee development and selfefficacy concerning coaching skills (independent variables) with knowledge of employee development plans (dependent variable). The mediator was regressed on the independent variable(s), the dependent variable was regressed on the independent variable, and the dependent variable on both the independent variable(s) and the mediator, and the results were examined (Baron and Kenny 1986). The correlations between the dependent variable, independent variable(s), and mediator were also examined.

Results
Means, standard deviations, the zero order correlations, and Cronbach's alphas or correlations are shown in Table 1. Support is provided for the first seven hypotheses: (1) satisfaction with employee development is positively related

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Table 1. Means, Standard Deviations, and Zero Order Correlations
Variables 1. Knowledge of employee plans 2. Organizational commitment 3. Perceived organizational support 4. Self-effficacy of coaching skills 5. Satisfaction with employee development 6. Age 7. Gender 8. Education M S D ] 2 3 4 5 6 7

3.11 4.02 4.27 3.57

.95 .63 .73 .64

(.73) -.04 .20** .43** .19** .00 .03 .12 (.89) .57** (.85) .02 .44** .13* .11 -.02 .23** .38** .14* .02 .14* (.85) .19** .12 -.05 .06 (.68) .05 -.07 -.04

3.30 .83 38.78 7.65 .45 1.73 5.25 1.40

NA -.07 -.05

NA -.15*

*p < .05, **p < .01 Note; Numbers in parentheses represent Cronbach's alphas or correlation for the two-item scale.

to organizational commitment; (2) satisfaction with employee development is positively related to knowledge of employee development plans; (3) selfefficacy of coaching skills is positively related to knowledge of employee development plans; (4) satisfaction with employee development is positively related to perceived organizational support; (5) self-efficacy of coaching skills is positively related to perceived organizational support; (6) perceived organizational support is positively related to organizational commitment; and (7) perceived organizational support is positively related to knowledge of employee development plans. Additional analyses were used to address the problem of common method variance (Campbell and Fiske, 1959; Fiske, 1982), which may arise in studies using self-reports. Observed correlations among self-reports of two or more different constructs could be inflated because both measures came from the same source. One method used to address this problem is the Harman onefactor test (Harman, 1967). All of the variables of interest are entered into a factor analysis. If a substantial amount of common method variance is present, a single factor will emerge or it will account for the majority of the covariance in the independent and criterion variables (Podsakoff and Organ, 1986). Accordingly, a factor analysis was performed. The results indicated that five meaningful factors could be derived. The five factors explained 24.9 percent, 10.5 percent, 5.8 percent, 4.2 percent, and 3.3 percent of the variance, respectively The five factors were knowledge of employee development plans, organizational commitment, perceived organizational support, self-efficacy of coaching skills, and satisfaction with employee development. The results indicated that a general factor did not emerge, thus reducing the probability of common method variance problems.

Tansky, Cohen The hierarchical regression results shown in Table 2 examined predictors of organizational commitment. The variables were based on the description previously discussed in the Measures section of this article. Forty percent of the variance was explained. Both satisfaction with employee development and perceived organizational support were significant predictors of organizational commitment for managers after controlling for demographics. Table 3 shows the results of the hierarchical regression that examined the profile of managers who have knowledge of their employee development plans. Although the model explained 21 percent of the variance, only self-efficacy of coaching skills was significant in predicting knowledge of employee development plans.

Table 2. Hierarchical Regression Results: Predictors of Organizational Commitment
Variables Constants 1. Age Gender Education 2. Satisfaction with employee development 3. Perceived organizational support 1. AR2 2. AR^ 3. AR2 4. Total R^ *p < .05, **p < .01 Stepl 3.11 .01* .22* -.00 .04* .17** .04* .21** .19** .40** Step 2 2.21
.01

Step 3 1.32
.01

.18 -.00 .32**

.13 -.04 .18** .43**

Table 3. Hierarchical Regression Results: Profile of Managers Who Develop Their Employees
Variables Constant 1. Age Gender Education 2. Satisfaction viath employee development Self-efficacy of coaching skills 3. Perceived organizational support 1. AR^ 2. AR2 3. AR2 4. Total R2 *p < .05, **p < .01 Stepl 2.55 .00 .03 .09* Step 2 .12 -.00 .09 .08 .16* .60** .19** .02 .19** .00 .21** Step 3 .01 -.01 .08 .07 .14 .59** .07

.02

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Finally in the context of the results reported in Table 2, there existed sufficient justification to test the mediational hypothesis that organizational support mediates the relationship between satisfaction with employee development and organizational commitment (Hypothesis 8). The results reported in Table 3 did not offer justification for testing the hypothesis that organizational support moderates the relationship between satisfaction with employee development and self-efficacy concerning coaching skills and knowledge of employee development plans (Hypothesis 9). In the case of organizational support mediating the relationship between satisfaction with employee development and organizational commitment or Hypothesis 8, the mediator (organizational support) was regressed on satisfaction with employee development, the independent variable, and the results were significant; the dependent variable (organizational commitment) was regressed on the independent variable (satisfaction with employee development), and the results were significant; and the dependent variable (organizational commitment) was regressed on both the independent variables (satisfaction with employee development and self-efficacy concerning coaching skills) and on the mediator (organizational support), and the effects of the mediator on the dependent variable were significant (Baron and Kenny, 1986). The effect of the independent variable (satisfaction with employee development) on the dependent variable (organizational commitment) was less in the third equation than in the second equation, and the mediator and the independent variable were correlated. The research indicated partial mediating effects for the variable because the independent variable (satisfaction with employee development) still had a significant effect after the mediator (organizational support) was controlled. Thus, organizational support has both a direct and indirect effect on organizational commitment. Discussion A significant finding of this study is that managers who are satisfied with employee development will be more committed to the organization and will perceive more organizational support than managers who are not satisfied with employee development. There are a variety of employee development activities (for example, tuition reimbursement, job posting, self-assessment, job rotation, career counseling) that an organization can offer that are visible to employees and managers. In fact, many organizations have a variety of these activities in place but do not promote them as employee development activities. This study provides evidence that it may be important to have a formal career development program that is common knowledge among employees. This program should be promoted as a system designed by the organization to help employees with their future plans both inside and outside the organization. Participating in the program will aid in keeping them employable as well

Tansky, Cohen as helping them to achieve their own plans for the future. Their manager will be their coach to help them in this endeavor. This study also supports thefindingof Eisenberger, Huntington, Hutchison, and Sowa (1986) that perceptions of organizational support infiuence organizational commitment. It could be argued that employee development activities are a message to employees that the organization cares about their well-being; to reciprocate they give a greater commitment to the organization. A more formal employee development program may also enhance such reciprocity The facets of satisfaction that are usually studied include satisfaction with pay, benefits, coworkers, supervisors, and advancement. Studying a different aspect of satisfaction (that is, satisfaction with employee development) adds new insights for those interested in careers or development. For example, if an organization was concerned about organizational commitment or perceived organizational support on the part of managers, then paying attention to and facilitating employee development activities would be one strategy to employ Although one could argue that advancement is development, many employee development activities do not necessarily lead to advancement. If job satisfaction is a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job and job experiences (Locke, 1976), then satisfaction with employee development can be thought of as a positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's developmental experiences in the organization. This would imply that organizations need to pay greater attention, both in planning and implementing, to the development activities they make available to employees. Future research could focus on the construct validity of satisfaction with employee development as a new job satisfaction facet. Organizations that make an effort to develop their managers may receive a double benefit. This study provides evidence that managers who perceive themselves as competent in coaching skills (that is, have self-efficacy concerning their coaching skills) are more likely to have knowledge of their employee development plans, and this should lead to development. Although ideally organizations should select managers with coaching skills, often it is not possible to do so. Therefore, assisting managers with employee development will relate both to their organizational commitment and to their perceptions of organizational support. It will also create a dynamic where they will be more likely to assist their own subordinates in development. Likely employee development activities for managers would include coaching, problem-solving, communicating, listening, leadership, and counseling skills (Kram, 1988; Schneier, MacCoy, and Burchman, 1988; Shore and Bloom, 1986; Tyler, 1987). These activities would help them with personal development as well as enhance their coaching skills to allow them to engage in developmental activities with their subordinates. In addition, such activities can lead to satisfaction with the organization's employee development efforts. Employee development, however, may go beyond such common management development activities. As has been stated here and elsewhere, organizations need continuous improvement and continuous learning if they are

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to compete in today's rapidly changing economic environment. Management and employee development will help facilitate continuous improvement and learning, but additional skills and abilities will be needed as well. The concept of employability can be applied within a single organization and not just across organizations. That is, individuals must maintain their employability by ensuring that they have the skills necessary to compete for jobs in their organization and perform at an accepted level. To the extent that organizations assist individuals with their internal employability or their external employability, organizations may increase satisfaction with employee development. If sustained competitive advantage is what mostfirmsare looking for, then one way to achieve it is through sustained employee development. Employee development is one way to help maintain employee effectiveness. A key point raised by the results of this study is that managers not only need to feel confident in their roles as coaches but also must be satisfied with the employee development process of the organization. Although development has never been simple, thisfindingperhaps adds more pressure to the situation. The process, perceptions, and actual activities will all have an impact. Offering courses or training opportunities v«ll not be enough to ensure organizational commitment and performance. Satisfaction with employee development should also be monitored. Limitations Betause all variables were measured by self-reports in this cross-sectional analysis, common method variance may be a problem. The Hannan one-factor test was used to control for this problem. Some of the scales were developed specifically for this study and one scale was measured with only two items, which is problematic. The rehability for satisfaction with employee development is .68, which may indicate that this scale needs further development, although Nunnally (1978) argued that this was acceptable for new scale development. Also, respondents were not given a definition of development, so they responded to the items based on their own perceptions of what development is. Furthermore, the respondents were all health care professionals so the information may not be generalizable to other populations. Although there are limitations to this or any study that uses self-report data from a single industry, we believe that given the research on this topic the results are both interesting and useful. This study is a response to calls for research by Noe and Ford (1992), who argued that we need to look at more perceptual data. Directions for Future Research The current study opens new doors for further research. First, for purposes of causality, it would be interesting to replicate this study in a longitudinal design so that it could be determined if employee development activities, organizational commitment, and perceived organizational support for and

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development of subordinates are conditions and relationships that are likely to be sustained. Second, studying these issues with data from both managers and subordinates, in dyads, may shed light on whether the perceptions of development and coaching hold true. Third, studying a different industry outside of health care may also assist with the generalizability of the results. Organizational commitment and overall satisfaction have received considerable attention in the literature, but studying organizational commitment in relation to employee development has not. In addition, studying the organizational support issue relative to employee development has not been investigated. Continued research in this area will aid organizations in their quest to develop employees and promote organizational commitment and will aid researchers in finding new ways to study satisfaction, organizational commitment, and employee development. References
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Judith W Tansky teaches at the Fisher College oJ Business, Department oJ Management and Human Resources, the Ohio State University, Columbus. Debraj. Cohen teaches in the Management Science Department, School oJBusiness and Public Management, the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. She is also director oJ research at the Society Jor Human Resource Management in Alexandria, Virginia.

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