Employee referrals as co­unterproductive work behavior? Employees’ motives for poor referrals and the role of the cultural context

Wieschollek, Viktoria ; Dlouhy, Katja

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2022.2060714
URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/095851...
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2023
The title of a journal, publication series: International Journal of Human Resource Management
Volume: 34
Issue number: 14
Page range: 2708-2731
Place of publication: London
Publishing house: Routledge
ISSN: 0958-5192 , 1466-4399
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > ABWL, Personalmanagement u. Führung (Biemann 2013-)
Subject: 330 Economics
Keywords (English): Referral quality, affictiv commitment, social tie strength, bonus, collectivism
Abstract: Employee referral programs that encourage employees to refer individuals from their social network for positions in their organization are an increasingly important HR practice. Previous research has mostly conceptualized employee referrals as beneficial acts towards the organization and provided evidence on factors that influence the likelihood of making an employee referral, but has largely disregarded the referrals’ quality. Hence, previous findings on employee referrals might only apply to high quality referrals, but not to poor referrals, i.e. when employees knowingly refer candidates who are unmotivated or perform poorly. Building on social exchange theory, we therefore extend previous studies and focus on internal, prosocial, and external motives for employee referrals that can be conceptualized as counterproductive work behavior. We find a disturbingly high number of participants indicating that they would knowingly engage in a poor employee referral. In detail, we demonstrate that while affective organizational commitment is negatively related to the likelihood of making a poor employee referral, strong ties with the referral candidate and the presence of a monetary bonus are positively related. Furthermore, we investigate the cultural context of social exchange relationships; we find that in-group collectivism moderates the relationship between tie strength and the likelihood of poor referrals. Our study offers important implications for HR management theory and practice.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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