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Examining the relationship between employer knowledge dimensions and organizational attractiveness: An application in a military context

Authors


Correspondence should be addressed to Filip Lievens, Department of Personnel Management and Work and Organizational Psychology, Ghent University, Henri Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium (e-mail: filip.lievens@ugent.be).

Abstract

This study uses Cable and Turban's (2001) employer knowledge framework as a conceptual model to formulate hypotheses about a broad range of possible factors affecting the attractiveness of an organization (i.e. armed forces) among potential applicants (576 high-school seniors). Results show that gender, familiarity with military organizations, perceptions of job and organizational attributes (task diversity and social/team activities), and trait inferences (excitement, prestige, and cheerfulness) explained potential applicants' attraction to military organizations. Relative importance analyses showed that trait inferences contributed most to the variance, followed by job and organizational attributes, and employer familiarity. Finally, we found some evidence of interactions between the three dimensions. Specifically, trait inferences and job and organizational attributes had more pronounced effects when familiarity was high. From a theoretical perspective, these results generally support the framework of employer knowledge. At a practical level, implications for image audit and image management are discussed.

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