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From security to mobility: generalized investments in human assets and agent commitment

Author: Galunic, D. Charles ; Anderson, ErinINSEAD Area: Marketing Series: Working Paper ; 97/92/OB/MKT Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 1997.Language: EnglishDescription: 45 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: We consider the impacts of different investments in human assets (relation-specific vs generalized investments) on employee commitment to the firm. Observing the literature on psychological contracts and organizational commitment, we argue that generalized investments may have value for the firm through their effects on worker commitment to the firm. We focus on the externalized workers of insurance firms in addressing this issues. A sample of 237 agents shows support for the benefits of generalized investments on agent commitment, questioning conventional wisdom that such investments should be avoided. We examine the impact of relation-specific investments and other key antecedents on agent commitment: a mixture of strategic investments in human assets should be considered, taking into account their impacts on the firm-worker psychological contract. We examine the impacts of agent commitment on agent performance in this context, finding committed agents do provide greater value to the insurer
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We consider the impacts of different investments in human assets (relation-specific vs generalized investments) on employee commitment to the firm. Observing the literature on psychological contracts and organizational commitment, we argue that generalized investments may have value for the firm through their effects on worker commitment to the firm. We focus on the externalized workers of insurance firms in addressing this issues. A sample of 237 agents shows support for the benefits of generalized investments on agent commitment, questioning conventional wisdom that such investments should be avoided. We examine the impact of relation-specific investments and other key antecedents on agent commitment: a mixture of strategic investments in human assets should be considered, taking into account their impacts on the firm-worker psychological contract. We examine the impacts of agent commitment on agent performance in this context, finding committed agents do provide greater value to the insurer

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