Recruitment advertisements that stress more supportive climates for achievement : are they also more attractive, and for whom? : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Industrial/Organisational Psychology at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand

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Massey University
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This research explored the concept of organisational climate for achievement (as depicted in job adverts), and its effect on organisational attractiveness and prospective job applicants. Carr and MacLachlan’s (1997) theory of “Motivational Gravity” suggests that people are inherently attracted to achievement-enabling work environments, whilst the theory of Achievement Motivation (McClelland, 1961) suggests that attitudes toward achievement will moderate the link between climate and attraction. A total of N = 157 undergraduate and postgraduate students from Massey University viewed a constructed job advertisement that varied systematically in level of support for workplace achievement (control = none, support from co-workers, from supervisors, and from both co-workers and supervisors combined). Organisational attractiveness was measured on a specially-designed measure with two internally reliable factors (Pragmatic and Aspirational fit). Moderators were attitudes toward achievement (measured using Feather’s 1989 Tall Poppy Scale - subscales, Favour Reward and Favour Fall for high achievers) and tolerance thresholds for negative climates for achievement (measured using Rundle’s 2005 Threshold Measure). The treatment conditions, and especially Peer Support, produced significant rises in both Pragmatic and Aspirational attraction, a linkage that was accentuated among participants who had relatively high scores on Favour Reward. The sharper effect of climate for achievement on attraction to the organisation among those who favour rewarding achievement is supportive of both achievement motivation theory and the theory of person-job fit and has practical implications for recruiting organisations who can attempt to increase candidate’s perceptions of organisational attractiveness by explicitly mentioning climate for achievement within their job advertisements.
Job advertisements