The motivations for and outcomes of employee referrals

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Research on employee referrals demonstrates positive outcomes for the recruited individual and the organization. However, little research addressed employees who make employment referrals, also known as employee recommenders. To address this gap in knowledge, we developed a conceptual model and present the theoretical basis for addressing the motivation of, and organizational outcomes associated with, employees who make employment recommendations. The model is based on the theories of word-of-mouth communication, cognitive dissonance, self-perception, and attitude change through self-persuasion. Partial support for the model was found in an experimental design simulating an employee referral situation. Results showed an increase in normative commitment of recommenders.


Attitudinal advocacy; Employee referrals; Employees—Recruiting; Job satisfaction--Psychological aspects; Persuasion (Psychology; Word-of-mouth communication


Community-Based Research | Counseling Psychology | Psychology | Work, Economy and Organizations


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