Organizational Commitment

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Employees’ Organizational Commitment and Their Perception of Supervisors’ Relations-Oriented and Task-Oriented Leadership Behaviors
by

Barbara B. Brown

Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
in
Human Development

Albert Wiswell, Chair
George Banks
Gabriella Belli
Letitia Combs
Eric McCollum

March 25, 2003
Falls Church, Virginia

Keywords: Leadership, Relations-Oriented, Task-Oriented, Commitment Copyright 2003, Barbara B. Brown

Employees’ Organizational Commitment and Their Perception of Supervisors’ RelationsOriented and Task-Oriented Leadership Behaviors by
Barbara B. Brown
Albert Wiswell, Chair

(ABSTRACT)

The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between employees’ perceptions of their immediate supervisors’ relations-oriented and task-oriented leadership behaviors and different types of organizational commitment.

Bass & Avolio's (1995) Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ Form 5X) was used to measure relations-oriented and task-oriented leadership behaviors. Meyer & Allen’s (1997) Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ) was used to measure organizational commitment.

Participants in the research included 361 employees who worked for the city of Charlottesville, Virginia. These employees were located in eight departments that varied in the area of technical functioning, size, and academic levels.

Factor analyses, with principal component extraction and varimax rotation, were performed to determine how the MLQ Form 5X items would load onto a 2-factor model of relations-oriented and task-oriented leadership behaviors. The task-oriented items of contingent reward loaded with the relations-oriented items, and the non-leadership items of laissez-faire loaded with the task-oriented items. These findings resulted in an arrangement of relationsoriented and task-oriented subscales that was different than the arrangement proposed by Bass & Avolio (1995).

Correlations for the MLQ Form 5X revealed multicollinearity among all the relationsoriented subscales and two of the task-oriented subscales, preventing any interpretations about the amount of variance that any particular type of relations-oriented or task-oriented leadership behavior might explain in organizational commitment. Factor scores were used to perform regressions and investigate the amount of variance relations-oriented leadership behaviors and task-oriented leadership behaviors explained in organizational commitment.

Relations-oriented leadership behaviors explained the greatest amount of variance in affective commitment, somewhat less variance in normative commitment, and no variance in continuance commitment. The results for task-oriented leadership behaviors revealed the same pattern of relationships with the different types of organizational commitment, only weaker.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I am deeply indebted to my committee without whom this dissertation would not be possible. Bert Wiswell, thank you for holding my hand, massaging my ego, and soothing my nerves throughout this process. You always believed in me and never wavered in your support of what I was doing. Gabriella Belli, thank you for the hard work you put into reviewing and critiquing my materials. I am grateful. Letitia Combs, thank you for helping me put this process and product into perspective. You assured me that the corrections and revisions would result in a better product in the end. You were correct. Again, thank you, Leitita. Eric McCollum, thank you for hanging in there with me, being willing to read my documents, and offering your support. George Banks, you are a true friend. I am so honored that you agreed to serve on my committee and I am truly grateful for your positive words of encouragement. I must also acknowledge the support and help of my very good friend and...
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