There are various definitions for the concept of organizational commitment but they all agree that it refers to a psychological state, which can be described as the bond or the attachment between an employee and their organization. McShane and Travaglione (2007:119) give the following definition: “Organisational commitment refers to the employee’s emotional attachment to, identification with and involvement in a particular organization”, while Wood et al. (2006:57) state that “organisational commitment refers to the degree to which a person strongly identifies with, and feels part of, the organization”. When it comes to closer analysing the concept of commitment, researchers have come up with various explanations and models. Hereafter, we will stick to Meyer and Allen (1990, cited in Ofenloch/Madukanya, 2007), who have come up with a three-component model, explained in the following.
According to Meyer and Allen, commitment is a mental state that consists of at least three components which account for an employee’s commitment to the organization, namely affective commitment, continuance commitment and normative commitment. Affective commitment relates to the positive emotional attachment an employee has for their organization, i.e. they identify with their organization’s values, goals, and missions and long to be a part of the organization. They are dedicated to the organization because of their own wish to be. They choose to be commited, they choose to be part of the company and feel a sense of belonging. As opposed to this, an employee experiences continuance (or calculative commitment ) when they do not commit to the organization because they want to but they feel they have to or need to. The employee perceives a loss at a high
References: Camp, Scott D., (1994). Assessing the Effects of Organizational Commitment and Job, Satisfaction on Turnover: An Event History Approach. The Prison Journal, Vol. 74, No.3, p. 279 - 305 Hartmann, Linley C Manetje, Ophilia Maphari, (2006), The impact of organisational culture on organisational commitment, Dissertation Psychology, UniSA etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-03232006-074648/unrestricted/04chapter3.pdf (accessed 04.09.2008) McShane, S., and Travaglione, T. (2007). Organisational Behaviour on the Pacific Rim (2nd ed.). Sydney: McGraw-Hill Irwin. http://www.performancesolutions.nc.gov/motivationInitiatives/WorkEnvironment/EmployeeEngagementTools/index.aspx, (accessed 31.08.2008) Rego, Arménio and Pina e Cunha, Miguel, (2008), Workplace spirituality and organizational commitment: an empirical study Romzek, Barbara S., (1989), Consequences of Employee Commitment in the Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 649 – 661 Somers, Mark J., (1995) the fascinating dept. (2008). Zappos Paying Employees To Quit; Recognizing That Customer Service Isn 't A Cost Center. (accessed 04.09.2008 on ‘techdirt’) http://techdirt.com/articles/20080520/1805041183.shtml