Organizational commitment has an important place in the study of organizational behavior. This is in part due to the vast number of works that have found relationships between organizational commitment and attitudes and behaviors in the workplace (Porter et al., 1974, 1976; Koch and Steers, 1978; Angle and Perry, 1981). Furthermore, Batemen and Strasser (1984) state that the reasons for studying organizational commitment are related to “(a) employee behaviors and performance effectiveness, (b) attitudinal, affective, and cognitive constructs such as job satisfaction, (c) characteristics of the employee’s job and role, such as responsibility and (d) personal characteristics of the employee such as age, job tenure” (p. 9596). Organizational commitment has been studied in the public, private, and non-profit sector, and more recently internationally. Early research focused on defining the concept and current research continues to examine organizational commitment through two popular approaches, commitment-related attitudes and commitment-related behaviors. A variety of antecedents and outcomes have been identified in the past thirty years (Angle and Perry, 1981; Mowday et al (1979; Hall, 1977).
Definition of Commitment
Multiple definitions of organizational commitment are found in the literature. Bateman and Strasser state that organizational commitment has been operationally defined as “multidimensional in nature, involving an employee’s loyalty to the organization, willingness to exert effort on behalf of the organization, degree of goal and value congruency with the organization, and desire to maintain membership” (p.95). Mowday, Steers, and Porter (1979) identified commitment-related attitudes and commitment-related behaviors. Porter et al. (1974)
discuss three major components of organizational commitment as being “a strong belief in and acceptance of the organization’s goals, a willingness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the organization, and a definite desire to maintain organizational membership”. Sheldon (1971) defines commitments as being a positive evaluation of the organization and the organizations goals. According to Buchanan (1974) most scholars define commitment as being a bond between an individual (the employee) and the organization (the employer), though his own definition of commitment
Meyer and Allen (1991) and Dunham et al (1994) identified three types of commitment; affective commitment, continuance commitment, and normative commitment. Normative commitment is a relatively new aspect of organizational commitment having been defined by Bolon in 1993. Affective commitment is defined as the emotional attachment, identification, and involvement that an employee has with its organization and goals (Mowday et al, 1997, Meyer& Allen, 1993; O’Reily & Chatman). Porter et al (1974) further characterize affective commitment by three factors (1) “belief in and acceptance of the organization’s goals and values, (2) a willingness to focus effort on helping the organization achieve its goal’s, and (3) a desire to maintain organizational membership”. Mowday et al (1979) further state that affective communication is “when the employee identifies with a particular organization and its goals in order to maintain membership to facilitate the goal” (p.225). Meyer and Allen (1997) continue to say that employees retain membership out of choice and this is their commitment to the organization.
Continuance commitment is the willingness to remain in an organization because of the investment that the employee has with “nontransferable” investments. Nontransferable investments include things such as retirement, relationships with other employees, or things that
are special to the organization (Reichers, 1985). Continuance commitment also includes factors such as years of employment or benefits that the...
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