Top-Rated Free Essay

Organizational Commitment

Powerful Essays
Critically evaluate the concept of organizational commitment and consider the difficulties involved in securing employee commitment.
INTRODUCTION:
An organization is a social body consisting of a group of people who share a similar goal or work towards achieving a single goal. They are well structured and managed in such a way so the goal can be reached most effectively and efficiently. Organizations are of various types. It can be private (led by an individual or a group of people) or public (led by the government). Even the not-for-profit groups such as charity and social service groups are considered as organizations. Organizational studies examines how these organizations are constructed, structured and managed and how these in turn ultimately help in influencing people and environment. It is an interdisciplinary lens to understand the various factors involved in an organization. Organizational studies involves the complete assessment of all the factors such as the behavior of people, its culture, its identity, the power and politics etc. It is important as it helps in understanding the organization and its environment better. The history of organizational studies dates back to 16th century. The Greek philosopher Plato wrote about the “importance of leadership” and Aristotle had discussed about the essence of “Persuasive Communication”. Ever since the beginning of the studies, the psychological and emotional factors of the people working in an organization has been the most complex subject. It is called as the “Organizational Behavior”. Organizational behavior is a study of the impact of individuals and groups on the behavior within the organization. It is a complex study involving the factors such as the culture, sociology, psychology, performance, satisfaction, identification etc. one of the most important factor that affects the organizational behavior is “Organizational commitment”. This essay aims on studying in depth about the Organizational commitment and theories involved in studying it more effectively. Moving on to The factors that promote and hinder the organizational commitment. Then the fruitful results of the organizational commitment is explained. Finally discussing the best possible ways to secure employee’s commitment.

Organizational commitmentIn general, organizational commitment refers to the emotional and psychological attachment of an individual to his/her organization. The commitment towards the organization can either be rational which aims on financial, developmental & professional interests or emotional which includes passion towards the job, value coworkers and loyalty to their boss. (Schermerhorn & Osborn, 2012). Because it is a psychological factor and depends on each individual, the level of commitment and type of commitment varies widely from person to person. Allen & Meyer (1990) define organizational commitment as “A psychological state that binds the individual to the organization”. Though there is a general perception that commitment is a psychological factor and is considered as intangible, the duo thought otherwise. They carefully studied the various factors that affect an employee’s commitment towards the organization and concluded that organizational commitment can be measured under three categories. This they called as the “Three component model of organizational commitment”. The three component model argues that there are three different components or three "mind sets" which can characterize an employee's commitment to the organization: 1. Affective commitment (Desire) 2. Continuance commitment (Cost) 3. Normative commitment (Obligation)

Affective commitmentAffective commitment refers to the emotional attachment of an individual to the organization. Employees with a strong affective commitment identify themselves strongly with and largely involve in the organization. They go out of their way to help the colleagues and go beyond the call of duty. Such employees stay with the organization because they desire to. Various factors such as job tenure, age, gender, education etc. were studied for their effect on the affective commitment of an employee. But the results showed that the relationship between these factors and commitment were neither strong nor consistent. Affective commitment is considered to be the most strongest of all and hence it is the most preferred.

Continuance commitmentContinuance commitment refers to complete awareness of the costs involved in leaving the organization. Employees with this type of commitment stay with the organization because they need to. The costs involved in leaving the organization may refer to waste of time and efforts, losing attractive benefits, losing the seniority positions, having to move the family or face problems related to distance. It may also refer to the lack of alternative employment opportunities. Such employees, though remain with the organization do not reach their job requirement effectively. There will be high level of absenteeism or lateness to work with

these employees. Also they will do just what is asked for and not consider going beyond the call of duty. Hence, Continuance commitment is least preferred of all.

Normative commitmentNormative commitment refers to a feeling of obligation to stay with the organization. And employees with normative commitment stay with the organization because they feel that they ought to remain. Such employees usually show a good level of effectiveness and efficiency towards work due to the sense of obligation towards the organization. This sense of obligation may be a result of family or cultural orientation as well as the organizational orientation. Normative commitment is preferred to an extent.

Conceptualization of commitment by O’Reilly and ChatmanO’Reilly and Chatman (1986) define organizational commitment as “The psychological attachment felt by the person for the organization; it will reflect the degree to which the individual internalizes with or adopts characteristics or perspectives of the organization” According to them, commitment represents an attitude towards the organization which can be grouped into three distinct forms that are named as 1. Compliance The attitude that corresponds to a type of behavior and commitment to the organization in order to gain some specific rewards. The rewards could be in the form of incentives and bonuses or in the form of promotion and opportunities of growth in the organization. Most important reward is just being recognized for their job. This is similar to the continuance commitment. 2. Identification Attitude and influence accepted by an individual either to establish or to maintain a satisfying relationship. This occurs maximum with the individuals who are highly empathetic and emotionally attached to the organization and the people working there. They value their relationship with the organization above all. This is similar to the affective commitment. 3. Internalization This occurs when the attitude and the behavior that is imposed on an individual is adopted because it is almost similar to the existing values. Hence they develop a commitment towards the organization with which they share the values. These values may be of family and cultural background, or organization as a whole may share the same set of ideas and goals as the individual. This is similar to the normative commitment.

Effect of job satisfaction on organizational commitmentJob satisfaction is one of the largest factors that promotes or hinders organizational commitment. Job satisfaction is the positive feeling an individual has towards his/her job. Studies have showed that job satisfaction has a very positive effect on organizational commitment. The more an individual is satisfied with the job, the more he/she is committed to the organization. It is mainly affective commitment and the affection here is towards the job. Job satisfaction comes as a result of various factors. Most important of which is the nature of the job itself. A liking towards the job that one performs increases the satisfaction. Supervision and relationship with the supervisor also affects satisfaction. A supervisor who is impartial and empathetic towards his subordinates is most preferred. Another important factor that every individual expects in a satisfying job is a satisfying pay or salary structure. Rewards, incentives and timely promotions also lead to a high level of job satisfaction. Other factors include, relationship with co-workers, pleasant working environment etc. Satisfied employees are known to speak positively about the organization that they work for. They also go out of their ways to help others, perform efficiently and exceed expectations in their jobs. This is perhaps because they believe in reciprocating the positive experience that they obtained from the organization.

Other factors affecting organizational commitmentPersonal factorsStudies have proved that few individuals are by nature more committed to their organization than the others. Such individuals display characteristics such as highly conscientious, which refers to being very conscious, thoughtful and decent. They are also very outgoing or extrovert, modest and have a positive outlook towards life. Employees who are very team oriented and place the goals of the organization above their own are also very committed to the organization. Finally, the employees that show high levels of empathy and value helping out their coworkers and understanding each other are also likely to exhibit organizational commitment. The individual could be a manager, a supervisor or a subordinate, any person with all these personal traits are simply more committed to their job and organization than others.

Situational factors Workplace values When the employees completely understand the values with the organization, the level of commitment naturally increases. The values here refer to quality, innovation, cooperation etc. these values are also non-controversial and easy to share. If an employee believes that their organization values the quality of the product above all, then they will engage in behaviors that will lead to best quality goods. The same goes with the efficiency, participation etc. The most important factor here is that the values of the organization is properly communicated to the employee.  Organizational support Employees who believe that the organization that they work for has their best interests at heart are tend to show higher levels of organizational commitment. Organizations that help an individual to balance between his work and his family attract the most committed employees. Apart from this, support from the organization through tough times, provides emotional and monetary help, gives benefits that they could not afford etc. are also few factors that increase commitment. Subordinate-supervisor relationship It is an important factor that affects the levels of commitment. Employees believe largely in an informal contract between them and the organization, and because the supervisor represents the organization to the employee, trust in the supervisor is a very important factor. An effective supervisor must be able to share appropriate information with the subordinates, must clearly communicate the goals of the team and the organization, must recognize and reward the best performer and not pick on or abuse the weaker member. There is wide perception that no supervisor can have a positive relationship with his subordinate. A supervisor who manages to break that perception can secure the most committed employees to the organization.



Positional factors Job tenure and nature Various studies were run to find the relation between the job tenure and the employees commitment towards the organization. These studies have shown that the employees who have stayed with their employing organizations for a long time are more likely to have stronger relationships and organizational ties. (Rousseau & Park, 1993). This factor mainly secures continuance commitment. Further, here the costs involved in leaving the organization that they have worked for such a long period with, is perceived to be quite high. Hence the continuance commitment has the positive effect on the affective commitment.

Job status also has a considerable effect on commitment. Employees who are on part- time basis and distance workers are generally less committed to the organization compared to the full-time workers.  Hierarchical job level. Employees at the higher levels of the organization have been known to show higher levels of commitment compared to the employees at the lower levels. This could be largely because of the sense of power to influence a change in the organization. The high status indicates recognition, formal authority and high competence. It also shows them that their organization recognizes their expertise and knowledge and values their contributions. It also gives them an independence and choices that increases their sense of control which leads to an affective commitment towards the organization.

Importance of organizational commitmentOrganizational commitment promotes job productivity and performance. The higher the commitment towards the organization, the higher will be the productivity and performance of the employee. Studies have shown that the productivity and performance is the highest in new employees. This is due to the normative commitment they have towards the organization. Organizational commitment reduces absenteeism and improves turnover. Even if the employees do not really like their job, they will still be ready to make sacrifices if they are committed enough to the organization. And to secure this commitment the organization must make sure to fulfill the needs of the employees in all other ways. An important outcome of organizational commitment is the organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). It is also called as the extra role behavior. It refers to an emotional state where an employee completely identifies oneself with the organization. It is discreet and not directly recognized or rewarded formally. But it increases the overall efficiency of the organization. Loyalty is another positive result of commitment. Securing an employee’s loyalty is by far the most toughest task for any organization. As the employability has increased, people consider giving up their job in the organization during the tough times as it is the easiest solution. Committed employees have higher levels of loyalty towards their employing organization and they wait patiently for improvement during tough times. Increased efficiency is also a positive outcome of organizational commitment. There are few employees who neither leave the organization nor sit around and wait for an improvement. Instead they voice out the problems, work towards the solutions and act on the situation. This effectively and efficiently brings about an improvement in the situation.

Lastly the employee engagement. It refers to an individual’s involvement in, satisfaction with and enthusiasm for the work they do. Organizational commitment increases an employee’s engagement towards the work and the organization itself. Such employees are passionate about their job and are deeply connected to their work place compared to disengaged employees.

Difficulties involved in securing employee commitmentWorld is getting more and more competitive day by day. In such a fast growing environment, one cannot expect to get anything without giving something in return. Same applies to securing employee’s commitment. Previously it was easier to secure an employee’s commitment by providing job security. But since job security has decreased now, the employees have updated their demands to various other factors. Some of the factors that employees expect from their organizations are pleasant working conditions, access to training and development, opportunity of growth in the organization, safe working environment, lesser levels of job stress, balance between work and family and encouragement to innovations. Drivers for employee commitmentEven if the organization manages to fulfill all of the expectations by the employees, everyday new demands keep coming up. And there is still a huge gap between what the employees expect from their organization and what they are ready to do for the organization. And this gap hinders the movement of the organization towards its goal. Few factors that help the organization in securing employee commitment are as follows1. FairnessRefers to impartial and fair evaluation of the employees, paying competitive wages and create policies that are unbiased. Most of the time all that an employee expects from his supervisor is recognition of their job and promotion of the most qualified. 2. TrustOrganizations are expected to keep their word and do as they say they will. They are also expected to be a role model of behavior and encourage employees to involve in decision making. When an employee is led to believe that his work personally makes a difference in the organization the level of commitment increases. 3. Concern for employeeEmployees must be regarded as people, not just as factors of production and their emotions must be considered. They must be trained and developed from time to time. The organization must also be a little flexible to address to employee’s issues and allow them to have a life outside of work.

There is huge amount of job opportunities available and every day newer positions and job types are opening up. There is an ever increasing demand for experienced and expert employees in fields such as engineering, medical etc. the other organizations out in the market provide everything possible to attract the best of employees from their competitor organizations. In such scenario, if the organization is not able to secure the employees commitment, then the results could be disastrous. Southwest airlines is the best example for how an organization can secure employee’s commitment most effectively. Looked into it position in the year 2002, southwest airlines was the only airline that was up and running in USA, an year after the crash of World Trade Center. All other airlines were still struggling to make it to the profit side of the graph. This was largely due to the level of commitment of their employees. All organizations usually believe in the phrase, “Customer is the King.” But in southwest airlines, the trend was “Employees first, Customers next.” And to prove that they actually followed what they believed in, the top management of the southwest airlines makes sure that their employees are home with their families for Christmas though the holiday season was the peak of business for an airline industry. As a result the employees of southwest airline were so committed to their organization that they were loyal towards the organization at the time of the crisis and not only that but also unanimously accepted a 10% pay cut during the crisis until the organization was back up in its feet. (Mike Hanson, escem)

ConclusionComing to the workplace faithfully every day and working independently is not enough in todays’ competitive environment. “Every man for himself” will not work. Each employee has to be innovative, spontaneous, be a team player and go beyond the call of duty, each group has to be cooperative and carry out the specific role requirements and as a whole lead to the betterment and success of the organization. The main binding factor between all these links is organizational commitment.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Compare the difference between job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Determine which is more strongly related to performance.…

    • 720 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Brand Community

    • 9604 Words
    • 39 Pages

    Reichers, Arnon E. (1985), “A Review and Reconceptualization of Organizational Commitment,” Academy of Management Review, 10 (3), 465-476.…

    • 9604 Words
    • 39 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Article: Studying the Relationship between Components of the Learning Organization and Organizational Commitment (Forozandeh, Soleimani, Shah Nazari, & Nasri, 2011)…

    • 910 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Best Essays

    In the age of increased globalization (refer to appendix 1.a, pg 12), and as many corporations are becoming international in scope and scale, organizations are faced with making radical restructuring choices in order to remain competitive and flexible in today’s environment. The impact of globalization has altered the manner in which businesses function and conduct their operations, and it has influenced virtually every area of business practice.…

    • 3835 Words
    • 16 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Better Essays

    * Employee commitment – comes from employees who believe their future is tied to that of their organization and their willingness to make personal sacrifices for the organization.…

    • 1411 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Meyer, J. P., & Allen, N. J. (1997). Commitment in the workplace: Theory, research, and…

    • 2999 Words
    • 12 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    This paper will focus on the American Red Cross as it relates to organizational commitment and communication. Leadership styles will affect communication in this organization. There are many different sources of power that affects group and organizational communication within the American Red Cross. Many motivational theories can be useful and definitely helpful within the culture of this organization. Communication is one of the key components of these theories. There is a high level of commitment that is necessary in the workforce of the organization, as well as dependence of communication in the organization. All these factors play a key role in the overall influence of group and organizational communication.…

    • 1830 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Ethical Behavior Quiz

    • 5293 Words
    • 22 Pages

    | Employee commitment comes from employees who believe their future is tied to that of the organization and their willingness to make personal sacrifices for the organization.…

    • 5293 Words
    • 22 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Best Essays

    Meyer, J.P., Becker, T.E., & Vandenberghe, C. (2004). Employee commitment and motivation: A conceptual analysis and integrative model. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(6), 991-1007.…

    • 3126 Words
    • 13 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Morning Glory Discussion

    • 3753 Words
    • 10 Pages

    An organization refers to an entity that consists a group of people whose working together interdependently to achieve a common goals whereby it is well structured and task coordinated, whereas behaviour refers to individual action. Basically, the organization behaviour refers to an individual action in an organization or working environment. Therefore, the study of organizational behaviour is an attempt and a process to understand the individuals behaviour influenced and to be influenced by people in the whole working system in which the individuals can manage their work effectively towards high productivity and acquire their self-fulfilment or job satisfactions. Besides that, it also concerned with the management process which includes planning, organizing, leading and controlling in a team or an organization to attain productivity and effectiveness. In addition, understanding human behaviour in organization helps to assist a recommendations of intervention to be applied so that desired outcome of performance can be achieve. In the process of managing human behaviour in an organization, one of the branch that needs to be taken into account is employee motivation and resilience.…

    • 3753 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Organizational commitment is considered as an important definition of company effectiveness and job satisfaction is a part of it. The organizational commitment mostly focuses on organizational behavior and psychology. Organizational commitment may be defined as “relative strength of an individual’s identification with and involvement in a specific organization.” (Suma & Lesha, 2013). Several factors, such as job characteristics, job performance, involvement in a goal setting and decision-making processes, forms an affective commitment in workers. Job satisfaction and organizational commitment influence company performance and plays an important role in organization…

    • 738 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Organizational Commitment

    • 334 Words
    • 2 Pages

    An essential portion of any management process is to ensure the employees have job satisfaction and organizational commitment to create a successful organization. Through job satisfaction, an organization can create organizational commitment. There are many methods an organization can use to create job satisfaction. Choosing what methods work best for the organization and its employees will assist the organization in in creating job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Job satisfaction is how the individual employees’ reactions are to the job experience within the organization. The definition of job satisfaction suggests that we are basing our job satisfaction levels off of employees’ feelings, beliefs, and behaviors (Patrick, & Sonia, 2012). The factors that affect job satisfaction may be how much the employee is paid to do the job that is required, the benefits that are offered, the chances for a promotion that are offered, the safety levels, and work conditions (Yip, Martin, & Goldman). By XYZ organization ensuring salary satisfaction along with benefits, and a good work environment, the organization can create organizational commitment within its employees. When employees are satisfied within their jobs, the employees are productive and this will create organizational commitment. An organization that has to consistently replace employees has it take a toll on job satisfaction and organizational success due to the inability to keep experienced employees, the costs of replacing the employees, creating heavier workloads for the employees while searching for replacement employees,…

    • 334 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    Cultural Values

    • 1053 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Finegan, Joan. E. (2000). The impact of person and organizational values on organizational commitment. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, British Psychological Society i2 p149.…

    • 1053 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Red Cross

    • 1179 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Employee commitment-employees who believe their future is tied to that of the organization and their wiliness to make personal sacrifices for the organization.…

    • 1179 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    aow 360

    • 18537 Words
    • 75 Pages

    Meyer, J. P., Bobocel, D. R., & Allen, N. J. 1991. Development of organizational commitment…

    • 18537 Words
    • 75 Pages
    Powerful Essays