Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 21

Human Resource Development Review

Workplace Commitment: A Conceptual Model Developed From Integrative Review of the Research

Sandra L. Fornes, Tonette S. Rocco and Karen K. Wollard

Human Resource Development Review 2008 7: 339 originally published online 30 June

2008

DOI: 10.1177/1534484308318760

Published by:

Human Resource Develo <a href=p m e n t Review http://hrd.sagepub.com/ Workplace Commitment: A Conceptual Model Developed From Integrative Review of the Research Sandra L. Fornes, Tonette S. Rocco and Karen K. Wollard Human Resource Development Review 2008 7: 339 originally published online 30 June 2008 DOI: 10.1177/1534484308318760 The online version of this article can be foun d at: http://hrd.sagepub.com/content/7/3/339 Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com On behalf of: Academy of Human Resource Development Additional services and information for Human Resource Development Review can be found at: Email Alerts: http://hrd.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Subscriptions: http://hrd.sagepub.com/subscriptions Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Permissions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Citations: http://hrd.sagepub.com/content/7/3/339.refs.html Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013 " id="pdf-obj-0-33" src="pdf-obj-0-33.jpg">

On behalf of:

Human Resource Develo <a href=p m e n t Review http://hrd.sagepub.com/ Workplace Commitment: A Conceptual Model Developed From Integrative Review of the Research Sandra L. Fornes, Tonette S. Rocco and Karen K. Wollard Human Resource Development Review 2008 7: 339 originally published online 30 June 2008 DOI: 10.1177/1534484308318760 The online version of this article can be foun d at: http://hrd.sagepub.com/content/7/3/339 Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com On behalf of: Academy of Human Resource Development Additional services and information for Human Resource Development Review can be found at: Email Alerts: http://hrd.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Subscriptions: http://hrd.sagepub.com/subscriptions Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Permissions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Citations: http://hrd.sagepub.com/content/7/3/339.refs.html Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013 " id="pdf-obj-0-39" src="pdf-obj-0-39.jpg">

Additional services and information for Human Resource Development Review can be found at:

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

>> Version of Record - Aug 18, 2008

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

Workplace Commitment: A Conceptual Model Developed From Integrative Review of the Research

SANDRA L. FORNES

Hidden Angel Foundation, Inc.

TONETTE S. ROCCO

Florida International University

KAREN K. WOLLARD

Kelly, Wollard & Associates

This article investigates the previous research and theories of workplace commitment using content analysis and concept mapping. It provides a conceptual model of workplace commitment, integrating the literature on organizational commitment, occupational/career commitment, and individ- ual commitment. The significance of this article lies in the integration of the extant literature on commitment and the development of a conceptual model of workplace commitment and related propositions derived from the literature. The article discusses interventions that can be used by human resource development (HRD) researchers and practitioners to improve organizational performance by developing workplace commitment in the organization.

Keywords:

workplace commitment; organizational commitment; performance improvement

Performance improvement in an organization goes beyond the commonly accepted principles of good management and effective leadership by engaging the emotional commitment of the employee (Katzenbach, 2000). Commitment is the differentiating factor between top-performing companies and those of average performance (Katzenbach, 2000). Emotionally engaged employees

AUTHORS’ NOTE: An earlier version of this article was presented at the 2004 meeting of the AHRD Academy of Human Resource Development held in Austin, Texas.

Human Resource Development Review Vol. 7, No. 3 September 2008 339-357 DOI: 10.1177/1534484308318760 © 2008 SAGE Publications

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

  • 340 Human Resource Development Review / September 2008

are more productive and customer-focused (Callahan, 1998). High levels of employee commitment are positively correlated with superior financial per- formance in organizations as demonstrated by significant increases in operat- ing and net profit margins (Gallup Organizations Survey, 2002; International Survey Research, 2001; Watson Wyatt Global Consulting, 2003). Individuals and teams that are committed to the organization’s goals and values have higher morale, lower turnover, increased job satisfaction, and increased pro- ductivity (Cohen, 2003; Meyer & Allen, 1997; Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982). Yet, more than a third of employees worldwide admit to having low levels of commitment to the job or company (TNS Worldwide, 2002). Only one in twelve (8%) are “company-oriented” employees, predominantly com- mitted to their company (TNS Worldwide, 2002). Gallup (2002) estimates that uncommitted employees cost the U.S. economy up to $350 billion per year. Even though employee commitment has a positive impact on organizational and individual performance, productivity, turnover, job satisfaction, and organizational citizenship behaviors; low levels of com- mitment exist in most industries (TNS Worldwide, 2002). Whereas downsizing, wage erosion, and productivity demands of recent years may have caused a reduction in organizational and individual commitment, other contributing factors may be a lack of focus by human resource development (HRD) and organizational development (OD) practitioners to seek out and implement inter- ventions, programs, and strategies to improve organizational commitment.

Problem Statement

The field of industrial and organizational psychology (I/O psychology) pro- vides ample research that commitment in the workplace has demonstrated an improvement in employees’ performance and ultimately the performance of the overall organization (Katzenbach, 2000). The field of I/O psychology is con- cerned with human behavior in work contexts and defined as “the scientific study of the relationship between man and the world of work” (Guion, 1965, p. 817). I/O psychology is concerned with utilizing knowledge gathered from sci- entific inquiry to solve problems in the world of work. Example problems include hiring better employees, reducing absenteeism, improving communication, increasing job satisfaction, productivity, and improved performance (Muchinsky, 2002). Evident by the lack of published HRD articles around the topic of work- place commitment, HRD lags behind in constructing interventions, strategies, and practices to improve commitment in the workplace. Whereas I/O psycholo- gists have illustrated that workplace commitment leads to improved employee and organizational performance, there is little research and understanding of how HRD practitioners can develop employees so that they are more committed to their job and the organization. Thus there is a gap in understanding how commit- ment is to be created and supported by individuals within the organization. Because HRD’s purpose is to improve organizational performance through increased productivity, efficient work processes, and individual contributions

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

Fornes et al. / WORKPLACE COMMITMENT

341

(Swanson & Arnold, 1996), organizational commitment has been overlooked (Bartlett, 2001). Employee development, behavioral change, and organizational performance are all issues that can be affected by organizational commitment (Meyer & Allen, 1997). These are all in the domain of HRD using McLean and McLean’s (2001) definition, HRD is:

Any process or activity that, either initially or over the long term, has the potential to develop adults’ work-based knowledge, expertise, productivity, and satisfaction, whether for personal or group/team gain, or for the benefit of an organization, community, and nation, or ultimately, the whole of humanity. (p. 322)

However, only two articles on HRD and organizational commitment have been found in the four (academy sponsored) HRD journals in the last 10 years, and these articles were focused specifically on training (Bartlett, 2001; Bartlett & Kang, 2004). Little attention has been paid to the need for a focus on workplace commitment by HRD professionals leaving a gap between the need to foster organizational commitment approaches that improve performance and the knowl- edge of HRD practitioners to effectively influence commitment. How can HRD scholars help organizations find, consider, and incorporate workplace commit- ment interventions to improve employee and organizational performance?

Purpose and Research Questions

The purpose of this article is to examine the practices surrounding commit- ment in the workplace, and provide a conceptual model followed by proposi- tions for HRD to improve workplace commitment and performance. The research questions were (a) what are the organizational and individual out- comes (consequences) of workplace commitment; (b) what are the antecedents (or causes) to workplace commitment that creates positive outcomes for the organization and the individual, and (c) what is the process through which workplace commitment leads to positive outcomes? This article is organized into four sections (a) the method, (b) conceptual model of workplace commit- ment, (c) propositions and interventions for HRD practitioners and profes- sionals, and (d) conclusions and implications.

Method

A structured review of the literature on commitment was conducted. Selection of articles, content analysis, and concept mapping are discussed in this section.

Selection of Articles

Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC), PsycInfo, and ABI Inform were selected with the assistance of a reference librarian as most representative of education, psychology, and business fields. The databases

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

  • 342 Human Resource Development Review / September 2008

were queried using the keywords workplace commitment, organizational com- mitment, affective commitment, employee emotional commitment, career, profession, occupational commitment, job commitment, work group and team commitment. The databases were searched for keywords alone and then paired with human resource development and organizational development. Early in the 1970s organizational structure and performance improvement became important issues to corporate executives (Senge, 1993). For this reason we reviewed the literature from 1970 to present. A total of 567 peer-reviewed articles from journals were examined for rel- evance to the project. Articles found to be nonspecific to the workplace (234), i.e., general societal trends such as societal commitment or familial commit- ment, were eliminated. Additionally, duplicate articles (198) were also elimi- nated. Articles specific to commitment in the workplace (125) were included in the analysis. Of the 125 peer-reviewed articles only two were HRD related (Bartlett, 2001; Bartlett & Kang, 2004).

Content Analysis

Content analysis was conducted to identify and organize variables and con- cepts related to commitment in the workplace. Content analysis is a research tool used to determine the presence of certain concepts within text, by quanti- fying and analyzing the presence, meaning and relationships of concepts, then making inferences about the messages within the text to draw out conclusions (Palmquist, 2003; Palmquist, Carley, and Dale, 1997). To conduct the content analysis the articles were searched for categories based on the research ques- tions (Palmquist, 2003). These categories consisted of (a) organizational and employee outcomes of workplace commitment or the consequences of com- mitment, (b) antecedents that are related to workplace commitment, and (c) processes to improve employees’ commitment.

Concept Mapping

The categories were then processed using concept mapping. Concept map- ping is a structured process focused on a topic or construct of interest that pro- duces an interpretable pictorial view or concept map of ideas and concepts and how these are interrelated (Novak, 1990). The links between the concepts can be one-way, two-way, or nondirectional (Novak, 1977). Concept mapping lends itself to the comparison of semantic connections across texts and attempts to represent the relationship(s) between ideas, beliefs, attitudes, and information available to an author within a text. These relationships can be represented as logical, inferential, causal, and/or sequential relationships (Crooper, Eden, & Ackerman, 1990). In concept mapping the information gathered from the content analysis was sorted into three clusters consisting of the (a) antecedents, (b) consequences or

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

Fornes et al. / WORKPLACE COMMITMENT

343

outcomes, and (c) processing of workplace commitment. For example, if a statement in an article was specific to an outcome of workplace commitment, it was added to the cluster referred to as consequences or outcome and viewed as an outcome construct. A map was then developed from the clusters by using relational analysis to determine the relationships among concepts in the text (Palmquist, 2003). Concept mapping was used to create a conceptual model of the overall meaning of the categories and create a map of the relationships, or links, between concepts. The final step involved using the maps to help address the original focus of the problem and purpose statement. Then the map can be used as a visual framework or model for operationalizing interventions for HRD professionals to improve workplace commitment and performance.

Conceptual Model of Workplace Commitment

A conceptual model of workplace commitment evolved as a result of the concept mapping process and is discussed as follows. Workplace commitment includes both organizational commitment and individual commitment. Commitment is central to the understanding of both human motivation and system maintenance (Kanter, 1968) and is one of the key requirements to become a learning organization (Senge, 1993). Workplace commitment con- sists of organizational commitment, individual commitment, and outcomes of workplace commitment. This is followed by a summary of the antecedents to workplace commitment leading to Figure 1: A Conceptual Model of Workplace Commitment.

Organizational Commitment

Organizational commitment involves both organizational and supervisory commitment and is directed by organization attributes such as values and orga- nizational behaviors (Morrow, 1993). Supervisory commitment is defined as the strength of identification with the supervisor and the internalization of the supervisor’s values. Identification occurs when the subordinate admires cer- tain attributes of the supervisor, such as attitudes, behaviors, and accomplish- ments. Internalization occurs when the subordinate adopts the attitudes and behaviors of the supervisor because the supervisor’s attitudes and behaviors are congruent with the subordinate’s value systems (Becker, 1992; Gregersen & Black, 1993). Commitment to the organization is related positively to a variety of desir- able work outcomes including employee job satisfaction, motivation, and per- formance, and related negatively to absenteeism and turnover (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990). Organizational commitment is defined as the psychological and emotional attachment of employees to their organizations (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990; Meyer & Allen, 1991; Morrow, 1993). Organizational commitment is

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

  • 344 Human Resource Development Review / September 2008

the measure of strength of the employee’s identification with the goals and val- ues of the organization (Mowday et al., 1982). Individuals committed to the organization exert extra effort, desire organizational membership (Morrow, 1993), protect company assets, and share company goals and values (Meyer & Allen, 1997). Organizational commitment can be measured as either attitudinal or calcu- lative. Attitudinal commitment is the employee’s emotional attachment and identification with the organization (Cohen, 2003; Meyer & Allen, 1997; Mowday et al., 1982; Porter, Steers, Mowday & Boulian, 1974). Attitudinal commitment is referred to as affective commitment (Meyer, Allen, & Smith, 1993), or internalization and identification (O’Reilly & Chatman, 1986). Employees continue with the organization because they want to do so (Meyer & Allen, 1997; Mowday et al., 1982) and feel proud to be part of the organiza- tion, respecting its values and accomplishments (O’Reilly & Chatman, 1986). The calculative or “side-bet” (Becker, 1960), also referred to as continu- ance (Meyer & Allen, 1997) and compliance (O’Reilly & Chatman, 1986), signifies the extent to which employees feel committed to their organization by virtue of the cost that they feel is associated with leaving it and their need to remain with the organization (Becker, 1992; Meyer & Allen, 1997). Employees remain with the organization because of the perceived cost of leav- ing (Meyer & Allen, 1997). The correlation between antecedents and attitudinal measures is stronger than those measures of the calculated approach (Hrebiniak & Alutto, 1972; Meyer & Allen, 1997; O’Reilly & Chatman, 1986) therefore the attitudinal commitment approach provides a clear and focused measurement of organiza- tional commitment and performance outcomes (Cohen, 2003). Thus, in this article organizational commitment is used simultaneously with attitudinal measures of commitment.

Individual Commitment

Individual employee commitment is guided by attributes that directly affect the person and is defined as the psychological and emotional attachment of individuals to their jobs, careers, work groups or teams, and peers (Cohen, 2003). Individual commitment is the strength of the employee’s identification with the values of other individuals and peers within the organization (team commitment), and his/her work (job commitment) and careers (career com- mitment). Team commitment is an individual’s identification and sense of cohesiveness with other members of a group. Team commitment enhances social involvement and reinforces the ties that the individual forms with the organization (Randal & Cote, 1991). Job commitment is the degree to which a person identifies psychologically with his/her work. The importance of work is the degree to which work performance and internalization of organizational values affects self-esteem and self-image (Lodhal & Kejner, 1965; Rabinowitz

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

Fornes et al. / WORKPLACE COMMITMENT

345

& Hall, 1977). Career commitment (professional and occupational commit- ment) is the employee’s devotion to a craft or occupation (Blau, 1995; Morrow, 1983). Career commitment is defined as the magnitude of an indi- vidual’s motivation, attitude, affect, belief, and behavioral intentions toward an occupation or vocation (Blau, 1995; Hall, 1971) or the degree of centrality of one’s career to one’s identity (Gould, 1979).

Outcomes of Workplace Commitment

The outcomes of workplace commitment are the effects that result from organizational and individual commitment and are also referred to as the con- sequences. Outcomes include lower absenteeism, increased work effort (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990), and improved production (Randal & Cote, 1994) and overall performance on the job (Meyer & Allen, 1997). Managers with strong organizational commitment report higher levels of compliance with strategic decisions and better financial planning (DeCotiis & Summers, 1987; Kim & Mauborgne, 1993). These managers are more willing to engage in organizational citizenship and extra-role performance (Meyer et al., 1993). Employees with strong organizational commitment are emotionally attached to the organization and have a greater desire to contribute meaningfully to the organization. The willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty (extra- role performance) includes things such as providing extra help to coworkers, volunteering for special work assignments, being considerate of coworkers and customers, working additional hours, and making suggestions when prob- lems arise (Meyer & Allen, 1997). Organizational commitment leads to increased competitiveness, accountability, and the desire to improve overall job performance (Konovsky & Cropanzano, 1991). Higher levels of organiza- tional commitment are associated with lower turnover (Camp, 1993) and improved organizational effectiveness. Furthermore, employees that have high levels of organizational commitment experience lower stress levels even though they work longer and harder than those not committed. Organizational commitment encourages motivation (Meyer & Allen, 1997) and lower psy- chological and physical work-related stress (Reilly & Orsak, 1991), less emo- tional exhaustion and depersonalization (Jamal, 1990). Employees committed to the organization, their jobs and careers appear happier, and are able to exert more quality time with their families and hobbies (Reilly & Orsak, 1991). Individual employees’ commitment and commitment to work groups improves team performance, pro-social behavior and group cohesion, and enhances individual job performance and satisfaction (Bishop & Scott, 1997). Job characteristics or interesting work, such as task identity, skill variety, task significance, and autonomy, increase motivation, job satisfaction, and perfor- mance (Hackman & Oldham, 1976). Those committed to their jobs and/or careers are absent less and have lower intentions to quit (Bishop & Scott, 1997), increased job satisfaction, and increased intrinsic motivation (Hackman &

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

  • 346 Human Resource Development Review / September 2008

Oldham, 1976). Career commitment and job involvement affect professionals’ job satisfaction, turnover intention, role stress, productivity, and job migration (Aranya & Ferris, 1984; Gunz & Gunz, 1994). Employees who receive formal career management help form their employers’ reported higher levels of orga- nizational commitment (Sturges, Guest, Conway, & Mackenzie Davey, 2002).

Summary of Antecedents

In summary (see Figure 1), the antecedents to workplace commitment are pre- sented in terms of organizational and individual commitment. Antecedents of commitment are actions or elements that cause commitment to occur. These antecedents produce employee perceptions that lead to positive consequences for the organization and individual. Organizational commitment antecedents (clarity of purpose, equity and fairness, empowerment, congruency, feedback and recog- nition, autonomy, and interesting work) lead to an employee’s perception of support received which creates an emotional attachment to the organization (organizational commitment). The antecedents to individual commitment (con- gruency, feedback and recognition, autonomy and interesting work) lead to meaningfulness of work, career, peers, and self, creating an attachment to the job, career, and work teams (individual commitment). Organizational and individual commitment results in positive outcomes and implications for the organization and the individual (both proximal and distal outcomes of commitment). Figure 1 illustrates the relationship among employees’ perceptions and of workplace com- mitment by illustrating the relationship between the antecedents and outcomes. Antecedents precede the employee perception stimulating commitment and out- comes which influence individual and organizational success. For example, clar- ity of purpose leads to an emotional commitment to the organization. The conceptual model suggests that antecedents promote organizational com- mitment (including the organization and its supervisors) and individual commit- ment (including one’s job, career, and team) by fostering working conditions that stimulate positive outcomes benefiting both the organization and individual.

Propositions and Interventions for HRD to Enable Workplace Commitment

Understanding the antecedents to commitment allows HRD practitioners to build and maintain highly effective organizations. Swanson (1995) defines HRD as a “process of developing and unleashing human expertise through organization development and personnel training and development for the pur- pose of improving performance” (p. 208). Swanson and Arnold (1996) state that HRD’s principle purpose is to improve organizational performance through increased productivity, efficient work processes, and individual contributions. Katzenbach (2000) describes an energized and committed workforce as high- performing (those that perform better than industry norms) and whose work

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

Fornes et al. / WORKPLACE COMMITMENT

347

Antecedents

Congruency

Interesting work

Clarity of purpose

Equity and fairness Feedback & recognition

Empowerment

Autonomy

Congruency

Interesting work

Feedback & recognition Autonomy

Employee perceptions

Organizational

Commitment

Perceived Support of Organizational and

Individual

Employee Commitment

Perceived Meaningfulness of

Outcomes – Individual and organizational Success Emotional Attachment

Willing to engage in organizational citizenship Extra-role performance

Accountability Increased job satisfaction and work motivation

Im proved Performance

Improved Production Lower Absenteeism Lower Turnover Reduced work-related stress Improved Self-esteem/Self image

Increased employee Well-being Self-Awareness

FIGURE 1:

A Conceptual Model of Workplace Commitment

commitment enables them to make and deliver products or services that con- stitute a sustainable competitive advantage. Workplace commitment is an essential factor for organizational survival and effectiveness (Buchanan, 1974). Commitment has been defined as the degree of pledging or binding of the individual to a set of behaviors that motivates one to act (Kiesler, 1971). Once identification with the organization begins, individuals are likely to become concerned with the broader interests of the organization including its reputa- tion, survival, and continued success. This broader interest will generate activ- ity and resource exchanges between firm and employee (Rousseau, 1998). Organizational and individual commitments are means to optimize individual and organizational efficiencies and productivity through interventions focused on commitment antecedents. A framework for operationalizing interventions for HRD professionals to improve workplace commitment and performance emerged from the concept mapping process. The concept mapping process produced the following seven propositions and interventions based on the antecedents of workplace commitment: congruency, interesting work, clarity of purpose, equity, feedback, empowerment, and autonomy.

Congruency

Congruency is the quality of agreement that exists between the employee’s values and interests, and those of the organization. If congruency exists

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

  • 348 Human Resource Development Review / September 2008

between a person’s interests, preferences, abilities (Holland, 1985), and values (Katzenbach, 2000), and organizational factors in the work environment, employees become more emotionally committed to the organization leading to improved performance (Czander, 2001; Holland, 1985; Katzenbach, 2000). Congruency between the individual and his or her job/career increases com- mitment to the career and/or job (O’Reilly, Chatman, & Cadwell, 1991).

Proposition 1: Aligning employee’s values, abilities, skills, and interests with orga- nizational values and culture will have a positive impact on organizational and individual commitment improving organizational and performance outcomes.

Interventions to achieve the proposition are to design selection processes which prescreen potential employees based on congruency between individual and organizational values; to create work environments consistent with orga- nizational values; and to provide orientation and initial training consistent with organizational values and make the organizational values explicit.

Interesting Work

Interesting work holds the individual’s attention, is challenging and reward- ing, is significant to the organization, and allows utilization of a variety of skills and knowledge. Job characteristics such as job challenge, skill variety (different activities and talents the job requires), task identity (doing a job from beginning to end with visible results), task significance (the job’s impact on the lives of workers and the organization), and degree of autonomy (freedom, independence, and discretion in scheduling work and determining procedures) all improve commitment to the organization (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990; Nelson, 1999), to the job (Hackman & Oldham, 1976; Varona, 2002), and to the career (Person, 1997). The more important a task or job component (job significance) is the greater the level of job commitment and job satisfaction, motivation, and job performance (Hackman & Oldham, 1976). Job enrichment which involves modifying jobs so that employees can experience more of the motivator fac- tors (Sachau, 2007) can be utilized to form more interesting work. Enriched jobs offer frequent opportunities for opportunities to take responsibility and opportunities to be autonomous (Sachau, 2007). When jobs are enriched, employees are more interested in their work, exercise greater responsibility, and produce higher quality output (Herzberg, 1982).

Proposition 2: Organizations that ensure interesting work and allow for job variety, independence or discretion in sequence, methods, procedures, and quality con- trol will improve organizational, individual, and job commitment.

Interventions to achieve the proposition are to develop an organizational culture which is horizontal and less hierarchical to create a work environment

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

Fornes et al. / WORKPLACE COMMITMENT

349

that provides job variety and job enrichment to provide cross-training in a vari- ety of positions.

Clarity of Purpose

Clarity of purpose provides a clear identification of the intentions, ideas, goals, and plans of the organization allowing employees to be informed, ask questions, share information, and provide a clear sense of direction. Lack of clarity about purpose lies at the core of organizational ineffectiveness and inef- ficiency (Katzenbach, 2000; Kaufman, 2000).

Proposition 3: Organizations that develop systems that provide a clear sense of direction and adequate explanation of new policies and procedures will have high levels of organizational commitment, team commitment, and individual commitment.

Interventions to achieve the proposition are to supply employee manuals that are written in clear, concise, and explicit language; to involve employees in discussions of new policies and procedures; and to provide timely training programs on new policies and procedures that provide a clear sense of direc- tion consistent with organizational values.

Equity and Fairness

Equity and fairness maintain a balance between and within the organization and its employees. Affective commitment and commitment between peers and supervisors is strengthened when employees’ perceptions are of a fair, trusting, and equitable environment (Kim & Mauborgne, 1993; Konovsky & Cropanzano, 1991; Rhodes & Steers, 1981).

Proposition 4: Organizations that build systems that provide for equal and fair treat- ment of all employees will improve organizational commitment.

Interventions to achieve the proposition are to create transparent policies for discipline, meritorious service, time off, etc., which are known and understood by all employees; to train supervisors in fair and consistent policies concerning dis- cipline and rewards; and to provide training programs on the roles and responsi- bilities of good cooperative citizens consistent with organizational values.

Feedback

Feedback is the degree to which employees receive information that reveals how well they are performing on the job. Feedback that promotes continuous improvement and constant communication with employees leads to the

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

  • 350 Human Resource Development Review / September 2008

development of organizational commitment (Luthans, 1998) and enhanced performance (Katzenbach, 2000; Nelson, 1999; Varona, 2002).

Organizations that build systems that promote continuous feedback for improved and constant communication will increase both organizational and individual commitment leading to improved performance.

Interventions to achieve the proposition are to create transparent policies for evaluation, promotion, merit pay, and communications that are known and understood by all employees; to train supervisors in fair, consistent, and con- tinuous evaluation and feedback processes (such as 360-degree performance appraisals); and to provide training programs on the roles and responsibilities of productive employees consistent with organizational values.

Empowerment

Empowerment gives authority to the employees to make decisions about their work. Organizational commitment is stronger among employees who are allowed to participate in decision-making and empowered to carry out their work (DeCotiis & Summers, 1987; Meyers & Allen, 1997; Rhodes & Steers, 1981). Giving people latitude, flexibility, and power to make decisions increases the chance that they will perform as desired bringing additional ini- tiative, ideas, and energy to their jobs (Nelson, 1999).

Proposition 6: Organizations that allow employees to participate in decision- making and allow employees latitude and flexibility to make decisions will increase organizational and individual commitment.

Interventions to achieve the proposition are to create an organizational culture which is horizontal and less hierarchical to develop an organizational culture where supervisors encourage employee latitude in decision making; and to provide training programs which develop employee decision making, conflict resolution, and consensus-building skills.

Autonomy

Autonomy is the degree of freedom, independence, and discretion an employee is allowed in scheduling work, determining procedures, and job involvement. Job involvement allows employees to select jobs that are con- gruent with their interest and talent (Carbery & Garavan, 2007). Job involve- ment is the degree to which an employee identifies with his job, actively participates in it, and considers his job performance important to his self-worth (Lance, 1991). Increased autonomy strengthens organizational commitment (Mathew & Zajac, 1990), increases job satisfaction, and contributes to job commitment (Hackman & Oldham, 1975; Person & Chong, 1997). Both

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

Fornes et al. / WORKPLACE COMMITMENT

351

empowerment and autonomy focuses employees on doing a job well and encourages them to lend a hand to a coworker or department that needs help (Katzenbach, 2000).

Proposition 7: Organizations that design work environments that allow for inde- pendence and discretion in scheduling work and determining procedures improves organizational and individual commitment.

Interventions to achieve the proposition are to create an organizational cul- ture which allows for independence and discretion in scheduling work, work procedures, and job involvement; and to develop a work environment that allows employees to choose flextime, job sharing, and telecommuting options. These propositions and HRD approaches will lead to positive outcomes for both the organization and employee. HRD practitioners developing interventions that focus on all antecedents of commitment at both the organizational and individual level will assure an increase in positive organizational outcomes. When undertaking such initiatives, HRD practitioners can partner with HRD researchers to examine the impact of these initiatives focusing on future research and theory-building which lead to providing greater expectation of meaningful work and employee involvement (McLagan, 1989). Optimization of organiza- tions produces outcomes of improved individual job performance, organiza- tional performance, as well as increased job satisfaction and motivation.

HRD and Performance Implications

HRD Implications

Improved workplace commitment leads to various consequences that con- tribute to overall improvement in employee and organizational performance. The propositions provide HRD with approaches that can be implemented to develop work and job environments that are conducive of individual and orga- nizational commitment. For example, career development (an HRD function) can make a contribution to making sure the job and work environment is con- gruent with an employee’s interest and abilities. This congruency leads to improved commitment and improved performance.

Performance Implications

A conceptual model of workplace commitment including the antecedents, processes, and outcomes of commitment, can guide HRD performance improvement (see Figure 2). If commitment behavior is not transferred from individuals and subgroups to the total organization, dysfunctional behavior can exist among individual employees whose goals are in conflict with the goals of the organization (Cohen, 2003; Vandenberg & Scarpello, 1994). One example of this is the possible inverse relationship between career commitment and

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

352

Human Resource Development Review / September 2008

HIGH

CONFLICT

 

OPTIMIZATION

 

Organizational

Low individual job performance, Low satisfaction and motivation. High organizational performance

High individual job performance, High organizational performance, High satisfaction and motivation

(Affective)

   

Commitment

DISTRESS

 

CONFLICT

Low job performance, Low satisfaction, motivation. Low organizational performance

High individual job performance, satisfaction and motivation, Low or average organizational performance

LOW

Individual Employee Commitment

 

HIGH

FIGURE 2:

Performance Implications of Workplace Commitment

organizational commitment. If the organization is not in line with the employee’s career goals, the employee may be more committed to his or her career rather than to the organization, which may have an inverse effect on organizational performance (Cohen, 2003). Consequences occur that maximize organizational and individual perfor- mance such as increased productivity, reduced work-related stress, and lower absenteeism and turnover. When the employee is committed at both levels, opti- mal organizational and individual performance occurs and individual employee satisfaction increases. When employees are neither committed to the organiza- tion nor to the job, career, or work group, distress within the organization leads to organizational performance problems and low-performing workers. When employees are committed to the organization, but not committed at the individual level (i.e., to their jobs or careers) or committed at the individ- ual level, but not committed at the organizational level, conflict between orga- nizational and individual values and goals leads to stagnant or lower than expected performance.

Conclusion

Potential spillover into other areas such as commitment to one’s family and nation may affect society at large (Cohen, 2003). If the quality of an

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

Fornes et al. / WORKPLACE COMMITMENT

353

employee’s attachment to work organizations is low, this will carry certain implications for the basic fabrication of society (Cohen, 2003). Without employee commitment, individuals would lose one very basic source of iden- tity and belonging. The identification of people with the organization can cre- ate a larger whole that is often a driving force behind a firm’s performance, and its employees’ well being (Meyer & Herscovitch, 2001). The objective of this review of the literature was to examine factors of workplace commitment as a performance improvement model for HRD. Further research is needed to examine these factors and their influence on commitment. The Conceptual Model of Workplace Commitment presented here demonstrates the inputs, processes, and outcomes currently described in the workplace commitment literature. Further investigation of each of the find- ings would be necessary to determine which inputs and processes are most influential in improving outcomes. Scholars need to investigate successful and unsuccessful organizations, looking for causes of the outcomes. As the model is refined, revised, and expanded, it will need to also be tested in a range of different settings. The importance of organizational commitment to the bottom line of the organization needs to be considered one of the determining factors in whether the organization will make the changes needed to increase it. HRD practitioners need to take ownership of the approaches suggested here, and to begin using, testing, and evaluating the inputs and processes shown here to contribute to increased commitment. Furthermore, HRD practi- tioners must help their organizational leaders understand the importance of the outcomes of commitment: improved performance, improved production, higher employee effort, and satisfaction. Once leaders understand that com- mitment can and must be increased, it will be essential to make changes in the organization’s culture (Rashid, Sambasivan, & Johari, 2003). If HRD practi- tioners fail to step up and command the approaches that build commitment, they may be hijacked by business processes that quickly undermine the hard work of building commitment—creating equity, fairness, autonomy, giving feedback and recognition, designing interesting work, and having clear con- gruency between organizational mission and values and personal ones. The concept map (model) is a work in process. As more research is done, the implications of various types of leadership styles, work arrangements, and cultural influences may be shown to affect organizational and individual com- mitment. Organizational commitment may even be affected by market forces and by the ways various industries structure their employee relationships, as is being suggested in the nursing literature (Gould & Fontenla, 2006).

References

Aranya, N., & Ferris, K. R. (1984). A reexamination of accountants’ organizational-professional conflict. The Accounting Review, 59, 1-15. Bartlett, K. R. (2001). The relationship between training and organizational commitment: A study in the health care field. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 12(4), 333-352.

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

  • 354 Human Resource Development Review / September 2008

Bartlett, K. R., & Kang, D. S. (2004). Training in organizational commitment in response to indus- try and organizational change in New Zealand and the United States. Human Resource Development International, 7(4), 423-440. Becker, H. S. (1960). Notes on the concept of commitment. American Journal of Sociology, 66, 32-40. Becker, H. S. (1992). Foci and bases of commitment: Are they distinctions worth making? Academy of Management Journal, 35, 235-244. Blau, G. J. (1995). The measurement and prediction of career commitment. Journal of Occupational Psychology, 58, 277-288. Bishop, J. W. & Scott, K. D. (1997). How commitment affects team performance (employee com- mitment). Society for Human Resources, HR Magazine, 42, 107-112. Buchanan, B., II. (1974). Building organizational commitment: The socialization of managers in work organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 19(4), 533-546. Callahan, J. (1998). Never let them see you smile: The lack of expressiveness among senior orga- nizational leaders. Article presented at the Conference on Leadership & Executive Development of the Academy of Human Resources Development, Oak Brook, IL. Camp, S. D. (1993). Assessing the effects of organizational commitment and job satisfaction on turnover: An event history approach. The Prison Journal, 74(3), 279-305. Carbery, R., & Garavan, N. (2007). Conceptualizing the participation of managers in career- focused learning and development: A framework. Human Resource Development Review 6(4)

394-418.

Cohen, A. (2003). Multiple commitments in the workplace: An integrative approach. Mahwah, NJ:

Lawrence Erlbaum. Crooper, S., Eden, C., & Ackerman, F. (1990). Keeping sense of accounts using computer-based cognitive maps. Social Science Computer Review, 8, 345-366. Czander, W. M. (2001). The psychosocial analysis of employee commitment: How organizations induce and destroy commitment. Retrieved May 21, 2003, from http://www.ispso.org/

Symposia/Paris/2001czander.htm

DeCotiis, T. A., & Summers, T. P. (1987). A path analysis of a model of the antecedents and con- sequences of organizational commitment. Human Relations, 40, 370-380. Gallup Organizations Survey—September 26, 2002. Retrieved June 2, 2003, from

http://gmj.gallup.com/op/article.asp?I=232

Gould, D., & Fontenla, M. (2006). Commitment to nursing: results of a qualitative interview study. Journal of Nursing Management, 14, 213-221. Gould, S. (1979). Characteristics of planners in upwardly mobile occupations. Academy of Management Journal, 22, 539-550. Greenburg, J. (1994). Using socially fair treatment to promote acceptance of a worksite smoking ban. Journal of Applied Psychology, 79, 288-297. Gregersen, H. B., & Black, J. S. (1993). Multiple commitments upon repatriation: The Japanese experience. Journal of Management, 22, 209-230. Guion, R. M. (1998). Assessment, measurement and prediction for personnel decisions. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Gunz, H. P., & Gunz, S. P. (1994). Organizational influences on approaches to ethical decisions by professionals: The case of public accountants. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, 19, 76-92. Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1975). Development of the job diagnostic survey. Journal of Applied Psychology, 60, 159-170. Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1976). Motivation through the design of work—Test of a theory. Organizational Behavior and Human Decisions Processes, 16, 250-267. Hall, D.T. (1971). A theoretical model of career sub-identity development in organizational set- tings. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 6, 50-76. Herzberg, F. I. (1982). The managerial choice: To be efficient and to be human (2nd ed., Rev.). Salt Lake City, UT: Olympus.

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

Fornes et al. / WORKPLACE COMMITMENT

355

Holland, J. L. (1985). Making vocational choices: A theory of vocational personalities and work environments (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Hrebiniak, L. G., & Alutto, J. A. (1972). Personal and role related factors in the development of organizational commitment. Administrative Science Quarterly, 17, 555-573. International Survey Research. (2001). Retrieved June 23, 2003, from http://www.isrsurveys .com/en/ser Jamal, M. (1990). Relationship of job stress and Type-A behavior to employee’s job satisfaction, organizational commitment, psychosomatic health problems, and turnover motivation. Human Relations, 43, 727-738. Kanter, R. (1968). Commitment and social organizations: A study of commitment mechanisms in utopian communities. American Sociological Review, 33(40), 499-517. Kaufman, R. (2000). Mega planning, practical tools for organizational success. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Katzenbach, J. R. (2000). Peak performance, aligning the hearts and minds of your employees. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. Kim, W. C., & Mauborgne, R. A. (1993). Procedural justice, attitudes, and subsidiary top manage- ment compliance with multinationals’ corporate strategic decisions. Academy of Management Journal, 36, 502-528. Kiesler, C. A. (1971). The psychology of commitment: Experiments linking behavior to belief. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Konovsky, M.A., & Cropanzano, R. (1991). Perceived fairness of employee drug testing as a pre- dictor of employee attitudes and job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 76, 698-707. Lance, C. E., (1991). Evaluations of a structural model relating job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and precursors to voluntary turnover. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 26(1),

137-162.

Lodhal, T. M. & Kejner, M. (1965). The definition and measurement of job involvement. Journal of Applied Psychology, 49, 24-33. Luthans, K. (1998). Using HRM to compete in the 21st century. Management Quarterly, 38(4), 17-23. Mathieu, J. E., & Zajac, D. M. (1990). A review and meta-analysis of the antecedents, correlates and consequences of organizational commitment. Psychological Bulletin, 108, 171-194. McLagan, P. A. (1989). Models for HRD practice. Training and Development Journal, 41(9), 49-59. McLean, G. N., & McLean, L. (2001). If we can’t define HRD in one country, how can we define it in an international context? Human Resource Development International, 4(3), 313-326. Meyer, J. P., & Allen, N. J. (1991). A three-component conceptualization of organizational com- mitment. Human Resource Management Review, 1, 61-89. Meyer, J. P & Allen, N. (1997). Commitment in the workplace: Theory research and application. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Meyer, J. P., Allen, N. J., & Smith, C. A. (1993). Commitment to organizations and occupations:

Extension and test of a three-component conceptualization. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 538-551. Meyer, J. P. & Herscovitch, L. (2001). Commitment in the workplace: Toward a general model. Human Resource Management Review, 11, 299-326. Morrow, P. C. (1983). Concept redundancy in organizational research: The case of work commit- ment. Academy of Management Review, 8, 486-500. Morrow, P. C. (1993). The theory and measurement of work commitment. Greenwich, CT: Jai Press. Mowday, R. T., Porter, L. W., & Steers, R. (1982). Organizational linkages: The psychology of commitment absenteeism, and turnover. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Muckinsky, P. M. (2002). Psychology applied to work. Belmont, CA: Wodsworth. Nelson, R. (1999). Low-cost ways to build employee commitment. Inc.com. Retrieved June 22, 2003, from http://www.inc.com/articles/growth/reality_check/reality_check_basics/16412.htm Novak, J. D. (1977). A theory of education. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. Novak, J. D. (1990). Concept maps and vee diagrams: Two metacognitive tools for science and mathematics education. Instructional Science, 19, 29-52.

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

  • 356 Human Resource Development Review / September 2008

O’Reilly, C. A. & Chatman, J. (1986). Organizational commitment & psychological attachment:

The effects of compliance, identification, and internalization on prosocial behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 492-499. O’Reilly, C. A. & Chatman, J., Cadwell, D. F. (1991). People and organizational culture: A pro- file comparison approach to assessing person-organizational fit. Academy of Management Journal, 34, 487-516. Palmquist, M. (2003). Retrieved June 29, 2003, from http://writing.colostate.edu/references/ research/content/contrib.cfm Palmquist, M., Carley, K., & Dale, T. A. 1997. Applications of computer-aided text Analysis:

Analyzing literary and nonliterary texts in Text Analysis for the Social Sciences (pp. 171-190), C. W. Roberts, Ed. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Person, C. A., & Chong, J. (1997). Contribution of job content and social information on organi- zational commitment and job satisfaction: An exploration in a Malaysian nursing context. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 70, 4, 357-375. Porter, L. W., Steers, R. M., Mowday, R. T., & Boulin, P. V. (1974). Organizational commitment, job satisfaction and turnover among psychiatric technicians. Journal of Applied Psychology, 59, 603-609. Rabinowitz, S., & Hall, D. T. (1977). Organizational research on job involvement. Psychological Bulletin, 84, 265-288. Randal, D. M., & Cote, J. A. (1991). Interrelationships of work commitment constructs. Working and Occupation, 18, 194-211. Rashid, M, Sambasivan, M. & Johari, J. (2003). The influence of corporate culture and organizational commitment on performance. The Journal of Management Development, 22, (7/8), 708-728. Reilly, N. P., & Orsak, C. L. (1991). A career stage analysis of career and organizational commit- ment in nursing. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 39, 311-330. Rhodes, S. R., & Steers, R. M. (1981). Conventional vs. worker-owned organizations. Human Relations, 12, 1013-1035. Rousseau, D. M. (1998). Why workers still identify with organizations. Journal of Organizational Behaviors, 19, 217-233. Sachau, D. (2007). Resurrecting the motivation-hygiene theory: Herzberg and the positive psy- chology movement. Human Resource Development Review 6(4) 377-393. Senge, P. (1993). The fifth discipline. The art of practice of the learning organization. New York:

Doubleday. Sturges, J., Guest, D., Conway, N., & MacKenzie Davey, K. (2002). A longitudinal study of the relationships between career management and organizational commitment among graduates in the first ten years at work. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 23(6) 731-748. Swanson, R. A., & Arnold, D. E. (1996). The purpose of human resource development to improve organizational performance in R. W. Rowden (ed.), Workplace Learning: Departing the Five Critical Questions of Theory and Practice. Higher and Adult Education Series. San Francisco:

Jossey-Bass. Swanson, R. A. (1995). Human resource development: Performance is the key. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 62(2), 207-213. TNS Worldwide—Global employee commitment report, (2002). Retrieved June 22, 2003, from

http://www.tnsofres.com/gec2002/keyfindings/index.cfm

Vandenberg, R. G., & Scarpello, V. (1994). A longitudinal assessment of the determinant rela- tionship between employee commitments to the occupation and the organization. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 15, 535-547. Varona, F. (2002). Conceptualization and management of communication satisfaction and organiza- tional commitment in three Guatemalan organizations. American Communication Journal, 5,(3). Retrieved June 30, 2003, from http://acjournal.org/holdings/vol5/iss3/articles/concept.htm Watson Wyatt Global Consulting. (2003). WorkUSA—weathering the storm: a study of employ- ees’ attitudes and opinions. Retrieved June 22, 2003, from http://www.watsonwyatt.com/

research/resrender.asp?id=5557

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013

Fornes et al. / WORKPLACE COMMITMENT

357

Sandra L. Fornes, EdD, is the executive director of the Hidden Angel Foundation as well as an HRD professional focused on organizational performance through the development of improved selection and placement systems, team development, and organizational climate. Her research interests include workplace develop- ment and improved quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

Tonette S. Rocco, PhD (Ohio State University), is associate professor in the Adult Education and Human Resource Development Program. Research interests include continuing professional education, equity and privilege (specifically in terms of race, sexual minorities, age, and disability), teaching for social justice, and employability/career development.

Karen K. Wollard, EdD, is a Human Resource Development Practitioner/ Scholar. Her research interests include employee engagement, retention, and commitment; organizational strategies for performance improvement; and the relationship between service quality and organizational culture.

Downloaded from hrd.sagepub.com at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on July 27, 2013