Organizational Commitment

Knowledge Center

12manage is looking for
MBA students.


Description of Organizational Commitment. Explanation.




Organizational CommitmentDefinition Organizational Commitment. Description.

Organizational Commitment (OC) is the psychological attachment and the resulting loyalty of employees to an organization, based on the pride of being part of the organization and the belief that their organization values them. The OC-concept goes beyond mere job satisfaction and employee hapiness. OC is part of the field of organizational behavior which defines, explains and humanizes the reasons behind organizational employee commitment. Through the commitment and collaboration of employees with different backgrounds, cultures, values, norms, experiences and skill sets a company or organization gains growth, flexibility and global marketability.

Also called: Employee Commitment and Employee Engagement.

Levels of Employee Commitment

The attachment and loyalty of employees can be present at a variety of levels: their job, profession, department, boss or (entire) organization.

Advantages of Organizational Commitment. Benefits

A highly committed employee will identify with the goals and values of the organization, has a stronger desire to belong to the organization and is willing to display greater organizational citizenship behavior i.e., a willingness to go over and beyond their required job duties. Advantages of gaining employee commitment have been perceived to be better employee retention (lower labor turnover, attrition, and sickness rates), extra role behavior (go the extra mile for a customer, contribute ideas voluntairaly, work hard and smart, recommend organization to other people), better product quality, better work safety, and increased employee flexibility contributing to the firms’ competitive advantage.

If human resources are said to be an organization‘s greatest assets, then committed human resources should be regarded as an organization's competitive advantage (Ranya Nehmeh, What is organizational commitment, why should managers want it in their workforce and is there any cost effective way to secure it? ISSN 1662-761X).

Reasons for employee commitment. 3 Types of Organizational Commitment

Rosabeth Kanter argued in 1968 that different types of commitment result from different behavioral requirements placed on members by the organization:

  1. Continuance commitment has to do with a member's dedication to the survival of the organization and results from having people make sacrifices for and investments in the organization.
  2. Cohesion commitment is attachment to social relations in an organization; it can be enhanced by having employees publicly renounce previous social ties or engage in ceremonies that enhance group cohesion.
  3. Control commitment is a member's attachment to the norms of an organization that shape behavior in desired ways. It exists when employees believe that the organization's norms and values are important guides to their behavior.

According to the Meyer and Allen Model of Commitment (Meyer, J P and Allen, N J (1991) - A three-component conceptualization of organizational commitment: Some methodological considerations", Human Resource Management Review, 1, pp. 61-98), there are generally three 'mind sets' (reasons, motives) for an employee to be committed to an organization:

  1. Affective Commitment: positive feelings of identification with, attachment to, and involvement in the work organization. The development of affective commitment is based on the exchange principle. The employees commit themselves to the organization in return for the rewards received or the punishments avoided.
  2. Normative Commitment: the employees’ feelings of obligation to remain with the organization. Normative commitment develops as a result of beliefs that are internalized through socialization processes, both familial and cultural, that occur both before and after entry into the organization.
  3. Continuance Commitment: the extent to which employees feel committed to their organizations by virtue of the costs that they feel are associated with leaving (e.g., investments or lack of attractive alternatives). Continuance commitment is expected to be related to anything that increases the cost associated with leaving the organization.

Components of Organizational Commitment

According to Porter et al (Organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and turnover among psychiatric technicians. Journal of Applied Psychology, 1974, 59, 603-609.), organizational commitment consists of the following three components:

  1. A strong belief in and acceptance of the goals and values of the organization.
  2. A willingness to exert (display) considerable effort on behalf of the organization.
  3. A definite desire to maintain organizational membership (belong to the organization).

How to enhance the commitment of employees to an organization

Here are some HR practices for enhancing organizational commitment:

  • Commit to people-first values. Put it in writing, hire the right-kind managers, and walk the talk.
  • Clarify and communicate your mission. Clarify the mission and ideology; make it charismatic; use value-based hiring practices; stress values-based orientation and training; build tradition.
  • Guarantee organizational (procedural) justice. Have a comprehensive grievance procedure; provide for extensive two-way communications.
  • Establish communities of practice. Build value-based homogeneity; share and share alike; emphasize barn raising, cross-utilization, and teamwork; getting people to work together.
  • Support employee development. Commit to actualizing; provide first-year job challenge; enrich and empower; promote from within; provide developmental activities; provide employee security without guarantees.

The more of these three factors an employee is showing, the larger his commitment to the organization is. A too large commitment to the organization can be caused by Presenteeism. Another interesting manifestation of commitment is the phenomenon known as whistle-blowing, or publicizing unethical, illegal, or immoral behavior. For the individual, whistle-blowing may be the last resort, the only step left open; for the organization it is extremely threatening when negative information reaches the press. Whistle-blowing may occur because the whistle-blower feels tremendously committed to the organization; it is, after all, borne of an impulse to reform an evil, and few people are willing to risk punishment to reform what they do not value.

Organizational Commitment Special Interest Group

Special Interest Group (122 members)

Organizational Commitment Forum  

Recent topics

  HR Model to (Re-)Engage Employees
I have undertaken some research and written a paper explaining how disengagement is the principal cause of static productivity in the UK. The paper co...
  Effect of Human Resource Development?
What's the effect of human resource development on organizational commitment?...
  Dimensions of Employee Involvement. Reasons for Employee Commitment.
More on Involvement
  The Virtue of Loyalty in Business
Loyalty is the base of all relationships and the base of how we behave toward each other; it is a code of conduct and a code of living for those who b...
  How to Obtain Employee Commitment?
Employee commitment starts with the sincere commitment of top management to attain its vision. A mission should be appropriately sculptured.
  Leaders Need to Manage Their Own Engagement
The Ball's in Your Court, Leader: Take Control of Your Engagement

The question I keep getting is "What can we do as a company to boo...
  Employee Engagement versus Employee Satisfaction
In recent years there was been a strong movement towards measuring Employee Engagement, yet someone who is engaged at work can be a poor performer ...
  Employee Engagement versus Kaizen
In the name of EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT we are celebrating employees birthday, allow for weekly sports and organize an annual picnic or tour etc.
  Why Employee Commitment is a Major Driving Force Towards Organisation's Stability
In Henry Fayol's 14 principles of management, he says "trained, trusted and experienced staff should be retained" (Stability of Tenure). It is therefo...
  How to Create a Collective Culture and Sense of Purpose
I'm a Junior Company President and have some doubts about providing some sense of purpose. All of my company members work for free, just to aquire kno...
  External Organizational Commitment
Much has been said on Organizational Commitment (OC), but less is said on External Organizational Commitment (EOC). I believe OC and EOC are different...
  How to Develop the Ownership of Project Members?
I am managing a team of 14 people and am so much trying or willing to make them have ownership of this project we are working on. I wish to "retire ea...
  Organizational Commitment and Belonging from Identification with Organization (Culture)
Commitment to organization and organization culture. While it is true that various types of organizational commitment are possible and that there are ...
  Organizational Commitment of Public Sector Employees
I am conducting a research on the topic of organizational commitment of public sector employees. I would like to receive comments and suggestions from...
  Unmet Job Expectations and Employee Performance
An important factor that influences employees’ well-being and performance is the degree to which initial job expectations are met. Unmet job expectati...

Best Practices - Organizational Commitment
  People Think That Their Relation with the Organization is Forever
The most important relation in your life is also in need of care.
I have been working in organizational change for years. The truth is simple: pe...
  Balance Command and Control (Discipline) with Organizational Commitment
"Employment at will" and "big stick" are factors coming under the command and control of an organization. While I agree that this aspect has to be the...
  How to Deal with Latecomers at Work/Meetings?
In your opinion, what is the best way to tell a person who is consistently coming late that s/he should improve, rather than offend her/him? Why? Man...
  Do your Employees Care About your Organization?
What do you think: If employees feel their organization cares about their well-being, will they return the favor?

In daily managemen...
  Measuring Organizational Commitment
How to measure the employees commitment on their job?...

Expert Tips - Organizational Commitment

Why Employees Stay: Contextual Factors Influencing Job Embeddedness


Strategies for Strategic Philanthropy (Norton)


Differences in Organizational Commitment Between Paid Workers and Volunteers


Resources - Organizational Commitment

Employee Engagement: Definition, Measuring, Pitfalls and Best Practices


Working for Love: Employee Commitment in Not-for-Profit Sector


Managing Psychological Well-being in Workplaces


Contemporary Employment Relations: The Psychological Contract


Social-Exchange Theory and Organizational Support Theory and their Role in Employee Motivation


The Role of Supervisor | Skills of Supervisors


Employee Engagement and Commitment


Reasons and Secrets of Employee Retention


The Employee Commitment Pyramid


How can Employees Improve their OWN Engagement?


Mindfulness and Wellbeing at Work


Workforce Planning for Today


A Model for Improving Employee Commitment: HPWS


How to Develop Effective Workplace Relationships?


Fatigue Management as Responsibility of Employer and Employee


How to Achieve Employee Engagement


The X Model of Employee Engagement


Involving Employees to get their Commitment


The Modest Relationship between Job Engagement and Organizational Commitment


Corporate Social Responsibility Activities and Their Effects on Employees' Engagement


Voluntary Activities of Employees | Employee Volunteerism


Fighting Stress with Employee Resilience


Managing New, Dynamic Workplaces through Employee Engagement


Reasons for Affective Organizational Commitment


News about Organizational Commitment


Videos about Organizational Commitment


Presentations about Organizational Commitment


Books about Organizational Commitment


More about Organizational Commitment


Compare with: Work Absenteeism  |  Dual Commitment  |  Work Presenteeism  |  Expectancy Theory  |  Two Factor Theory  |  Employee Attitude Survey  |  Charismatic Leadership  |  Efficiency Wage  |  Hoshin Kanri - Policy Deployment  |  Skeleton Staff

Special Interest Group Leader

You here? Sign up for free


Return to Management Hub: Human Resources

More on Management  |  Return to Management Dictionary  | 


This ends our Organizational Commitment summary and forum.

About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
© 2019 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V15.0 - Last updated: 21-1-2019. All names ™ of their owners.