Based o an attitudinal perspective andrelated to job satisfaction, the notion of organisational commitment has increasedin popularity over the years. As reported by Porter, organizational commitmentcan be described as “an attachment to the organization, characterized by anintention to remain in it; an identification with the values and goal of theorganization; and a willingness to exert extra effort on its behalf” (Porter etal, 1974, p.604). Depending on its level, organizational commitment can have apositive or a negative impact on the way employees behave and consequently onthe organization’s performance.
Conforming to Mayer and Allen, atri-dimensional model can be used to approach organizational commitment:affective, continuance and normative commitments (Mayer and Allen, 1997, p.106).Affective commitment represents the employee’s emotional attachment to theorganization.
In fact, it relates to how much the employee likes to work forthe company and how much he or she wants to stay, because they identify withthe organizational goals, feel valued, and feel that they fit into theorganization. For example, the nurse at the Accident and Emergency Departmentthat says “I enjoy it.. If I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t like coming to work.
. Iwouldn’t change jobs unless I really, really needed to”. The level ofattachment commitment is influenced by factors such as the extent to which theindividual’s expectations about the organization are matched by their actualexperience, participation in projects, job challenge, and others. Team membersof the accident and emergency department get involved with the project, staffsmakes suggestions and are looking forward to share their own ideas with therest of the Trust, for example.
Continuance commitment relatesto how much employees feel the need to stay at the organisation they are in.Employees committed for this reason, accentuate their motivation to remain in theorganization in the reason why they need to stay. Possible reasons for thisneeding vary, but the main reasons relate to a lack of work alternatives,remuneration or benefits, such as amount of holidays.For example in the Medical Department anemployee said that the only reason they are not looking for a job somewhereelse is that they are working for the Trust for more than ten years now andthey get more holidays than they would get elsewhere and due to it is able tohelp her or his daughter with childcare in the school holidays.
This type ofcommitment is influenced by the weigh of what the individual will loose, incomparison of what the new opportunity will give them. Staying is associatedwith profit, while leaving is associated with cost. Normativecommitment is “a feeling of obligation to continue employed” (Mayer and Allen,1997, p.11). Normativelycommitted employees feel a sense of guilt about the possibility of leaving theorganization. Reasons for such feeling are often concerned with employees perceptionthat by leaving the organisation they would create a vacant inknowledge/skills, which would subsequently increase the pressure on theircolleagues, or even feel an obligation to repay the organisation for investing in them, forexample through training and development. Employees with this type ofcommitment, believe that staying in the organisation is the most decent attitude,disregarding the level of status enhancement or satisfaction the organisation iswilling to offer to them over the course of the time, which is not the case ofthe staff at the medical department, since two of their best staff have leftthe hospital to take jobs elsewhere and two further members of staff have toldthe HR manager that they are looking for new jobs.
In one hand, inthe Medical Department, employees don’t feel trusted, challenged or motivated, dueto their autocratic leadership, and can consequently become unproductive. Staffdon’t get involved in the projects. A member of the team said that the staff don’tenjoy going to work anymore and that the organization does not think aboutthem. Despite of having the chance to specialize and be trained, employees ofthis department don’t feel committed to the organization due to their low jobsatisfaction. One the otherhand, in the Accident and Emergency Department, where each team encloses amixed staff including doctors, nurses, administrative staff and porters, andhave a democratic leadership, where the clinical manager has suggested that thedepartment continues to use the action teams to look further ways to improvethe service, for example.
Employees feel highly motivated, challenged,important and that they are part of the organization since they can give ideasthat are actually implemented by managers, for example this department recordedthe highest score of the Trust in the staff survey. Since employees weresatisfies with their jobs, they don’t want to leave the organization and feelhighly committed to it.After all, this study validated therelationship between employees’ commitment towards their organizations and organizationalperformance. In fact, maintaining its employees with a high level of commitmentis not only beneficial to the individual work performance and wellbeing, butfor the organization as well. Employees with a solid and remarkable level ofcommitment are more likely to put higher level of efforts to have a effective performanceand be productive, and invest their assets in the organisation behalf.
Organisational commitment may drive to a reliable, dynamic and profitablelabour force. It allows labourers to liberate their originality and to strengthenthe organisational evolution and development ambitions (Walton, 1985) There area variety of factors affecting organizational commitment, such as job-relatedfactors, employment opportunities, personal characteristics, needs andexpectations, positive or negative relationships, organizational structure andmanagement style. What is most important for organisations is to recognise eachtype of commitment in employees, and to aim to encourage affective commitment.
References:Brown, A., Kirpal, S. and Rauner, F. (2007) Identitiesat Work, volume 5, Springer Sciesnce & Business Media.Buchanan, B. (1974) ‘Building OrganizationalCommitment: The socialization of Managers in Work Organizations’, journalarticle vol.
19, no. 4, pp.553-546. Sage Publications. Inc.Derby Slides 2017Meyer, J. and Allen, N. (1997) Commitment in theworkplace: Theory, Research and Application, Califirnia, SAGE.
Mowday, R., Steers, R. and Porter, L. (1978) The measurement oforganizational commitment, Oregon, Gratuate school of management, University ofOregon. Walton, R. (1985) From control to commitment in the workplace, Marchissue, Harvard Business Review.