Introduction 2000 public agency employees (Morrow & McElroy,

IntroductionCommitmentis an essential aspect in every organization, especially schools. Teachers arevaluable assets of the school. Every school wants to improve its efficiency inorder to survive and compete. Teachers’ commitment is one of the most importantfactors that must be considered in evaluating schools’ efficiency (Aydin, Sarier, & Uysal, 2013). Teachers’ commitmentis not only a vital issue for teachers, but also for schools and students.

Itis directly related to issues concerning teaching and learning, school success,and well-being (Day C. , 2008). On one hand, theinterpersonal relationship among teachers is one of the important factors that influencescommitment. According to Sias (2005), the two main social relationships in theworkplace are leader-member relationships and colleague relationships.

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In fact,the most important source of emotional and instrumental support for employees isColleagues (Sias, 2005).One of theeffective factors that affect the colleagues’ relationships is age. Severalstudies showed that there is a strong relationship between age andorganizational commitment. In fact, the organizational commitment and age havethe strongest relationship at the earliest employment stage (Cohen, 1993).

Additionally, thereis also a change in commitment across career stages of a group of over 2000public agency employees (Morrow & McElroy, 1987). They showed apositive relationship between commitment and age.Although a lot of research has revealed thatgreater teacher commitment can be predicted by collegial relationship, moreresearch is necessary to expand understanding of the factors that influence thecollegial relationship in this area. The present study aims to explore theeffect of age on teachers’ interpersonal relationship and organizationalcommitment. Literature ReviewCommitment is an essential aspect in everyorganization, especially schools. Teachers are valuable assets of the school.Every school wants to improve its efficiency in order to survive and compete.Teachers’ commitment is one of the most important factors that must beconsidered in evaluating of schools’ efficiency (Aydin, Sarier, & Uysal, 2013).

Teachers’commitment is not only a vital issue for teachers, but also for schools andstudents. It is directly related to issues concerning about teaching andlearning, school success, and well-being (Day C. , 2008). On one hand, the interpersonal relationshipamong teachers is one of the important factors that influences commitment.

According to Sias (2005), the two main social relationships in the workplaceare leader-member relationships and colleague relationships. In fact, the mostimportant, source of emotional and instrumental support for employees areColleagues (Sias, 2005).Also, HR practices highlighting that employee commitment were positivelyassociated with climates for trust, cooperation, and knowledge sharing (Collins & Smith, 2006).

Moreover, when employees do not perceived support from their superiors,communicating with colleagues made them feel a sense of membership that, inturn, strengthened commitment (Allen, 1992).On the other hand, one of the effectivefactors that affect the colleagues’ interpersonal relationships is the agedifference. Several studies showed that there is a strong relationship betweenage and organizational commitment. In fact, the organizational commitment andage have the strongest relationship at the earliest employment stage (Cohen, 1993). Also Meyer andAllen (1984) indicated that levels of organizational commitment vary acrossdifferent age groups as a result of factors such as alternative jobopportunities.

Moreover, there is a tendency for higher level of commitmentwith increasing age and tenure (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990). Additionally, thereis also a change in commitment across career stages of a group of over 2000public agency employees (Morrow & McElroy, 1987). They showed apositive relationship between commitment and age. The results of both thecorrelational and cross-sectional studies also indicate that there is adevelopmental component to affective organizational commitment with resultsdepicting increases in affective organizational commitment with age and tenure.

(Karen & Carlene, 2000). Additionally, theresult of a survey on 3,053 workers in 53 manufacturing companies in the UnitedStates showed that older employees pay more attention to the moral importanceof work and pride in craftsmanship. Younger employees pay greater attention tothe importance of money, friends over work, and the appropriateness of welfareas an alternative to work (Cherrington, Condie, & England, 1979)Although a lot of research has revealed thatgreater teacher commitment can be predicted by collegial relationship, moreresearch is necessary to expand understanding of the factors that influence thecollegial relationship in this area. The present study aims to explore theeffect of age differences on teachers’ interpersonal relationship andorganizational commitment.  CommitmentAccording toFirestone (1996), there is a common characteristic in all definitionswhich is the existence of a psychological connection between the person and theobject to which he or she is committed. Commitment is often considered as beingexpressed through attitudes (Mowday, Steers, & Porter, 1979)and behaviors (Meyer & Allen, 1991); (Weiner, 1982). Antecedents of CommitmentPersonal characteristics: regardingthe fact that commitment refers to attitudes and behaviors that link personsand their contexts, it is common that psychological models focus on the effectof personal and social psychological antecedents (Reyes, 1990 as cited in Riehl& Sipple, 1996). Organizational characteristics: Othertheories focus on sociological in nature, considering commitment as a socialphenomenon created as individuals respond to structures and processes withinsocial organizations (Reyes, 1990, as cited in Riehl & Sipple, 1996).

Task characteristics: thisapproach relates commitment to work itself. Job design theory (Hackman& Lawler, 1971; Hackman & Oldham, 1980, as cited in Riehl & Sipple,1996) posits that the key characteristics of work tasks are essential forcreating, responsibility, and efficacy toward high job performance and commitment (Riel & Sipple, 1996).Commitment to an organization and/or a relationshiphas several dimensions and has been conceptualized through a different interrelatedconstructs that probably influence employee satisfaction, retention, andperformance: 1. Affective Commitment: It refers toemployees’ emotional connection to the organization and the degree to whichthey identify with that organization (Johnson et al., 2006, as cited inPeltier, Pointer, & Schibrowsky, 2014). Emotional factors are the basis ofaffective commitment which hold parties together (Peltier, Pointer, & Schibrowsky, 2014).

2. Normative Commitment: it is related to the extentin which an employee feels obliged to maintain the relationship (Malhotra , 2003, as cited in Peltier, J. W., Pointer L., & Schibrowsky J. A.

,2014) 3. Calculated or Continuance Commitment: itrefers to the desire to keep the relationship based on the costs-benefitsanalysis of maintaining the relationship (Fullerton 2003, as cited in Peltier,J. W., Pointer L., & Schibrowsky J. A.

, 2014). Teacher CommitmentIn accordance to the definition byMowday, Steers, and Porter (1979), Reyes (1990) defined teacher commitment asthe strength of an individual’s identification with and engagement in a specificorganization. It has three major features: (a) a strong attitude toward andacceptance of the organization’s goals and values, (b) a desire to makeconsiderable effort on behalf of the organization, and (c) a strong intentionor willingness to stay with the organization (Chan, Lau, Nie, Lim, & Hogan, 2008).In the numerous studies reviewed by Firestoneand Pennell (1993, as cited in Riehl & Sipple, 1996), organizationalconditions such as independence regarding classroom decisions, contribution toschool decision making, opportunities to cooperate with other teachers,opportunities to learn, and sufficient resources were constantly shown to bestrongly related to teacher commitment, especially they result in reducinguncertainty, promoting independence, and providing opportunities for teachersto learn how to be successful (Riel & Sipple, 1996).There are two key forms of teacher commitment:commitment to the profession—professional commitment—and commitment to theschool—organizational commitment. On one hand, Professional commitmentgenerally means the degree of psychological attachment that a teacher hastoward the teaching profession (Coladarci, 1992). On the other hand, organizationalcommitment means the level of identification and participation that anindividual has with an organization (Mowday, et al., 1979).

According to Mowday,et al. (1979), organizational commitment depends on the individual’s support ofthe organization’s goals and values, his or her motivation to care about theorganization, and the desire to continue as a member of the organization.Although different forms of teachercommitment, including commitment to students (Firestone & Rosenblum, 1988)and commitment to theacademic goals of a school (Louis, 1998),have also been recognized in previous research, It is essential to make thedistinction between professional and organizational commitment because theyhave different effects on a teacher’s work (Firestone W. A., 1993). It is revealed thatteachers’ professional commitment, predicted organizational citizenship behaviortoward students. However, organizational commitment, predicted organizationalcitizenship behavior toward the organization. The results of differentialrelations propose that these two types of commitments represent separateconstructs (Somech & Bogler, 2002)Teacher commitment in all forms is asignificant element in determining outcomes for teachers.

It has been indicatedto be a predictor of teacher attrition, turnover, and absenteeism (Day C. , 2008); (Day, Elliot, & Kington, 2005), teaching performance (Day, 2008) andteacher burnout (Firestone, 1996).Several studies have shown positiveconsequences of teacher commitment. For instance, one study showed that teachercommitment was positively predicted by job satisfaction for both Black andWhite teachers (Culver, Wolfe, & Cross, 1990).

Moreover,another study depicted a positive relation between teachers’ organizationalcommitment and reading achievement, controlling for students’ socioeconomicstatus (Kushman, 1992). Additionally,it is also reported a positive association between commitment and achievement (Rosenholtz, 1989). Apositiverelation between teaching experience and teacher commitment has been observed. The negative relationbetween perceived organizational politics and teacher commitment was observedin a school setting. This finding suggests that schools as organizations maynot be immune to the impact of perceived organizational politics (Chan, Lau, Nie, et al., 2008).

Correlation analysis revealed thatage, teaching experience, and service in school were highly correlated toteacher commitment (Tsui & Cheng, 1999). Organizational ClimateThe concept of organizational climateinvented in the late 1950s and was firstly used as a general notion to expressthe long-term quality of organizational life (Halpin, 1966; Hoy & Tarter,1997 as cited in Tsui & Cheng, 1999).School climate, also known as organizationalhealth, has been defined as the atmosphere, culture, resources, and socialnetworks of a school (Loukas & Murphy, Middle school student perceptions of school climate: Examining protective functionson subsequent adjustment problems, 2007).The organizational health of a schoolis a valuable concept that defines the interpersonal relations of students,teachers and administrators in a school (Hart, Conn, & Carter, 1992; Hoy , 1997, as cited in Tsui & Cheng, 1999).The concept of school organizational health possiblyis constructed on two considerations. First, the school is a social system, inwhich people take the roles of administrators, teachers, students, etc. thus,social interactions among these important players in school should be reflectedin school organizational health (Cheng, 1987; Hart et al., 1992; Tsui, Leung,Cheung, Mok, & Ho, 1994, as cited in Tsui & Cheng, 1999).

Second, a healthy school should perform itsseveral school functions effectively. According to Parsons’s views oforganization (1967, ascited in Tsui & Cheng, 1999), the technical, managerial, andinstitutional levels in a healthy school are in harmony and therefore, it can satisfyboth its instrumental and expressive needs through coping with disturbingexternal forces and guiding its energies towards its mission.  According to Moos(1979), school climate includes three dimensions: (1) the relationshipsbetween members of the organization, (2) the personal development of themembers, and (3) the maintenance and change of the organization.  Hoy and Miskel (1991) using Parsonianperspective developed a new Organizational Health Inventory (OHI) in order tomeasure and describe school organizational health. Seven dimensions of schoolorganizational health are identified to characterize each of the basic needs ofsocial systems as well as the three levels of control found in most organizations:(Hoy et al., 1991, ascited in Tsui & Cheng, 1999).  • Institutional Integrity (II) refers to aschool that has integrity in its educational program and has the ability to dealwith destructive outside forces successfully; • Initiating Structure (IS) describes theprincipal’s task- and achievement oriented behavior; • Consideration (CO) means the principalbehavior that is friendly, supportive, and collegial. The principal takes careabout the welfare of faculty members and welcomes their recommendations; • Principal Influence (PI) refers to theprincipal’s ability to influence the actions of superiors; • Resource Support (RS) describes a schoolwhere sufficient classroom supplies and instructional materials are accessibleand extra materials are obtained easily; • Morale (MO) refers to the sense of trust,confidence, enthusiasm, and friendliness among teachers; and  • Academic Emphasis (AC) describes the school’smedia for achievement including high but achievable goals set for students, organizedand serious learning environment, and hardworking atmosphere among students.

Briefly,a healthy school is one that has strong performance in the above seven dimensions.According to another study by Loukas (2007), schoolclimate is a multidimensional construct that includes physical, social, andacademic dimensions.The physical dimension includes:·        Appearanceof the school construction and its classrooms;·        Sizeof the School and students to teachers ratio in the classroom;·        Organizationand order of classrooms in the school;·        Availabilityof resources; and·        Securityand well-being.The social dimension includes:·        Qualityof interpersonal relationships between and among students, teachers, and staff;·        Equitableand unbiased treatment of students by teachers and staff;·        levelof competition and social contrast between students; and·        Degreeof students, teachers, and staff participation in decision-making at the school.The academic dimension includes:·        Qualityof instruction;·        Teacherexpectations for student achievement; and·        Monitoringstudent improvement and punctually reporting results to students and parents.

 The relationship between school climate andteacher commitment and the role of age in this relationshipA lot of research has determined a significantrelationship between school climate and teacher commitment (Firestone , 1993). Coladarci (1992) studied two dimensions of schoolclimate—principal leadership and teacher collegiality—as predictors ofprofessional commitment. In contrast, teacher collegiality was not a predictorof professional commitment. In more recent research, Huang and Waxman, (2009) indicated that gender equity, teachingresources, and work pressure were significant predictors of professionalcommitment, although the only significant predictor of organizationalcommitment was collegiality.

Dumay and Galand (2012) revealed that age,gender and employment status have a significant effect on organizationalcommitment. It is also showed that after controlling for their age, workexperience and employment status, the level of commitment in men is lower thanwomen. Finally, using multilevel analysis, it is suggested that controlling forage, gender, and experience, teacher employment status significantly influencesorganizational commitment. In other words, the level of commitment to school inteachers who have a non-fixed-term employment contract is more than those who havea fixed-term employment contract. Additionally, age and employment status remainmajor predictors of teacher commitment.

Moreover, higher organizationalcommitment is reported in teachers who are more confident in their ability tohelp their students learn (Dumay & Galand, 2012).Through organizational studies, commitment hasbeen positively associated with both age and experience (Angle & Perry,1981; Dornstein & Matalon, 1989; Hrebiniak, 1974; Mowday et al, 1982, ascited in Billingsley & Cross, 1992). Commitmentincreases as individuals become older and pile up experience.

The constantrelationship found among age, experience, and commitment proposes thatcommitment possibly is the result of accumulated investments over time (Parasuraman8c Nachman, 1987, as cited in Billingsley , 1992).On one side, a lot of studies showed apositive relation between Organizational commitment and age (Allen and Meyer,1993; Salami, 2008; Suliman and Lies, 2000 as cited in Ilhami & Cetin,2012). On the other side, several studieshave not found such relationship between the two (Chugtai & Zafar, 2006;Iqbal, 2010; Kwon & Banks, 2004, as cited in Ilhami & Cetin, 2012).According to Ilhami and Cetin (2012) found that the level of job satisfactionand organizational commitment is different between younger and older teachers.

Specifically,teacher age moderated relationship between teacher job satisfaction andorganizational commitment. Additionally, for younger teachers, there is aU-shaped relationship between teacher job satisfaction and organizational commitment.Moreover, Younger teachers tend to feel emotionally involved, consider theorganization’s problems as their own, and like to stay with the organization forthe rest of their career, when their job satisfaction level are either low orhigh but not moderate. In contrast, moderate levels of job satisfaction infact, are applicable for older teachers, self-reliant teachers who prefer moreindependence and are equipped with the necessary skills in order to success inmore uncertain circumstances. However, they are not well-suited for the needsof younger teachers. In fact, at moderate levels of job satisfaction, olderteachers indicate high levels of organizational commitment in which they onlyremain with the organization because it would be difficult for them to findemployment opportunities, lack of available options, or disturbance of theirlife (Ilhami & Cetin, 2012).


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