Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Because organizational commitment has been conceptualized and measured in various ways, research examining it has produced a somewhat inconsistent set of results. In the conceptual model guiding the present research, organizational commitment is considered to have three components. The affective component refers to the employee's emotional attachment to, identification with, and involvement in, the organization. The continuance component refers to commitment based upon the employee's perception of the costs associated with leaving the organization. The normative component refers to the employee's feelings of moral obligation to the organization. Three studies were conducted to test aspects of this three-component model of organizational commitment.;Study I was conducted to develop reliable scales assessing each commitment component. Using a construct-oriented approach, three 8-item scales were developed. Reliabilities for the Affective, Continuance, and Normative Commitment Scales were .87, .75, and .79, respectively.;Preliminary evidence regarding the validity of the scales was provided in Study II. Subjects read one of eight scenarios about a fictional employee described as having either strong or weak levels of each commitment component and were asked to complete the commitment scales as they thought this employee would. As expected, the affective commitment manipulation produced the strongest effect on Affective Commitment Scale (ACS) scores, the continuance commitment manipulation on Continuance Commitment Scale (CCS) scores, and the normative commitment manipulation on Normative Commitment Scale (NCS) scores.;Study III was designed to examine the relationship between the three commitment components and their hypothesized "antecedents". Participating in this study were 337 employees. Results of multiple regression analyses were generally in accordance with the model's predictions. Scores on the ACS were best predicted by the employees' perceptions of: the fairness and openness of the organization, work challenge, work clarity, and the strength of the organization's commitment norm. CCS scores were best predicted by perceptions of investments and alternatives. As were ACS scores, NCS scores were related to perceptions of the commitment norm.



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