Journal of Organizational Behavior
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There has been a recent increase in the application of person-centered research strategies in the investigation of workplace commitments. To date, research has focused primarily on the identification, within a population, of subgroups presenting different cross-sectional or longitudinal configurations of commitment mindsets (affective, normative, continuance) and/or targets (e.g., organization, occupation, supervisor), but other applications are possible. In an effort to promote a substantive-methodological synergy, we begin by explaining why some aspects of commitment theory are best tested using a person-centered approach. We then summarize the result of existing research and suggest applications to other research questions. Next, we turn our attention to methodological issues, including strategies for identifying the best profile structure, testing for invariance across samples, time, culture, etc., and incorporating other variables in the models to test theory regarding profile development, consequences, and change trajectories. We conclude with a discussion of the practical implications of taking a person-centered approach to the study of commitment as a complement to the more traditional variable-centered approach.