Antecedents to organizational commitment : factors external to the firm / Norman S. Wright.

Wright, Norman S.
viii, 162 p. ; 29 cm.
Local subjects:
Penn dissertations -- Managerial science and applied economics. (search)
Managerial science and applied economics -- Penn dissertations. (search)
Due to three trends in the current business environment, organizational commitment has taken on added significance. These include a growing interest in the "high performance" workplace, decreasing employment security, and a renewed interest in quality of life issues spurred by changing workforce demographics. While prior research has carefully examined the relationship between commitment and job or workplace characteristics, little attention has been paid to factors outside of the firm's boundaries. This dissertation examines several such factors to determine their impact on an employee's affective and continuance commitment.
Three separate studies are combined to test for relationship between commitment and external factors. The first study, using a national sample of workers, probes the relationship between commitment and an employee's non-work life. Study two, based on a sample of international students, explores the role of national culture in students' socialization processes--a process which leads to greater affective commitment. The final analysis considers the relationship between organizational commitment and the interaction between firm level human resource practices and the dynamism of the firm's business environment and is also examined using the previously mentioned national sample of workers.
The first study finds evidence for a weak link between organizational commitment, certain aspects of non-work life including family stage, and satisfaction with hobbies and one's city. Study two indicates strong support for the role of one cultural dimension, individualism/collectivism in an individual's value change process. Finally, evidence for the interaction of environmental dynamism and seniority based pay and promotion practices is presented in the third study.
In conclusion, these three studies indicate a small but significant tie between factors external to the firm and employee commitment. While it appears that external factors do not have the same degree of influence on organizational commitment as do internal factors such as job characteristics, it is hoped that this more inclusive examination of commitment antecedents will lead to a more complete understanding of the topic.
Thesis (Ph.D. in Management) -- Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, 1997.
Includes bibliographical references.
University Microfilms order no.: 98-14928.
University of Pennsylvania.
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