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Organizational commitment is an important concept in understanding the development of association between individuals and organizations. This is a binding factor that connects an employee to an organization. Organizational commitment reflects an employee's trust in the organization, the eagerness in achieving organizational objectives and to be part of the organization. Employees are conceding committed when they work in an organization for long duration and have aspiration to devote their efforts in that organization.
Commitment is more comprehensive; it shows a general response to the entire organization which takes account of the ethics and the objectives of the organization. Organizational commitment is an indication of employee's connection with the organization. (Lincoln and Kleberg, 1990; Meyer and Allen, 1997; Porter et al., 1974). Organizational commitment is defined in another way by Arnold (2005) as the relative strength of employee's recognition and attachment with an organization.
Organizational commitment is a broader concept and includes dimensions of attitude, behavior, emotions, norms and persistence. It shows the interest, affection and attachment that an employee has with the employer. Organizational commitment is a fundamental constituent of any effective organization and is equally significant in attaining human resource potential. It refers to the participation in pursuing managerial interests and aim of staying with the organization based on a sense of duty and dependability (Mueller et al., 1992).
Importance of Organizational Commitment:
Organizational commitment is an important way of providing various benefits to the organization. If the organization has organizational commitment from its employees, this will decrease the company turnover rate and the intentions to leave. It will also reduce the unnecessary absence from the job and the intention to look for another organization to serve. Having the Organizational commitment in the organizations, not only benefit them; but also their employees in many aspects. It has positive impacts on the employee's job performance and job satisfaction. Due to its two fold benefits, it has become an inevitable practice in the organizations.
In organizations, high level of employee commitment is considered as a major cause for improved organizational performance; which would ultimately lead the organization towards success. Organizational commitment is associated with contentment with apparent change. The responsibility and authority is not central and is shared both by the organization and the employees to boast the morale of the employees. The employees are given chance to be part of the organization and the sense of affiliation results in better work performance.
The organizational commitment is considered as an emotional state of mind that binds employees with their organization. It induces a sense of loyalty among the individuals and drives them to work for the well being of the organization. Organizational commitment leads the individuals to work in a way to align their goals with the organization's goals; which is in favor of both the organization and the employees.
Organizational commitment is an extremely valuable asset for any organization. The HR policies play an important role in inducing the commitment and loyalty in the employees towards their organization. This attitude of employees has direct impact on the success of the organization. The employees develop a sense of belonging with the organization and exert their full efforts to achieve the organization goals. Such employee behavior results in better performance towards the completion of tasks, improved attendance and enthusiastic participation in the job.
There are different levels of committed: high, medium and low. The highly committed employees are motivated, willing to stay longer with the organization and work for the benefit of the organization. The employees who have low level of committed, they don't feel affiliated with the organization and have no interest in the values and goals of organization. They don't put efforts towards the well being of the organization and when given chance, can leave the organization easily. To increase the commitment level of the employees, the company needs to have such human resource policies through which employees are guaranteed of the job security, career opportunities and positive management style.
Meyer and Allen (1991) and many other researchers have found three components of employee commitment: affective commitment, continuous commitment and normative commitment.
Affective commitment refers to the emotional attachment of employee with the organization (Allen & Meyer, 1990). This shows employee's positive link with the organization. Affectively committed employees stay at the organization with the reason that they actually want to. Such employees make out a similarity between their goals and the company objectives and then put in efforts to achieve the common goals. Such attitude is totally positive towards the well being of the organization. The attachment and the committed become even stronger if the employee's expectation from the organization is fulfilled during their stay in the organization.
Affectively committed employees create a bond with their organization and like to remain part of it. The organizations devise such management strategies and goals that attract the employees and eventually make them to support the organization. According to Meyer and Allen (1997) model, the affective commitment gets influenced by certain important job characteristics i.e. achievements in the job, no ambiguity in role description, authority given, management support, involvement in decisions, importance given to individual, feedback mechanism and reliability.
Wiener and Vardi (1980) define the normative commitment as the work behavior of employees, outlined by a sense of responsibility, obligation and faithfulness towards the organization. The employees feel committed to repay the organization as a return for the investment done in the employees. The organization can invest in the employees by training them and offering them with various career growth opportunities. These investments then create a sense of commitment in the employees in the form of being morally bound to come up to the expectation of the organization. In turn, the re-payment, of the opportunities given to the employee, can be done in the form of their stay with the organization.
The normative commitment is positively related with the objectives of the organization. The employees with normative commitment have this feeling that they should remain a member of the organization. The company can get the best from the normatively committed employees by having an inclusive grievance handling mechanism, and investing in employee's growth by promotions and job security. Such progressive actions help employees, with normative commitment, create a strong feeling that their expectations are matched by organization and they feel indebted to return it to the organization in the form of being committed with it.
Continuance Commitment is the perception of an employee that if he leaves the organization then he has to bear the cost. The employees consider the availability of alternate option. Continuance commitment means the costs associated with departing the organization (Allen & Meyer, 1990). This type of commitment is also called "Structural Commitment". The cost associated with leaving the organization can be economic or social. According to Meyer, Allen, & Smith in 1993, an employee has continuance commitment with the organization because he needs to remain affiliated with particular organization due to his own cost related benefits. Because of the involvement of the cost aspect, continuance commitment is qualified as cost based commitment. (Meyer and Allen (1991)
Importance & impact:
There is profit associated being part of the organization and there are many obstacles and cost involved in leaving that organization. This persuades the employee to stay at the organization. The continuance commitment has impacts on the work behavior. Such employees have this feeling that they are trapped and they have no other option but to stay with the organization. In this situation, they show their frustration and anger towards work. But apart from all such behaviors, they have to put in some effort to be a member of the organization as the failure may result in loss of job.
For the employees who are continuance committed, they have a tendency to leave considering their benefits and can stay considering the same benefits available with the current employer. Based on this, the organization can adopt certain ways to retain such employees. They can give more attention and acknowledgment to their work in order to boost their morale and keep them part of the organization.