What is job commitment?
Job commitment is defined as an employee's personal and psychological attachment to a job, organization or business. Job commitment, which is sometimes referred to as organizational commitment, is the measure of how committed an employee is to providing service in the workplace and to their business, organization or company. When an individual is psychologically attached to a company, it means they feel a level of obligation to that company. The measure of job commitment is typically used to improve how positively workers feel about their positions in order to increase their commitment to a company, business or organization. The amount of job commitment felt by an individual or by employees throughout a company can affect job performance, work productivity, as well as other factors such as employee turnover and productive or counterproductive work behavior. In general, businesses want to inspire job commitment in employees in order to keep them in the organization and to inspire a better job performance from employees in the company.
Job commitment can be measured in several ways. One way of measuring job commitment is through a three model or threefold way. The three models of job commitment, developed by Meyer and Allen in 1991, are: affective commitment, continuance commitment, and normative commitment
Affective commitment refers to how much an employee is emotionally or psychologically attached to a business or organization in a positive manner. An employee who feels an emotional or psychological attachment--also known as desire--is defined as working at an organization because they want to work there and because they enjoy working there. Affective commitment is influenced by factors such as personality, organizational goals, as well as the overall work environment associated with a position. The factors which influence affective commitment are not always clearly defined and some researchers find it difficult to pinpoint or define exactly what can cause or influence the development of affective commitment. Some researchers believe that affective commitment is entirely subjective—that is, that two employees who share identical characteristics and identical job experiences can have two different levels of affective commitment towards a company, because the amount of affective commitment felt varies individual to individual. Affective commitment is considered to be a desirable level of commitment because employees who are emotionally attached to a company are more likely to stay with a company even with the company is experiencing difficulty or other factors which could negatively affect the workplace. One example of a company that wants to inspire affective commitment is the Disney company, which often relies on individuals’ who feel affective commitment for their company to take positions in their theme parks that offer relatively low pay for relatively higher amounts of work.
Continuance commitment refers to how much an individual "needs" to work at a company or organization. An employee who feels a high level of continuance commitment feels that the need to continue their employment due to a necessity or necessities. An employee who feels a high level of continuance commitment will often feel that they need to continue employment due to the costs or perceived costs which discontinue employment may bring. This can include economic costs, such as the loss of a steady income or the loss of a position which offers a pension, as well as social costs, such as the loss of a position that allows social free time or the loss of friendship with workplace peers. The measure of continuance commitment is usually done through the measure of ‘side bets,’ which are the done by weighing the costs and benefits of leaving or staying in an organization. An employee who feels that they have more side bets in an organization is more likely to feel that they need to continue working for an organization out of necessity. Generally, employees with more tenure and more experience are more likely to feel that they have more of a necessity to continue employment. This is usually due to the fact that employers often bestow more benefits on employees who have a longer record with the company. For example, benefits such as pensions, medical insurance or promotions are often considered reasons for a higher amount of continuance commitment.
Normative commitment refers to how much an individual feels obligated to work at an organization or company. An employee who feels a higher level of normative commitment will feel that they are obligated to continue working for an organization due to a variety of factors. A common factor which causes normative commitment occurs when an organization invests time and resources into training an individual. The individual will usually feel a higher level of normative commitment due to the fact that the company has spent time and money to train them to work for the company. Other factors which can cause normative commitment are employment which is gained through the help of a family member, friend or acquaintance. For example, an individual who receives employment at a company after their neighbor, who also works for the company, puts in a positive word with management will likely feel a higher level of normative commitment because of the neighbor's actions.
These three models of job commitment are often measured together in order to get a general idea of how committed an employee is to an organization and how businesses can promote each type of commitment to increase the chances of better work productivity and a lower employee turnover rate. Commitment can also be measured when organizations are attempting to assess the risk for turnover or forms of employee withdrawal. For example: An employee who feels a low amount of affective and continuance commitment is more likely to exhibit withdrawal than an employee with a high level of each commitment. The amount of each commitment that an individual feels can contribute to how well they perform at work, their job performance, and the likelihood that they will exhibit certain counterproductive work behavior such as lateness and absence.