This paper presents a review of the term commitment. It briefly highlights the various types of organizational commitment. Organizational Commitment is an attitudinal or emotive dimension of work motivation, manifesting its form in members’ behavior. Organizational Commitment is a subset of employee commitment, which is comprised of work Commitment, Career Commitment & Organizational Commitment. There Components of organizational commitment have been identified in the literatures which are affective Continuance & normative commitment. As a combination of both attitudinal & behavioral approaches, organizational commitment is defined as employee’s acceptances, involvement & dedication towards achieving organizations goals.
Organizational Commitment is highly valuable. This paper highlights the importance of understanding the meaning organizational commitment. It is this factor which increases our job satisfaction, loyalty, growth. The author has tried to explain her view of the concept of organizational commitment and its subsets.
Organizational commitment is vital for productivity, quality & good performance of an organization. Numerous empirical evidence regarding job commitment & its relationship with job satisfaction has been offered. These findings reveal that the level of job commitment can also be influenced by various factors such as demography, pay, co–workers, work supervision, company’s background & employee’s job–satisfaction level.
In the last decade there has been a steady interest in studying organizational commitment of employees. Organizational commitment refers to “The relative strength of an individual’s identification with and involvement in a particular Organization. “(Mowday Etal 1979, P. 226.) Strongly committed employees are more likely to remain with the organization than are those with weak commitment. Commitment may even be better predictor of turn over than job satisfaction because it is influenced less by day to day happenings than is job satisfaction (Porter et al – 1974)
Employee Commitment –
The concept of employment commitment lies at the heart of any analysis of Human Resource Management. Indeed, the rationale for introducing Human resource Management policies is to increase levels of commitment so positive outcomes can ensue. Such is the importance of this construct. Yet, despite many studies on commitment, very little is understood of what managers mean by the term ‘commitment’ when they evaluate someone’s performance and motivation.
The literature defines commitment as an employee’s level of attachment to some aspect of work. Various authors have been instrumental in identifying types of employee commitment as critical constructs in understanding the attitudes and behaviors of employees in an organization. Meyer et.al. [4] Identify more than 25 employee commitment concepts and measures.
Arguing that conceptual redundancy exists across these, they group them into three foci, as in Fig. 1: commitment to work/job, commitment to career/profession and commitment to organization.

Though this study specifically addresses commitment to the organization, or organizational commitment, it also considers work and career commitment towards clarifying the conceptual meaning.
Organizational Commitment:
There are two dominant conceptualizations of organizational commitment in sociological literature. These are an employee’s loyalty towards the organization and an employee’s intention to stay with the organization. Loyalty is an affective response to, and identification with, an organization, based on a sense of duty and responsibility.
One may use Herscovitch and Meyer’s definition: ‘the degree to which an employee identifies with the goals and values of the organization and is willing to exert effort to help it succeed’. Loyalty is argued to be an important intervening variable between the structural conditions of work, and the values, and expectations, of employees, and their decision to stay, or leave.
Positive and rewarding features of work are expected to increase loyalty, which , in turn, will reduce the likelihood of leaving. Loyalty becomes stabilized with tenure, which partly explains the negative relationship typically found between tenure and turnover.
Intent to stay is portrayed as effectively neutral, and focuses on an employee’s intention to remain a member of the organization. It is much closer to economists’ ideas on how weighing the costs of leaving versus staying, decides the employee to leave or stay. Hagen defines this form of commitment as the employee’s expected likelihood of remaining employed in the same organization. As with loyalty, intent to stay stabilizes with tenure, and helps explain the negative tenure and turnover relationship. Theoretically, it is viewed as an intervening response to structural conditions of work, as well as conditions of work elsewhere, or to not working at all.
Career Commitment:
Career commitment refers to identification with, and involvement in, one’s occupation. Much literature refers to similar or related concepts: occupational commitment, professional commitment, career salience, the cosmopolitan/local distinction and professionalism. Common to all these is the critical notion of being committed to one’s career, or occupation, rather than to the organization which employs one.
Work Commitment:
Work commitment refers neither to the organization nor to one’s career, but to employment itself persons committed to work hard a strong sense of duty towards their work, and place intrinsic value on work as a central life interest. This form of commitment relates terms like work motivation, job involvement, work as a central life interest and work involvement. Although work commitment is expected to be related to organizational commitment and career commitment, literature shows it to be empirically distinct from these two forms of commitment.
Organizational Commitment:
The issue of organizational commitment within the private sector, has, generally, received significant research focus over the past 25 years. This review further describes the past development of organizational commitment, and its relevance in the future.
Development of Organizational Commitment:
Two major theoretical approaches emerge from previous research on commitment:
Firstly, commitment is viewed as an attitude of attachment to the organization, which leads to particular job–related behaviors. The committed employee, for example, is less often absent, and is less likely to leave the organization voluntarily, than are less committed employees.
Secondly, one line of research in organizations focuses on the implications of certain types of behaviors on subsequent attitudes. A typical finding is that employees who freely choose to behave in a certain way, and who find their decision difficult to change, become committed to the chosen behavior and develop attitudes consistent with their choice.
One approach emphasizes the influence of commitment attitudes on behaviors, whereas the other emphasizes. Although the ‘commitment attitude behavior’ and ‘committing behavior attitude’ approaches emerge from different theoretical orientations, and have generated separate research traditions, understanding the commitment process is facilitated by viewing these two approaches as, inherently, inter–related.
Rather than viewing the causal arrow, between attitudinal and behavioral commitment, as pointing in one direction or the other, it is more useful to consider the two as reciprocally–related over time. It is equally reasonable to assume that (a) commitment attitudes lead to committing behaviors that subsequently reinforce and strengthen attitudes; and (b) committing behaviors lead to commitment attitudes and subsequent committing behaviors.
The important issue is not whether the commitment process begins with either attitude or behavior. Rather, it is important to recognize the development of commitment may involve the subtle interplay of attitudes and behaviors over a period of time. The process through with commitment is developed may involve self–reinforcing cycles of attitudes and behaviors that evolve on the job, and over time, strengthen employee commitment to the organization.
Meyer and Allen present three approaches,define their three dimensional constructs as affective, continuance and normative commitment. These components of commitment have been identified in the literature.
1. Affective Commitment: The individuals affective or emotional attachment to the organization. (i.e. individuals stay with organization because they want to.).
2. Continuance Commitment: The perceived costs associated with leaving the organization (i.e. the individual stays with the organization because they need to)
3. Normative Commitment: An individuals felt obligation to remain with the organization (i.e., the individual stays with the organization because they feel they caught to do so).
Affective Commitment refers to the employee’s emotional attachment to, identification with, and involvement in, the organization [based on positive feelings, or emotions, toward the organization]. The antecedents for affective commitment include perceived job characteristics [task autonomy, task significance, task identity, skill variety and supervisory feedback], organizational dependability [extent to which employees feel the organization can be counted on to look after their interests], and perceived participatory management [extent to which employees fell they can influence decisions on the work environment and other issues of concern to them.

The use of these antecedents is consistent with findings by researchers, such as Steers, Mottaz and Rowden, that these factors all create rewarding situations, intrinsically conductive to the development of affective commitment. In addition, age and organizational tenure are considered to be positively associated with affective commitment. It is hypothesized that employees with low affective commitment will choose to leave and organization, while employees with a high affective commitment will stay for longer periods, as they believe in the organization and its mission.
Continuance commitment refers to commitment based on the costs that the employee associates with leaving the organization [due to the high cost of leaving]. Potential antecedents of continuance commitment include age, tenure, career satisfaction and intent to leave. Age and tenure can function as predictors of continuance commitment, primarily because of their roles as surrogate measures of investment in the organization.
Tenure can be indicative of non–transferable investments [close working relationship with co–workers, retirement investments, career investments and skills unique to the particular organization]. Age can also be negatively related to the number of available alternative job opportunities. Career satisfaction provides a more direct measure of career–related investments, which could be at risk if the individual leaves the organization. In general, whatever employees perceive as sunk cost, resulting from leaving the organization, are the antecedents of continuance commitment.
Normative commitment refers to an employee’s feeling of obligation to remain with the organization [based on the employee having internalized the values and goals of the organization]. The potential antecedents for normative commitment include co–worker commitment [including affective and normative dimensions, as well as commitment behaviors], organizational dependability and perceived participatory management are expected to instill a sense of moral obligation to reciprocate to the organization.
There is progress in our understanding of commitment and organizational commitment, both conceptually, and, more practically, in terms of the positive consequences for organizations of having committed employees. Finding the relationship between human resource management practices, employee commitment and the financial performance of firms has important implications for improved integration of research across several business school disciplines.
Evidence clarifies that investment in employees can have positive financial consequences for firms and their shareholders, and may help broaden their narrow view of the world. From the literature review on organizational commitment, the authors identify that employee perception is the foundation of employee motivation, leading to higher organization commitment, and that employee perception forms the antecedent of organizational commitment.
Positive employee perception leads to improved employee motivation, which in turn, leads to higher organizational commitment. As upbringing, race and religion are key factors influencing employee perception, a clear understanding of the meaning of organizational commitment among all persons concerned, such as researchers, respondents, practitioners and academicians is vital.
1. Armenakis, A., 1999. Ethnics program Pose Potential Threats. Internal Auditor, 56(2): 12.
2. Bard, K., 2002. Employee ownership and affective Organizational Commitment: employee perceptions of fairness and their preference for company shares over cash. Scandinavian Journal of Management.
3. Meyer, J.P. and Lynne, H., 2001. Commitment in the workplace–Toward a general model’. Human Resource Management Review.
4. Meyer, J.P. and Allen, J.N., 1997. Commitment in the workplace. Thousand Oaks, CA: sage Publications.
5. Singh, V. and Vinnicombe, S., 2000. What does ‘commitment’ really mean? Views of UK and Swedish engineering managers’. Personnel Review, Vol. 29(2)
6. Rajendra Muthuveloo and Radvan Che Rose-2005,TYPOLOGY of organizational commitment-American journal of applied science 2(6):1078-1081,2005

Author's Bio: 

I am Ms. Anviti Gupta, Done Masters in Psychology, Gold medalist for securing first position in Meerut University.Also possess two PG Diplomas in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management and also in Marketing and Sales Management.Currently Pursuing Ph.D, With 10 years of teaching experience.