Handbook of Employee Commitment
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Handbook of Employee Commitment

Edited by John P. Meyer

A high level of employee commitment holds particular value for organizations owing to its impact on organizational effectiveness and employee well-being. This Handbook provides an up-to-date review of theory and research pertaining to employee commitment in the workplace, outlining its value for both employers and employees and identifying key factors in its development, maintenance or decline. Including chapters from leading theorists and researchers from around the world, this Handbook presents cumulated and cutting-edge research exploring what commitment is, the different forms it can take, and how it is distinct from related concepts such as employee engagement, work motivation, embeddedness, the psychological contract, and organizational identification.
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Chapter 11: Social commitments

Christian Vandenberghe


This chapter reviews empirical findings related to the antecedents and consequences of social commitments. These commitments refer to commitment to the people employees are in contact with while completing their tasks, that is, supervisors, teams and workgroups, and customers. The literature review however focuses on the affective component/form of social commitments because research on other components/forms (for example, continuance and normative) has been scarce. Findings generally show that social commitments are linked to specific antecedents and predict work attitudes and behavior over and beyond organizational commitment. Several studies also indicate that social commitments and organizational commitment enter in compensatory forms of interaction when predicting work outcomes. Based on accumulated evidence and theoretical arguments, the author then develops a unit-level model and an individual-level model of social commitments whose nomological networks are only partly homologous.

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