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John P. Meyer and Jose A. Espinoza

Theory and research pertaining to occupational/professional commitment has a relatively long history, but it has received considerably less attention than organizational commitment has. As long-term commitment to organizations becomes less viable in increasingly turbulent times, and as temporary contracts and similar arrangements become more prevalent, the occupation is well positioned to become a dominant target of commitment with implications for the well-being of the occupation itself, its members, and the organizations that employ them. We provide a brief history of theory and research pertaining to occupational commitment before turning to discussion of its relation with organizational commitment, its implications for occupation-, organization- and employee-relevant outcomes, and the personal, organizational and occupational factors involved in its development. Finally, we discuss the practical implications of what we currently know about the nature, development, and consequences of occupational commitment, and provide a theoretical framework to guide future research.