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Aaron Cohen

This chapter reviews several aspects of organizational commitment in the Middle East. Because of the limited studies conducted on commitment in the Middle East countries, this chapter relies mostly on studies of Israeli Arabs and their commitment in comparison to that of Israeli Jews, who represent a more Westernized culture. However, other available studies, particularly from Jordan, are also discussed. The review shows that, in general, the commitment level of Arabs is higher than that of Israeli Jews. This is relevant not only to organizational commitment, but also to other commitment foci in the workplace. The chapter also examines the psychometric properties of the dimensions of organizational commitment. The review shows that Arabs experience some difficulty interpreting the statements included in the continuance commitment scale and that there is some overlap between the items of normative and affective commitment; however, among Israeli Jews, these problems were not reported. The review also indicated that organizational commitment, as well as other commitment foci, has a stronger effect on work outcomes for Arabs than for Jews. The author concludes that there is a possibility that commitment is a concept of greater importance for Arabs, whose society is more traditional, than for Israeli Jews. However, further extensive research is needed in Middle Eastern countries in order to reach more established conclusions regarding commitment in this turbulent area.