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Edited by John P. Meyer

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Edited by John P. Meyer

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John P. Meyer

This chapter introduces the concept of commitment in general, and employee commitment more specifically, and explains why they are important. It then provides an overview of the topics covered within the Handbook of Employee Commitment, including: differing approaches to the conceptualization of commitment as a construct; theory and research pertaining to related constructs (for example, embeddedness, engagement, identification); the various foci other than the organization to which employees can commit (for example, occupation, union, supervisor, goals); the consequences of commitment (for example, turnover, performance, well-being); the drivers of commitment (for example, human resource management practices, leadership, support, justice); commitment in other cultures (China, Europe, India, Latin America, Middle East); and recent developments in methodology and analysis that can be used to advance our understanding of the nature, development and consequences of employee commitment.

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Edited by John P. Meyer

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John P. Meyer

This chapter offers an analysis of the dominant issues discussed throughout the Handbook of Employee Commitment, with an emphasis on the two most controversial issues: the conceptualization of the commitment construct (most notably, its dimensionality), and the overlap between commitment and related constructs (for example, embeddedness, engagement). In both cases, it is argued that theory and research are progressing as they should from an academic perspective, and that any resolutions to the controversies should be guided by implications for practice. In the meantime, research pertaining to employee commitment continues to generate a wealth of actionable knowledge that practitioners should find useful. The remainder of the chapter highlights some of the key issues raised throughout the Handbook with regard to the focus, consequences, and development of commitment, in general, and as they pertain to the investigation of commitment across cultures. New directions for future research are discussed and applications of new research strategies are encouraged. Readers with both academic and applied interests are directed to specific chapters in the book for new and interesting ideas for research and practice.

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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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John P. Meyer

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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.

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John P. Meyer and Brittney K. Anderson

The majority of research on workplace commitments has focused on commitment to an entity, most often the organization but also including occupation, union, supervisor, team, customer, and so on. This interest in entity commitments is due in large part to their implications for action, or behavior, but in this case the behavior is viewed as an outcome, or as a means to a more distal outcome (for example, organizational effectiveness). Here the authors treat the action itself, or at least a more proximal impetus for action (for example, goal, change initiative), as the focus of the commitment. They argue that action commitments are particularly important when it is difficult to establish long-term commitment with employees, yet organizations need assurances that employees will perform effectively and behave in a manner consistent with organizational norms, values, and policies. The authors provide a conceptual framework to guide their review of the action commitment literature, with emphasis on goal and change commitment, and for future research. Finally, they discuss some of the practical implications of what they know and what they hope to learn about the nature, development, and consequences of action commitments.

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David J. Stanley and John P. Meyer

Using the three-component model (TCM) of commitment the authors review research examining the relation between employee commitment and job performance (that is, task_citizenship behaviors). Consistent with TCM predictions, organizational commitment has implications for task and citizenship behaviors but the strength of these relations varies depending on the accompanying mindset. Relations are the strongest for affective commitment, followed by normative commitment; continuance commitment tends to be unrelated or have weak negative relations. The authors note that these findings come with the caveat that recent profile studies suggest that relations involving individual commitment components can be misleading. Specifically, normative commitment and continuance commitment relate differently to performance criteria depending on the strength of other components. Profile research is only beginning to accumulate but appears to be a critical area for future research. Finally, the authors suggest that future research should focus on the establishing causal linkages and examining the role of culture.