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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 Benjamin Schneider

In this introductory chapter, we note that the concept of employee engagement has captured the attention of both the academic and practitioner communities over the last few decades. This is due in large measure to the ‘promise’ of improved competitive advantage for organizations and greater well-being of their employees. We begin with a discussion of the meaning of engagement and then provide a brief summary of theoretical developments and research findings to date. This sets the stage for an overview of the chapters to follow and an introduction to the future of engagement research. In these chapters, our expert authors discuss different ways that the traditional perspectives on engagement might be expanded, how the concept of engagement might be (re)conceptualized in the changing world of work, and the various research strategies available to pursue a new research agenda. This chapter, like the book, is future focused with an emphasis not only on what we know about engagement, but also on what we need to know in the changing world of work, and how we might best fill those knowledge gaps.

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Benjamin Schneider and John P. Meyer

This concluding chapter presents a discussion of the learnings we have had and the future research directions we see as important for furthering our understanding of engagement and the engagement process. We present it as if we had the pleasure and honor of serving as the discussants of a set of papers at a conference. We discuss learnings in seven overlapping categories: (1) the focus of engagement studies (on various facets of the work and non-work roles), (2) the outcomes of engagement, (3) changes in the nature of work to be studied for their effects on engagement, (4) multi-level issues, (5) the role of personality, (6) leadership effects, and (7) methodology - ranging from within-person analyses to qualitative research and to formal statistical models. We see future research needs as falling into two major buckets. First is the complex issue of changes in the nature of work and working and how to capture their effects on engagement, including the effects of changes over time. The second concerns approaches to the levels of analysis issue. Thus, engagement can be studied at the within-person level as well as an aggregate organizational level issue and all levels in between; capturing these multi-level issues is an important challenge for the future.

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Edited by John P. Meyer and Benjamin Schneider

This insightful Research Agenda presents the foundations of employee engagement, providing a framework for future research to serve as an evidence-based guide to practice. Offering an overview of contemporary engagement theory and research, it addresses important new directions for expanding our current understanding of the meaning, focus, development and outcomes of engagement.