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 14: Employee turnover and absenteeism

Ian R. Gellatly and Leanne M. Hedberg


In this chapter the authors examine the implications of organizational commitment for withdrawal behaviors, in particular employee turnover and absenteeism (and presenteeism). They trace the evolution of both turnover and absenteeism theories and highlight in these models where employee commitment is likely to play a substantive role. While all three forms of organizational (affective, continuance, normative) commitment have been found to predict withdrawal cognition and turnover across studies, a slightly different story emerges when profiles of these components are considered. Recent advances within turnover theory, in particular identifying the importance of proximal withdrawal states, promise to enable further integration of turnover and commitment theories. The authors also speculate what proximal withdrawal states might mean for current views of absenteeism and presenteeism. Finally the efficacy of various firm-level ‘commitment-enhancing’ management practices, aimed at strengthening commitment and reducing employee withdrawal, are examined. Throughout the chapter the authors suggest avenues for theoretical development and empirical research.

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