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 19: Individual differences as causes of the development of commitment

Mindy E. Bergman and Vanessa A. Jean


This chapter reviews two general approaches to understanding the effects of individual differences on commitment. The trait approach argues for a direct effect of individual differences on commitment and is essentially a between-persons model. The contingency approach argues that the development of commitment from individual differences depends on the situation (that is, a person-by-situation interaction) and can be used to examine both between-persons and within-persons questions about commitment. The contingency approach is argued to be the better framework for researching the relationship between individual differences and commitment. A specific contingency model is reviewed and expanded upon. Practical implications are discussed and three lines of future research on individual differences and commitment are proposed: person-centered (that is, profile) approaches to commitment and individual differences, the effect of individual differences on the stability of commitment, and the effect of individual differences on nested or interrelated commitments.

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