Organizational Commitment: Everything you need to know

Organizational Commitment: Everything you need to know

What is Organisational Commitment?

Organisational commitment refers to the relative strength of an individuals identification with and involvement in a particular organisation (Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982, p. 27). The attachment between an employee and their organisation is influenced by so many factors that include organisational culture and climate. Therefore, companies must cultivate a conducive and valuable culture for their employees. Organisational commitment has to be looked at from a multidimensional perspective that focuses on three distinct themes: affective commitment, continuous commitment, and normative commitment. Given that organisational commitment itself is a psychological state, it has implications in the continued existence and sustenance of the individual employee-employer relationship.

Types of Organisational Commitment


According to Meyer and Allen ( 1991), organisational commitment consists of three components illustrated in the diagram below.


Affective Commitment

This type of organisational commitment is based on an individuals desire to remain in an organisation.  There are three key aspects as far as affective commitment is concerned. These include an emotional attachment to the organisation, an employees identification with, and the need to maintain and sustain belonging to an organisation at the employees own will without being forced.


Continuance Commitment

 Continuance commitment is a commitment situation originating from the needs of employees to stay in the organisation considering the costs of leaving. The employees who exhibit this form of commitment assess the merits and demerits of leaving an organisation and thus never leave the organisation based on these factors. Allen and Meyer refer to these factors as \"nontransferable\" investments, and these incorporate elements such as retirement/pension benefits, relationships with co-workers, or items unique to the organisation. Thus an employees organisational commitment is premised on the cost and benefits of leaving the organisation.


Normative Commitment



This organisational commitment is based on an individuals perceived obligation to remain within the organisation. Normative commitment is paralleled to other life commitments such as marriage, family, etc. Thus employees high in this dimension feel they have a moral obligation to stay in the organisation


Why is Organisational Commitment Important?

It predicts work variables such as :


Employee Productivity

The employees with a high level of commitment strongly believe in the organisations shared goals, vision, and mission, which motivates them and hence becomes more productive.


Job Performance

When an employee is firmly attached to an organisation, they emotionally invest themselves in an organisation, and they tend to be collaborative and demonstrate a high level of teamwork. This would, in turn, boost the teams morale and productivity.


Low Employee Turnover

Employees attached to their organisation rarely contemplate leaving their job, even if they sometimes experience inevitable periods of job dissatisfaction.

Slow rate of


Low Rate of Absenteeism

Committed employees enjoy coming to work, completing tasks, achieving goals, and they value teamwork.


What can be done to enhance organisational commitment at the workplace?

Job Design

As put forward by Torrington, Hall, Taylor, and Atkinson (2011),  job design is the process of putting together a range of tasks, duties, and responsibilities to create a composite profile of tasks for individuals to undertake in their work and to regard as their own. There are different job design strategies that can be used to increase organisational commitment among the employees, and these include among others:


Job Rotation

According to Saravani and Abbasi (2013), job rotation involves mainly rotating employees from one position to another in a lateral fashion. It is characterised by tasks requiring different skills and tasks with different responsibilities at times.


Job Enlargement

This entails broadening the scope of responsibilities and opportunities for career progression and employee development.


Job Enrichment

Marwa & Muathe  (2014), stated that job enrichment entails giving employees greater autonomy and control, thereby influencing workers affective and motivational systems by providing multiple paths to job goals.


Cultivating a Culture of Transparency and Open Communication

During employee onboarding, it should be made clear what is the organisations mission, vision, values, employee responsibilities and how the employee is supposed to fit into a particular organisations culture. There should be an open-door policy and let employees participate in the organisations strategy formulation workshops and contribute. In this way, your organisation can communicate goals clearly across the board and enlist its employees commitment.


Promote Workforce Diversity

An organisational environment characterised by employees from different backgrounds creates a strong sense of organisational commitment. According to a survey done by Mckinsey, 39% of the respondents declined job offers because they perceived the organisation to lack an inclusive work environment. As the organisation grows, the chances are it will have a certain majority and minority groups, where minorities tend to feel excluded. Without a sense of belonging, employees are less likely to be engaged and happy in their role and committed to the organisation. There are specific methods that can be used to enhance an inclusive work environment, and these include, among others:


Conduct an employee engagement survey

  • Review and align recruitment and compensation practices with best practice
  • During onboarding, make inclusion part of the induction process
  • Assess how the standard operating procedures affect the way employees execute their duties


Your Organisation Should Demonstrate your commitment to employee wellbeing

The first port of call in doing this is to conduct a survey to collect feedback directly from employees on how their wellness is being catered for and how it can be improved. Some organisations like Google Inc have staff wellness programs; Gym facilities, hair saloons and clinics at their premises.  When employees realise that you are making strenuous efforts to promote their welfare, they will be committed to their work.

Newturn Wikirefu
This article was written by Newturn a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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