Industrial and organizational (I-O) psychologists are interested in understanding employees’ psychological reactions to their workplaces. Not surprisingly, much of this interest focuses on employees’ commitment to the organizations for which they work. Among the several work attitude variables studied by I-O psychologists, only job satisfaction has received more attention than organizational commitment (OC).

Conceptualizing Organizational Commitment

Early definitions of OC varied considerably. Nonetheless, most scholars view OC as a psychological state characterizing an employee’s relationship with an organization. This relationship influences the employee’s intention to maintain a particular course of action, in this case, staying with the organization.

Beyond this, however, early OC researchers had varied views about the nature of OC and how it should be measured. For some early researchers, OC was an emotional attachment to ...

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