Beyond the three-component model of organizational commitment

O.N. Solinger, W. van Olffen, R.A. Roe

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Abstract

This article offers a conceptual critique of the three-component model (TCM) of organizational commitment (Allen & Meyer, 1990) and proposes a reconceptualization based on standard attitude theory. The authors use the attitude-behavior model by Eagly and Chaiken (1993) to demonstrate that the TCM combines fundamentally different attitudinal phenomena. They argue that general organizational commitment can best be understood as an attitude regarding the organization, while normative and continuance commitment are attitudes regarding specific forms of behavior (i.e., staying or leaving). The conceptual analysis shows that the TCM fails to qualify as general model of organizational commitment but instead represents a specific model for predicting turnover. The authors suggest that the use of the TCM be restricted to this purpose and that Eagly and Chaiken's model be adopted as a generic commitment model template from which a range of models for predicting specific organizational behaviors can be extracted. Finally, they discuss the definition and measurement of the organizational commitment attitude. Covering the affective, cognitive, and behavioral facets of this attitude helps to enhance construct validity and to differentiate the construct from other constructs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-83
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume93
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

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