Organizational Behavior: The State of the Science

By Jerald Greenberg | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
ORGANIZATIONAL ATTACHMENT: ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS

Thomas W. Lee Terence R. Mitchell University of Washington

Similar to the employee who pauses to evaluate one's job with respect to progress toward personal and occupational goals, this chapter pauses, metaphorically, to assess the research on employee attachment to the organization. Rather than being evaluated by personal standards, the research on organizational attachment is evaluated against the scientific criteria of theoretical grounding, empirical inquiry, and paradigmatic improvement. Judgments on the quality, meaning, and promise for new research directions will be liberally offered. As such, our attention focuses primarily on academically oriented research and theory, and only secondarily on intervention based or practitioner focused approaches. Although organizational attachment is the general domain, the research and theory connecting job attitudes to withdrawal behaviors constitute the chapter's more specific focus. Though other work attitudes and behaviors will be considered, our immediate attention centers on job satisfaction, organizational commitment, turnover, and absenteeism. Moreover, the chapter does not focus on the research directed toward these variables in isolation. We are mainly concerned with the research that links the attitudes of job satisfaction and organizational commitment with the withdrawal behaviors of turnover and absenteeism. Following, five major sections are presented toward this end. First, the focal work attitudes of job satisfaction and organizational commitment and the primary withdrawal behaviors of turnover and absenteeism are defined. Second, the extensive literature on organizational attachment is summarized through four themes drawn from this research. Third, we express our opinions about these themes. Fourth, several current research topics that are not commonly associated with employee withdrawal are shown

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