Academic journal article North American Journal of Psychology

Reexamination of Factor Structure and Psychometric Properties of the Three-Component Model of Organizational Commitment

Academic journal article North American Journal of Psychology

Reexamination of Factor Structure and Psychometric Properties of the Three-Component Model of Organizational Commitment

Article excerpt

The Three-Component Model (TCM) proposed that employees remained with an organization because of their (1) desire to remain (affective commitment), (2) recognition that the perceived costs associated with leaving would be high (continuance commitment), and/or (3) feelings of obligation to remain (normative commitment). Although an employee could experience all three components to varying degrees, each component was considered to develop independently and to exert different effects on work behavior (Allen & Meyer, 1993).

Jackson (1970) outlined the scale construction principles for the development of the Affective, Continuance and Normative Commitment Scales (ACS, CCS and NCS, respectively) on which the TCM was based. ACS and CCS were first used in published research by Meyer and Allen (1984) and NCS, by Allen and Meyer (1990a). Since then, Allen and Meyer as well as others, (e.g., Allen & Meyer, 1996; Battistelli, Mariani, & Bello, 2006; Carson & Carson, 2002; Johnson & Chang, 2006; Ozag, 2006; Reid, Riemenschneider, Allen, & Armstrong, 2008; Stephens, Dawley, & Stephens, 2004; Tsai, Wu, Yen, Ho, & Huang, 2005) have administered the measures in several studies. These studies have resulted in the accumulation of a considerable amount of evidence regarding the psychometric properties of TCM and the relations to various organizational and personal variables.

Several studies have suggested that affective commitment declines in the first year of employment (Meyer & Allen, 1987, 1988; Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982). Allen and Meyer (1993) speculated that newcomers enter organizations with unrealistic expectations. As they learn about their work, roles and tasks, many experience a reality shock resulting in affective commitment changes. According to the literature, many leave the organization during this early period. Mowday and colleagues (1982) argued that affective commitment developed during this early period set precedence for future work experiences. Affective commitment correlated positively with age and tenure in several studies (Allen & Meyer, 1993; Angle & Lawson, 1993; Meyer, Stanley, Herscovitch, & Topolnytsky, 2002; Morrow & McElroy, 1987; Raelin, 1985).

Literature suggests three reasonable explanations for the correlations between age and commitment. (1) Aging predisposes older employees to be more committed to organizations--a maturity explanation; (2) older employees perceive that they have organizational experiences that are more positive than younger employees--a better experience explanation; or (3) there are generational differences in organizational commitment a cohort explanation (Allen & Meyer, 1993; Morrow & McElroy, 1987; Raelin, 1985).

The relationship between organizational tenure and commitment has been shown to be positive (Allen & Meyer, 1993). It has been reasoned that more experienced employees have the more attractive positions in organizations. Over time less committed employees tended to leave the organizations.

Allen and Meyer (1996; Meyer & Allen, 1997) reported patterns of correlations between measures of the variables included in the TCM model. Specifically, the patterns of correlations of the TCM (1) exhibited strong relations between the Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982; Mowday, Steers, & Porter, 1979) and the ACS that were consistent with expectation and provided evidence for convergent validity; (2) the ACS correlated with measures reflecting affective reactions to other foci (e.g., job satisfaction, job involvement and career commitment); (3) the CCS and NCS were weakly correlated, as expected, with other attitude measures (e.g. age, job performance and job satisfaction) according to previous literature (Allen & Meyer, 1990a, 1990b, 1993, 1996, 2000; Meyer & Allen, 1988, 1991, 1997; Meyer, Bobocel, & Allen, 1991; Meyer & Herscovitch, 2001; Meyer, Paunonen, Gellatly, Goffin, & Jackson, 1989); and (4) the ACS was positively correlated with positive affect and negatively correlated with negative affect, as expected, after examination of commitment and dispositional affect. …

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