Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

The Relationship between the Three Components Model of Commitment, Workplace Stress and Career Path Application to Employees in Medium Size Organizations in Lebanon

Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

The Relationship between the Three Components Model of Commitment, Workplace Stress and Career Path Application to Employees in Medium Size Organizations in Lebanon

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Work; previously defined as a series of duties to be fulfilled, is now regarded as an intense source of stress and a trigger for high physical and emotional pressure (Cohen, 2002).

The American Medical Association claims that ninety five million Americans take anti-stress medications. Businesses also suffer from increased stress in the workplace by loosing around two hundred billion dollars per year to stress caused productivity decline (Ornelas & Kleiner, 2003).

Between these two extremes, the question remains as to where does employee commitment resides? And within these circumstances, is it still possible to sustain a selected career path?

Some people might question whether the whole issue of commitment is still relevant in this ever changing environment. Definitely, there is enough evidence to prove that the relationships between the employees and the organizations are changing. However, this fact doesn't challenge the importance of understanding how commitment is developed, and how it influences the type of the bond between the employees and the organizations. By understanding these complex relations, organizations are in a better position to predict the consequences of change and to be better prepared to manage them effectively (Meyer & Allen, 1997).

One of the major consequences of change is stress. Workplace stress is a well-known fact that is expressed differently with different employees in different work settings (Michael et al., 2009). Findings about the levels of work related stress and organizational commitment have been diverse and doubtful.

ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT

Sheldon (1971, p.143) using the psychological approach defines organizational commitment as "... an attitude or an orientation toward the organization which links or attaches the identity of the person to the organization". Kanter (1968) and Buchanan (1974), both advocates of the psychological approach as well, believe that the emotional attachment of an employee to his organization has a positive relationship with organizational commitment.

The interest to study organizational commitment increased in the last decade because it is believed that it has a strong association with job performance (Angle & Perry, 1981), innovativeness (Katz & Kahn, 1978), absenteeism and turnover (Larson & Fukami, 1984), organizational productivity and effectiveness (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990). It is important to differentiate between the different scopes of employee commitment, for it helps in shedding light on work related depended variables such as, motivation to perform a good job, determination to stay within the organization, turnover rate, and absenteeism (Lee et al., 2000). Thus, organizational commitment has been viewed as a result (antecedent) and at the same time as a cause (outcome) of many organization related issues.

Despite the various approaches and conceptualization of commitment, John Meyer and Natalie Allen remain the pioneers in this field. They started their research in the early 1980's. Meyer and Allen believed that commitment is a "psychological state" that: "Characterizes the employee's relationship with the organization and has implications for the decision to continue membership in the organization." In order to be able to differentiate between the various psychological states, Meyer and Allen developed "The three components model of commitment: affective, continuance, and normative".

Affective Commitment

Affective commitment can be described as the emotional attachment an employee has for the organization he is working for. It is the degree to which an employee is identified and involved with the organization. It is related to employee's feeling of belonging, connection, and devotion (Mueller et al., 1992). Affectively committed employees tend to remain within the organizations (Meyer et al., 1990). This type of commitment builds up from positive experiences in the organization, out of which the employees perceive themselves as being supported and treated fairly by the organization. …

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