Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

Development of Occupational Commitment Scale for Government Employee in China

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

Development of Occupational Commitment Scale for Government Employee in China

Article excerpt


The author is to develop an occupational commitment scale for Chinese government employee. Objects selected in this study were from different government employment levels in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. With consideration of occupational commitment structure, as well as literature study, open interviews and existing classical scales, the occupational commitment scale for government employee in this research was conducted. The scale was composed by five commitments, namely Affective Commitment, Opportunity & Cost Commitment, Social Identity Commitment, Norm & Loyalty Commitment, and Economy & Promotion Commitment, with data analyzed by SPSS and LISERAL. The results of the five dimensions in the Occupational Commitment Scale for Government Employee in China showed good reliability and validity. The results show: Occupational Commitment Scale for Government Employee in China appeared applicable for research on occupational commitment of Chinese government employee.

Key words: Government employee; Occupational Commitment; Scale


Being as a "secured job", Government employee in China is currently a heating career option with increasing number of candidates every year trying to pass the "top one test"-civil service exam. Some of the vacancies attract over ten thousand candidates to compete. On the contrary, the social comments towards Chinese government employee are comparatively low, as they are not acting responsibly as been expected as public servant, that they are with passive work attitude, low work efficiency, even serious professional ethics problems (corruption, malfeasance, omissions, and etc.). In response towards this situation, the author considers it is essential to develop a Government Employee Occupational Commitment Scale, not only for quantitative study in terms of government employee commitment, but also to build and promote professional ethics, which is with notable practical significance as well. Apart from the current theoretical examination, the commitment scale offers occupational commitment level being as another screening criterion, which can be applied among government employees regularly to let related departments be aware of their occupational psychological state.

(a) Situation of Occupational Commitment at Present

Occupational commitment divides to research on definition, and research on measurement. Western countries started research on definition of occupational commitment in 1980's, in terms of defining Attitude and Behavior. Attitude weights occupational emotion in occupational commitment, while Behavior emphasizes cost and return of occupational commitment. Starting late than the West, China began the research of occupational commitment in the early 21st century, and most of occupational commitment definitions defined by Chinese scholars are based on theories from western researchers. With consideration of characteristics of government employee in China, the occupational commitment in the following research is understood as the level of unwillingness of career withdrawal due to personal considerations in terms of career identity or emotional attachment provided by the employment, cost and alternative to resign, internalized social norms and direct occupational benefits (income and promotion) and indirect occupational benefits (social identity and network) brought with the employment.

There are mature theories from the West regarding research of occupational commitment measurement, summarizing different professional natures, mission requirements, and general characters of the job responsibilities. Among the existed theories, unidimensional measurement is represented by Blau, who considered solely emotional dimension in occupational commitment and based which he developed occupational commitment 8-item scale (Blau, 1985); Representing motive measurement, Hall (Noe wet al., 1990) and London (London, 1993) defined Occupational Commitment as the motive strength of pursuing occupational achievement, based on which they respectively developed 26-iterm and 17item occupational motive scale; Three-dimensional measurement is represented by Meyer and Allen who added Continuance Commitment and Normative Commitment on the basis of Affective Commitment, and Meyer developed 18-item scale (Meyer& Allen, 1993) in 1993 based on these three dimensions; Four-dimensional measurement was developed by Meyer on the basis of three-dimensional measurement, in which Continuance Commitment was divided into Cost Commitment and Alternative Commitment (Meyer & Herscovitch, 2001). …

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