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This essay explores the concept of organisational commitment. The essay commences with
the definition of organisational commitment. This is followed by a literature review on the
elements that contribute to organisational commitment. The essay then describes an
experience working in an international hotel in Kuwait where organisational commitment was
low. Finally, the essay discusses the actions that should be taken to improve the situation. The
essay arrives at the conclusion that organisations, such as hotels, that are characterised by
high levels of staff turnover can benefit from the implementation of practices that foster
organisational commitment
Literature Review
Organisational commitment is the employee’s emotional attachment, involvement and
identification with the organisation (Kazlauskite et. al., 2006; McShane et. al., 2010). The
dominant model of organisational commitment is that proposed by Meyer and Allen
(Kazlauskite et. al., 2006; Lee, 2005). According to this model, there are three forms of
commitment: affective, normative and continuance ( Liu et. al., 2007; Robbins et. al., 2008;
van Vuuren et. al., 2008). Affective commitment concerns the emotional attachment and
level of involvement that the employee has with the organisation ( Liu et. al., 2007; Martin,
2008; Parkes et. al., 2007; Robbins et. al., 2008 ;van Vuuren et. al., 2008). Normative
commitment concerns the obligation that the employee has with the organisation (Liu et. al.,
2007; Martin, 2008; Robbins et. al., 2008; van Vuuren et. al., 2008). Continuance
commitment involves the costs that are incurred if the employee leaves the organisation. Low
levels of commitment are believed to be reflected in higher levels of staff turnover
(Kazlauskite et. al., 2006; Liu et. al., 2007; Martin, 2008). Affective commitment was found
by Martin (2008) and Kuruuzum et. al.(2009) to have the strongest impact on organisational
Key factors that influence organisational commitment are the nature of the individual staff
members, the leadership style and the level of empowerment (Kazlauskite et. al., 2006).
These factors are often embraced within the psychological contract that exists between
management and the staff (Liu et. al., 2007; Sarantinos, 2007; van Vuuren et. al., 2008). This
embodies the expectations of the rewards that will result from the successful achievement of
goals and the level of self-efficacy (van Vuuren et. al., 2008). The positive evaluation by
employees of their workplace is likely to result in an increased level of the three forms of

In the assessment of leadership styles in a Singaporean setting.. The affective commitment that I had towards the organisation was low as I felt no attachment . p. Where this interaction involves a high level of both formal and informal rewards. Leadership styles that are collaborative and consultative have a positive influence on the levels of commitment felt by staff (Bambacas and Patrickson... al. I accept change and was never happy when the hours that I had to work interfered with my social life. normative and continuance commitment.. 2008). al. al. Example Working as a contract employee in the hospitality sector carries with it low pay. 2007). Lee (2005) found that transformational leadership.. al. al. 2008. 2005). 2006)..commitment (Bambacas and Patrickson. 2008. Relationships between employees and management that have progressed past beyond being transactional in nature may be committed to the organisation due to the strong sense of emotional attachment to the leader (Lee. 2005). al. As a member of Generation X. was the only leadership style that increased affective. The empowerment of staff helps employee to feel that they are a valued part of the organisation and that management trust their judgement (McShane et. I am a very individualistic person with low levels of loyalty to my employer. If staff are to be empowered. Limsila and Ogunlana.. in contrast to transactional leadership. Research by Parkes et. van Vuuren et. 2012). 2005. 302). The strength of the relationship is not consistent across all studies (Lee. The strength of the leader-member exchange (LMX) can influence the degree of commitment of the employee (Lee. al. (2007) in the hospital setting in the United Kingdom found that employee involvement operates most effectively where there is a climate of trust within the framework of a team culture. long hours and unskilled work (Lub et. the sense of organisational commitment might be increased as a means of demonstrated reciprocation (Lee. Both respect for the efforts of staff and trust in their capability to achieve the goals by management has a positive impact on affective and normative commitment of staff (Bambacas and Patrickson. 2005). Torka et. Empowerment is ‘the authority to make decision within one’s area of operation without having to get approval from anyone else’ (Kazlauskite et. 2010).2010). I had a low level of commitment to the hotel where I worked as it was only a means to earn some additional income. 2008). al. 2008). Part of empowerment is allowing staff to participate in the decision making process which in turn improves service delivery (Parkes et. In the service industry this allows employees to solve problems and to respond to customer needs. 2006. then they must be adequately resourced (Kazlauskite et.

I would incur no costs if I left the organisation and so therefore I felt no commitment to continue with the company. al. al. al. job security. The pay level was very low. 2012). Within one week of the failure of the organisation to modify their schedule so that I could spend time with my family. Strategies such as fostering a culture that empowers employees. This lowered my commitment to the organisation. The normative commitment was zero as I felt no obligation to the company. (2012) of the differing generational attitudes towards the psychological contract in a Dutch hotel setting found that my generation values work-life balance above all else. 2006).. there are five dominant elements that are required in order that organisational loyalty is cultivated. organisational comprehension. al. I found that I had been programmed on to work at that time. 2006).. al. employee involvement and trust. al. the reality was front line management insisted that staff gain approval from management before they act in response to customer needs. A survey by Lub et. We were not allowed to have any input into the decision-making process.. They are fairness and satisfaction. When I requested that the manager allow me time when preparing the duty roster to spend with my family for an important occasion. (2010). 2009). I felt that the management did not care about my personal needs. 2009). According to McShane et. I left the organisation. Although the management of the hotel espoused that they valued initiative from employees. The effort-reward imbalance model proposes that perceived fairness and satisfaction arises where the employee perceives .to the company. A common reason for the failure of empowerment programs is the gap between what is espoused and the policy and procedure requirements (Kazlauskite et. the provision of career paths and flexibility in rewards helps to build organisational commitment through affective commitment (Kuruuzum et.. The manager spoke to us in an authoritarian manner issuing orders.. The other elements are the need for autonomy and job security (Lub et. Developing a culture that encourages employee commitment for businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector can result in sources of competitive advantage for a business (Kuruuzum et. the decentralisation of the decision making process. Recommendation The high turnover rates in the hospitality industry are considered to be a feature of the industry and therefore beyond the manager’s control (Kazlauskite et. The staff were demotivated and the turnover was high. al.

2008). al. 2008). Liu et. it is important that the practices that the hotel employs considers the Islamic perspective. 2007). In order that organisational commitment is fostered. al. 2010. al.. These .. Power and decision making is transferred from the management to the front-line (Liu et. Good performance must be rewarded (Hashim. 2006. Careful attention should be given to matching the person’s ability to the requirements of the position (Hashim. 2006. al.. This statement creates the obligations for the company in respect to their employees. The reward elements need to be transparent and contain a mix of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards that acknowledge the contribution made by employees. The message must be credible (Bambacas and Patrickson. Staff feel more attached to communication that is perceived as being positive improving their level of affective and normative commitment (Bambacas and Patrickson. p. 2007). 2007). 2011. Liu et. 2006. al. developing employee satisfaction and creating positive relational norms have a positive impact on affective commitment Farndale et. organisations need to treat their employees as ‘responsible. 2008). Given the Islamic context of the hotel. 2006. The leader-member exchange should be characterised by honesty (Hashim.. The nature of the communication between management and staff has a significant impact on the level of organisational commitment of staff (Bambacas and Patrickson. al. 2008). 2010). autonomous and proactive adults’ (Martin. 2010). Liu et. 589). Liu et. Cultivating trust. One of the strategies to improve employee commitment is to allow for more employee empowerment (Kazlauskite et. choice of language and is accompanied with the reasons why the ideas are important. All practices should be fair and just in their conduct (Hashim. A clear values statement that clarifies the underlying values that the organisation espouses would provide the framework to guide the manner in which people act and behave towards each other. An environment characterised by empowerment motivates employees (Liu et.that there is equity between the effort made and the reward received (Kinman and Jones. 2008). Where ideas are articulated clearly. with an appropriate tone. 2008.. 2008). al.. al.. 2010). Training and development should be provided to employees (Hashim. al. staff’s affective and normative commitment improves (Bambacas and Patrickson. The company needs to undergo cultural change in order to create a culture that supports the management and team behaviours that encourage organisational commitment. Martin. 2010). 2007) resulting in employees feeling energised and in control of their environment (Kazlauskite et.

Focusing on the elements that contribute to affective and normative commitment can help an organisation to develop stronger continuance commitment amongst its employees. Link intrinsic and extrinsic rewards to the performance of the employees and make  the performance-reward link transparent. Under such a climate. al. In order that organisational commitment can be better fostered in the company. Transformational leadership styles that encourage collaboration and co-operation and are cognisant of the nature of the individuals working in the organisation can help to improve the level of organisational commitment. The authoritarian approach of the manager. Ensure that there is consistency in the decisions that are made. Management need to be open and honest in their communication. 2011). Conclusion In industries with high levels of staff turnover. Trust employees to make the right decisions. Develop leaders that are transformational and who value collaboration and co-     operation. the following actions should be taken:  Change the culture of the company and construct a values statement that values  employees. events such as the failure to accommodate the needs of the employee to achieve the required work-family balance. can lead to the decision to leave the organisation. such as the tourism and hospitality industry.. the development of strategies and approaches that support organisational commitment can help to improve the performance of the organisation.practices are reflective of generic HRM practices that contribute to employee commitment (Farndale et. the failure to accommodate the needs of the employee and the lack of any empowerment of employees created a climate that was characterised by low levels of affective. Focusing on the nature of the leadermember exchange and empowering employees can help to improve the level of commitment. normative and continuance commitment. Encourage employee empowerment. .


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