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Teachers
Teachers commitment focuses: commitment
a three-dimensioned view focuses
Mehmet Karakus
Faculty of Education, Frat University, Elazig, Turkey, and 425
Battal Aslan
Faculty of Education, Inonu University, Malatya, Turkey Received 12 March 2007
Revised 3 July 2007
Accepted 21 February 2008

Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this research is to determine high school teachers organizational
commitment levels, their commitment focuses and variables to which their commitments are related.
Design/methodology/approach A survey-based descriptive scanning model was used. The
study was carried out in Elazig city on teachers working in public and private high schools. Taking in
the whole population, the questionnaire was administered to 1,017 teachers.
Findings The results show that teachers commitment focuses, their types and levels of
commitment to these focuses vary according to their personal characteristics such as gender, marital
status and tenure. Although female teachers are more affectively and normatively committed to the
teaching profession than their male counterparts, they have low levels of normative commitment to the
work group and low levels of continuance commitment (based on lack of investments) to the school in
which they work. Married teachers are less affectively and normatively committed to the teaching
profession than unmarried ones. However, married teachers continuance commitment levels to the
teaching profession and to the school in which they work are higher. As tenure increases, perceptions
of investments having been made in schools increase and therefore teachers continuance commitment
levels to the focus of the school in which they work increase. Although one-to-five year tenured
teachers have the highest levels of normative commitment to the teaching profession, they are the least
affectively and normatively committed to the focus of work group.
Research limitations/implications The focus of the study is teachers working at high schools.
Teachers working at various school levels may be committed to different focuses or to the same focus
at different levels. It may be that a larger study across school levels would have revealed differences
across them. Also, the underlying reasons why some teachers are committed to some focuses may be
probed more profoundly.
Practical implications Keeping in mind the importance of teachers commitment to various
focuses and its effects on school effectiveness, educational leaders should take necessary measures to
remedy the troubles which cause teachers lack of commitment. In this context, school leaders may
attempt to strengthen: female teachers weak normative bonds to the work group, married teachers
weak affective and normative bonds to the teaching profession, and new teachers weak affective and
normative bonds to the work group. The findings reveal the need for more supportive and integrative
managerial actions to raise teachers levels of commitment. School leaders may be more concerning
and develop special strategies contingent on their employees personal characteristics to create high
commitment workplaces.
Originality/value The relevant literature shows that the types and levels of teachers commitment
focuses are quite an under-researched area and the study has contributed to ones understanding of
these issues. Journal of Management Development
Vol. 28 No. 5, 2009
Keywords Job satisfaction, Teachers, Schools, Turkey pp. 425-438
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Paper type Research paper 0262-1711
DOI 10.1108/02621710910955967
JMD Theoretical background
28,5 There are various definitions of commitment in the related literature stemming from
various approaches to this concept. According to the affective approach; commitment
is the relative strength of a persons identification with and involvement in an
organization (Mowday et al., 1982). According to Buchanan (1974); commitment is a
partisan or affective attachment to the aims and values of an organization, to ones role
426 in relation with these aims and values and to an organization for its own sake.
According to the cost-benefit approach; commitment is a result of the perception of
benefit asociated with staying in and the perception of cost associated with leaving
from an organization (Kanter, 1968). According to the normative approach;
commitment is the aggregate internalized normative pressures to conduct in a
manner which meets organizational objectives and interests (Wiener, 1982).
Commitment is not a monolithic but rather a multi-faceted concept. There are many
focuses to which a persons commitment is directed. Commitment to coalitions and
constituencies within an organization (managers, owners, customers, rank-and-file
employees etc.) (Reichers, 1985), commitment to top managers and supervisors
(Gregersen, 1993), commitment to career (Chang, 1999), commitment to unions (Deery
et al., 1994), commitment to a programme (Neubert and Cady, 2001), commitment to an
occupation or profession (Vanderberg and Scarpello, 1994; Rowlinson, 2001; Wallace,
1993), commitment to job (Aremu and Adeyoju, 2003) and commitment to workfellows
(Yoon et al., 1994) can be deemed among these focuses.
In the perspective of Meyer and Allen (1997), there are three types of commitment;
affective, continuance and normative commitment which will be explained as follows:

Affective commitment
It refers to an employees emotional attachment to, identification with and involvement
in an organization. Such employees continue employment with an organization
because they want to do so. There are several mental processes which give raise to the
development of affective commitment, such as: retrospective rationality, classical
conditioning, causal attribution and personal fulfillment (Meyer and Allen, 1997).
According to the related literature, in these circumstances employees can develop
affective commitment: in a more decentralized organizational structure (Robbins,
1997), in an organizational structure having an open and honest communication
network (Zangaro, 2001), in an organizational culture encouraging participation
(Parnell and Crandall, 2003), when they have opportunity of participation in decision
making (Somech and Bogler, 2002), especially strategically important decisions (Lines,
2004; Celep, 2000), and when they are effected by the outcomes of these decisions
(Torka, 2004), when they have opportunity of participation in strategic planning
process (Oswald et al., 1994), when they are provided with authonomy (Firestone and
Pennell, 1993), when they have opportunity of reaching knowledge and other resources
in organization (McDermott et al., 1996), when strategic objectives (Enriquez et al.,
2001), expectations (OCreevy et al., 1997) and the vision (Oswald et al., 1994) of
organization are communicated to them, when they are treated fairly and justly (Martin
and Bennett, 1996; Naumann et al., 1998), when they have adequate payment (Abdulla
and Shaw, 1999), when there is a congruance of ethical values between employee and
organization (and/or manager or supervisor) (Schwepker, 1999; Peterson, 2003;
Janssen, 2004), when they have a supportive, facilitative and hearthy leader (Kidd and
Smewing, 2001; Hui et al., 2004) and when they find their leader (or supervisor) Teachers
trustworthy (Perry, 2004). commitment
Continuance commitment focuses
It refers to an awareness of the costs associated with leaving from and the benefits
associated with staying in an organization. Such employees link to and remain in an
organization because they need to do so (Meyer and Allen, 1997). 427
By making side bets employees think that something would be forfeited if they
discontinued membership. Side bets involve the investments of valuable things (e.g.,
time, effort, money) that an employee would lose if he/she left the organization.
Another antecedent of continuance commitment is the perceptions of employment
alternatives. Employees perceptions about the viability and availability of
employment alternatives are negatively correlated with continuance commitment. In
other words employees who think their alternatives are few develop stronger
continuance commitment (Meyer and Allen, 1997). For most employees, perceived
costs associated with leaving increase as they get older and increase their
organizational tenure because of the accumulation of their investments (retirement
money, job security, status, unused vacations etc.) (Allen and Meyer, 1993; Abdulla and
Shaw, 1999) and married employees identifying themselves with provider role (as the
primary wage earners for their families and children) percieve higher costs of leaving
(Mellor et al., 2001).

Normative commitment
It reflects a feeling of obligation to continue employment. Such employees feel that
theyre in debt and ought to remain with an organization. It develops on the basis of a
collection of pressures stem from values that individuals learn during their familial,
cultural and organizational socialization processes. Through conditioning (rewards
and punishments) and modeling (observation and imitation of others) people learn
these values (Meyer and Allen, 1997). In the view of social exchange theory,
organizations supportive practices that make employees feel valued arises feelings of
obligation and indebtedness through the reciprocity norms and as a result, normative
commitment develops (Fuller et al., 2003; Shore and Wayne, 1993; Haar and Spell, 2004;
Wheaton, 1999; Joshi and Stump, 1999).
In this study, through this three dimensioned view and in the aspects of some
demographic variables, teachers commitment focuses are examined.

Methodology
In this study survey based descriptive scanning model was used. The population of the
study consists of high school teachers who work in Elazig city center (total 1,124
teachers) in 2005 academic year. All the population was thought to be reachable,
therefore a sample was not taken and the population was directly worked on. While the
questionnaire was administered, 1,017 teachers of 1,124 (which form the population)
was reached and 983 of the questionnaires (87.4 percent of the population) was
validated and evaluated.
The questionnaire was inspired by Meyer and Allens three dimensioned
organizational commitment scale. This scale was rearranged to measure the focuses
of commitment and necessary regulations were made on the items. After the literature
JMD on organizational commitment was examined, the questionnaire draft was developed
28,5 by the investigators. The opinions of specialists and teachers were taken about the
content and the language of this draft and necessary improvements were made. The
final case of the questionnaire had 21 items. There were three dimensions and each
dimension had seven items.
After the questionnare was administered, factor analysis test of Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin
428 Measure of Sampling Adequacy (KMO) and Cronbach Alpha Coefficient was
computed. According to the results, KMO was 0,855 and Cronbach Alpha Coefficient
was 0,83 for the overall questionnaire. Reliability analysis results for each item and
generally for each dimension are showed in Table I.
The answers given to the questions were graded as never (1); rarely (2); sometimes
(3); usually (4); and always (5). Data were analyzed by using SPSS programme, their
standard deviations and arithmetic averages were computed and the techniques of
t-test (for the variables of gender and marital status) and One-Way ANOVA (for the
variable of tenure) were used in order to determine if there were any meaningful
differences according to these demographic variables. For the interpretation,
arithmetic averages were graded as; never, 1.00-1.80; rarely, 1.81-2.60; sometimes
2.61-3.40; usually 3.41-4.20; always, 4.21-5.00.

The findings and interpretations


A general view
When we look generally at the findings without taking the independent variables into
consideration, we see that: Teachers affective commitment levels to the focuses of
work group (item 4, x 2:58) and the school in which they work (item 5, x 2:61) are
low. This connotes relational problems among teachers in work group and/or school
level. This also may stem from difficulties in working conditions or their disaffection
from managerial actions or school rules. However, teachers are affectively committed
in high levels to the teaching profession and they think this profession is highly fitting
to their personalities (item 7, x 3:43).
Teachers continuance commitment to this profession is low because they rate their
incomes (item 14, x 1:75) and reputation (item 13, x 2:78) they get from this
profession as dissatisfactory. Also they think that their employment alternatives are
not so limited (item 11, x 2:97) and they have not made too investments in their
schools (item 12, x 2:69). However, they think, although it is not an easy decision to

Affective commitment Continuance commitment Normative commitment


Item no. Cr. alpha Item no. Cr. alpha Item no. Cr. alpha

1 0.73 8 0.80 15 0.77


2 0.76 9 0.79 16 0.84
3 0.79 10 0.82 17 0.71
4 0.74 11 0.72 18 0.78
Table I. 5 0.81 12 0.76 19 0.70
Reliability analysis 6 0.72 13 0.85 20 0.75
results of the 7 0.75 14 0.70 21 0.79
questionnaire General 0.78 General 0.84 General 0.81
quit this profession (item 8, x 3:67), it would not be so disruptive for their lives (item Teachers
9, x 2:93). commitment
Similarly to the affective dimension, teachers normative commitment levels to the
focuses of work group (item 19, x 2:94) and to the school in which they work (item focuses
18, x 2:94; item 20, x 2:99) are not very high. However, their normative comitment
levels to this profession are high (item 21, x 3:72).
429
Gender
According to the t-test (take in Table I) results (which has been made between males
n 682; 69.4 percent and females: n 301, 30.6 percent): Female teachers affective
commitment levels to the focuses of teaching profession (item 1, x 3:85 . x 3:52),
in relation with this profession, their retrospective rationality (item 6, x 3:57 .
x 3:06) and perceptions of person-job fit (item 7, x 3:66 . x 3:33) levels are
higher than males. So it can be said that females like teaching profession and they find
this profession more compatible to their personalities than males.
Female teachers continuance commitment levels to the teaching profession are
higher because they find it more difficult to quit this profession (item 8, x 3:88 .
x 3:59). However, female teachers continuance commitment levels to the school in
which they work are lower because they percept their investments on the school as less
than males (item 12, x 2:48 , x 2:79). Females burden of outside school
responsibilities (family, child care etc.) that prevent them to make more investments
(time or effort) in the school can explain this finding.
While female teachers are more normatively committed to the focus of teaching
profession (item 15, x 1; 86 , x 2:35 [reversed]; item 16, x 2:50 , x 3:06
[reversed]; item 21, x 3:96 . x 3:62), male teachers normative commitment levels
to the focus of work group are more than females (item 19, x 3:06 . x 2:59). This
may connote females integration problem with their work group which is dominated
by males.

Marital status
According to the t-test (see Table II) results (which has been made between married
n 781, 79.5 percent and unmarried: n 202, 20,5 percent teachers): The married
teachers affective commitment levels to the teaching profession are less than
unmarried ones (item 3, x 4:31 . x 4:07). This may stem from the weakening of
their affective bonds to this profession due to the disruptive effects of their outside
school burdens (family, child etc.). However, the married teachers perceptions of
person-job fit levels are more than the unmarried ones (item 7, x 3:48 . x 3:24).
The married teachers may have developed behavioral commitment to this profession
by the mental process of retrospective rationality.
As expected, married teachers continuance commitment levels to the teaching
profession are more than the unmarried ones. Because the married teachers
perceptions of monetary costs associated with leaving this profession are higher (item
14, x 1:81 . x 1:54) probably due to their familial responsibilities. Also the
married teachers continuance commitment levels to the school in which they work are
higher than the unmarried ones. Because they perceive higher their investments in the
school in which they work (item 12, x 2:81 . x 2:27). The investments (time or
JMD
Male Female
28,5 (n 682, 69.4%) (n 301, 30.6%)
Item x SD x SD t p DF

1 3.52 1.27 3.85 1.09 2 4.1 0.00 * 659


6 3.06 1.32 3.57 1.31 2 5.7 0.00 * 981
430 7 3.33 1.23 3.66 1.06 2 4.23 0.00 * 663
8 3.59 1.27 3.88 0.98 2 3.92 0.00 * 732
12 2.79 1.08 2.48 1.12 4.1 0.00 * 981
15 2.35 1.18 1.86 1.1 6.1 0.00 * 981
Table II. 16 3.06 1.15 2.50 1.25 6.7 0.00 * 981
Statistics: items having 19 3.09 1.15 2.59 1.08 6.38 0.00 * 981
meaningful differences 21 3.62 1.17 3.96 0.97 2 4.8 0.00 * 686
between males and
females (t-test results) Note: p , 0.01 *

effort) they have made in time or difficulties of relocation for a family may cause
married teachers to develop continuance commitment to a school.
Married teachers are less normatively committed both to the focus of teaching
profession (item 15, x 1:95 , x 2:27 [reversed] and item 21, x 3:96 . x 3:66)
and to the focus of the school in which they work (item 18, x 1:76 , x 2:14
[reversed]). Married teachers familial responsibilities normative pressures (by
affecting their normative priorities) may have weakened their normative commitment
to the aforesaid focuses.

Tenure
Teachers were divided into five tenure groups (a: 1-5 year, n 140, 14.2 percent; b: 6-10
year, n 208, 21.2 percent; c: 11-15 year, n 343, 34.9 percent; d: 16-20 year, n 130,
13.2 percent; e: 21 year and above, n 162, 16.5 percent). Acording to the One Way
ANOVA results (see Tables III and IV) there were some meaningful differences among
groups:
The 16-20 year (d) tenured teachers (item 1, x 4:12) are the most affectively
committed ones to the focus of teaching profession (a, x 3:68; b, x 3:46; c, x 3:70
and e, x 3:23). As seen, 21 and above (e) tenured teachers are the least affectively

Married Unmarried
Items (n 682, 69.4%) (n 301, 30.6%)
x SD x SD t p DF

3 4.07 0.99 4.31 1.02 2 3.031 0.00 * 981


7 3.48 1.17 3.24 1.24 2.58 0.01 * 981
Table III. 12 2.81 1.08 2.27 1.07 6.258 0.00 * 981
14 1.81 0.9 1.54 0.83 3.798 0.00 * 981
Statistics: items having
15 2.27 1.22 1.95 0.94 4.017 0.00 * 303
meaningful differences
18 2.14 0.92 1.76 0.92 5.234 0.00 * 981
between married and
21 3.66 1.06 3.96 1.33 2 2.976 0.00 * 270
unmarried teachers (t-test
results) Note: p , 0.01 *
21 year and
1-5 year (a) 6-10 year (b) 11-15 year (c) 16-20 year above (e)
(n 140) (n 208) (n 343) (d) (n 130) (n 162) Variances
Groups having differences
Items x SD x SD x SD x SD x SD F p (Scheffe test)

1 3.68 1.16 3.46 1.25 3.70 1.10 4.12 0.99 3.23 1.49 11.473 0.000 * a-e, b-d, c-d, c-e, d-e
4 2.79 1.21 2.61 1.23 2.22 1.24 2.42 0.92 2.31 1.37 7.149 0.000 * a-c, a-e, b-c
6 3.16 1.22 2.79 1.41 3.36 1.23 3.70 1.30 3.1 1.44 11.269 0.000 * a-d, b-c, b-d, d-e
7 3.39 1.09 3.09 1.25 3.47 1.15 3.93 1.06 3.45 1.26 10.457 0.000 * a-d, b-c, b-d, c-d, d-e
12 2.15 0.98 2.46 1.09 2.69 0.96 3 0.99 3.23 1.25 25.497 0.000 * a-c, a-d, a-e, b-d, b-e, c-e
14 1.43 0.81 1.63 0.69 1.69 0.76 2.35 1.06 1.85 1.03 23.381 0.000 * a-d, a-e, b-d, c-d, d-e
19 2.5 1.14 2.87 1.25 3.13 1.02 2.82 1.16 3.11 1.17 9.222 0.000 * a-c, a-e
21 4.2 1 3.77 1.23 2.64 1.07 3.72 0.85 3.41 1.24 10.271 0.000 * a-b, a-c, a-d, a-e, b-e
Note: p , 0.01 *

meaningful differences

results)
focuses
commitment
Teachers

among tenure groups


Statistics: items having
431

(one-way ANOVA
Table IV.
JMD committed ones to this focus. These teachers look as if expecting their retirement. The
28,5 findings showing 16-20 year tenured teachers have the highest level of retrospective
rationality (item 6, x 3:70) and the highest level of positive perception of person-job
fit (item 7, x 3:93) in relation with the teaching profession, look explanatory for why
they have the highest level of affective commitment to this profession.
1-5 year (a) tenured teachers (item 4, x 2:79 [reversed]) are the least affectively
432 committed ones to the focus of work group (b, x 2:61; c, x 2:22; d, x 2:42;
e, x 2:31). This connotes that these new teachers may have some problems in the
processes of vocational and organizational socialization and they have not properly
integrated with their work groups.
Supportively to the former research results (Allen and Meyer, 1993; Abdulla and
Shaw, 1999); as tenure increases, teachers perceptions of investments they have made
in their schools increase and therefore their continuance commitment levels to the focus
of the school in which they work increase (item 12: a, x 2:15; b, x 2:46; c, x 2:69;
d, x 3; e, x 3:23). Besides 16-20 year (d) tenured teachers continuance commitment
(item 14, x 2:35) to the teaching profession developed on the basis of monetary
benefits are at the highest level (a, x 1:43; b, x 1:63; c, x 1:69; e, x 1:85).
They perceive to leave this profession as too costly and they are the most concerning
group about this matter.
Similarly to the affective commitment dimension, 1-5 year (a) tenured teachers (item
19, x 2:5) are the least normatively committed ones to the focus of work group
(b, x 2:87; c, x 3:13; d, x 2:82; e, x 3:11). However, these 1-5 tenured (item 21,
x 4; 2) teachers are the most normatively committed ones to the focus of teaching
profession (b, x 3; 77; c, x 2:64; d, x 3:72; e, x 3:41). Here it can be said that
although these new teachers have not been completely socialized culturally (with group
culture and school culture) and they have not been properly integrated with their work
groups; they value the importance and meaning of the teaching profession and they
have normative bonds with this profession.

Conclusion and discussion


There are many focuses to which a teachers commitment is directed. Teaching
profession, the school in which they work and work group can be deemed among these
focuses. Each of these focuses has its own antecedents. So a teacher may be committed
to one of them while not committed to another. To strengthen teachers commitment
totally, and thus to elicit desirable work outcomes, it would be helpful to strengthen
their commitment to the various focuses. In this study these focuses have been
examined in a three dimensioned view. As a result, it was seen that teachers
commitment focuses and their kinds of commitment to one of these focuses can vary
according to their personal characteristics such as gender, marital status and tenure.
When we look at the findings in general; teachers have high levels of affective and
normative commitment to the teaching profession but they have low levels of affective
and normative commitment to the focuses of work group and the school in which they
work. Although teachers like this profession, they have some problems with their work
groups and their schools. Also, leading them to the low levels of continuance
commitment to this profession, teachers assess their incomes and reputation they get
from this profession as dissatisfactory. It reveals the fact that there is a need for
educational authorities to raise teachers incomes and to make necessary arrangements
for this profession to be more reputable and attractive. At school level, to raise Teachers
teachers commitment levels to the focuses of work group and to the school in which commitment
they work, school leaders may attempt to make more cohesive work groups and for
teachers to be more satisfied from school. focuses
While teachers are affectively and normatively committed to the teaching
profession, they have low levels of continuance commitment (due to the lack of income
and reputation) to the same focus. As seen, employees can be committed to a focus in 433
one dimension while not committed to the same focus in another dimension. If leaders
want to benefit from their employees efforts optimally, they need to detect and restore
the defects within the commitment construct and reinforce employees attachment to a
focus in all aspects.
Female teachers are more affectively and normatively committed to the teaching
profession than males. Females like this profession and find it more fitting to their
personalities. However, females have low levels of normative commitment to the work
group and low levels of continuance commitment (based on lack of investments) to the
school in which they work. These implicate some problems related to females
integration with the work group and their weak bonds to the school in which they
work. For schools to be more effective, managers may attempt to make female teachers
more integrated with the work group which seems as if a male dominated community.
Besides female teachers may be supported and aided to strengthen their bonds with the
school especially by relieving their outside school burdens (child care etc.). As Yoon
et al.s (1994) research revealed, employees levels of commitment to their work group
increase their levels of commitment to their organization. So, if female teachers
integration problems with the work group can be solved, their bonds with the school
can be strengthened more easily.
Married teachers are less affectively and normatively committed to the teaching
profession than unmarried ones. Their affective and normative bonds to this profession
may be weakened by outside school burdens and responsibilities (family, child etc.).
Married teachers continuance commitment levels to the teaching profession and to the
school in which they work are higher than unmarried ones. As it was found similarly at
Mellor et al.s (2001) research, married teachers perceive higher monetary costs
associated with leaving this profession and they perceive higher their investments in
the school in which they work. While they do not dare to leave this profession because
of their familial responsibilities, they do not want to venture their accumulated
investments in their schools. As it was indicated at Haar and Spell (2004), Shore and
Wayne (1993) and Fuller et al.s (2003) researches, for strengthening the married ones
weak affective and normative bonds to this profession, they may be treated in a
supportive manner (family supporting treatments etc.) that makes them feel valued.
As our findings and abovementioned previous researches showed, as employees
external burdens and responsibilities increase, their affective and normative bonds to
their professions (or organizations) weakens; while their perceptions of cost associated
with leaving increase, leading them to the higher levels of continuance commitment.
Continuance commitment alone does not yield beneficial results for organizations.
Their affective and normative bonds having been weakened, employees may feel
trapped by the organization and they display involuntary behaviours only stemming
from compliance and calculation. Employeess negative feelings towards a focus might
spill over to other focuses nested within organizations (Meyer and Allen, 1997). To
JMD prevent such undesirable results, it would be helpful for administrators to take care of
28,5 their employees life within and outside the organization and to take necessary
measures (in terms of supportive or relieving treatments) when a dramatic change
occurs in their life.
Corroboratively with Allen and Meyers (1993) research findings; as tenure
increases, perceptions of investments having been made in schools increase and
434 therefore teachers continuance commitment levels to the focus of the school in which
they work increase. 16-20 year tenured teachers have the highest levels of affective
comitment (based on retrospective rationality and positive perception of person-job fit)
and continuance commitment (based on monetary benefits) to the focus of teaching
profession.
Employees develop behavioural commitment to their organizations as the times go
on and they feel themselves to be bound to continue with the organization. Then they
attempt to justify their actions, retrospectively, by developing emotional attachment to
their organizations (Meyer and Allen, 1997). As our research also showed, affective
commitment develops in time based on retrospective rationality and justification
processes. Also, as age and tenure increase, employees perceptions on the cost of
leaving increase, leading them to develop continuance commitment (Abdulla and
Shaw, 1999; Allen and Meyer, 1993). If the necessary conditions (e.g., volition, quality
of job, irrevocability of the initial act) do not exist, tenured employees may not develop
affective commitment (Meyer and Allen, 1997). As we have mentioned earlier,
continuance commitment alone might cause unwanted consequences for organizations.
So, it would be helpful for administrators to be attentive to the changes that might
affect on employees psychological states (commitment is a psychological state that
develop retrospectively) and to intervene when necessary for the sake of organizational
objectives by trying to manage internal external conditions to induce affective rather
than continuance commitment.
Although 1-5 year tenured teachers have the highest levels of normative
commitment to the teaching profession, they are the least affectively and normatively
committed ones to the focus of work group. This implicates the importance of
socialization efforts for school leaders to make the new teachers more attached to the
work group affectively and normatively. Allen and Meyer (1990) found that
newcomers socialization experiences are positively related to organizational
commitment after six months they have been on their jobs. After employees adapt
themselves to their new roles and the new environment, they develop commitment to
some related focuses. But the length of this adaptation period may differ from one
organizational settting to another and may be affected from the dynamics of the work
group and administrators abilities to manage these dynamics. As Wiener (1982)
indicated, trying to make compatible employees values, beliefs and perceptions with
the ones of work group through socialization efforts is an important component of
managing organizational commitment.
Findings reveal that both new teachers and female teachers have weak bonds with
their work groups, while both groups of teachers have strong bonds with the teaching
profession. As Vanderberg and Scarpellos (1994) research showed, there is a strong
positive relationship between commitment to profession (or occupation) and
commitment to organization. But commitment to profession may not solely cause
employees to develop higher organizational commitment (Wallace, 1993). If it is
combined with work group commitment, through effective group processes and Teachers
synergy, it may produce more desirable results. If leaders want to create more cohesive commitment
work groups, comprising of members having high levels of work group commitment, it
may be helpful for them to have group leadership skills especially in terms of building focuses
bonds, teamwork and collaboration.
Previous research revealed that employees commitment levels to a specific focus
have significant influence on their attitudes and behaviours related to this specific 435
focus (Snape et al., 2006; Vanderberghe et al., 2004). The importance of a specific focus
and focus-related outcomes may differ from one organizational setting to another,
because the way organizations are structured and operate may render some focuses
more salient than others (Vanderberghe et al., 2001). The commitment focuses and the
related variables we examined in this study may differ in different levels of schools or
in other organizations. For the effectiveness of organizations; administrators should
analyze and determine the most important focuses that are worth for them to be
committed and know how employees commitment focuses are related to which
variables; they should manage it effectively for the sake of organizational objectives
and they should take it into consideration during determining their policies and
strategies. We hope this study gives an insight to understand the subject matter.

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About the authors


Mehmet Karakus works as Research Assistant at Frat University, Faculty of Education and
Department of Educational Sciences. His field of specialization is Educational Administration
and Supervision. His research interests include organizational behaviour, group dynamics and
emotions in management. Mehmet Karakus is the corresponding author and can be contacted at:
mehmetkarakus44@hotmail.com
Professor Battal Aslan works as Professor at Inonu University, Faculty of Education and
Department of Educational Sciences. He is also the head of this department. His field of
specialization is Educational Administration and Supervision. His research interests include
leadership, supervision and management of primary schools.

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