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Reexamination of Factor Structure and
Psychometric Properties of the Three-
Component Model of Organizational
Commitment
Lihua Xu and Larry Shawn Bassham
Oklahoma State University

The construct validity of Allen and Meyers (1990a) Three-Component


Model (TCM) of organization commitment was reassessed with a new
population of 279 presidential assistants in U.S. higher education. The
study showed that the three components of commitment (affective,
continuance, and normative) were generally supported by a confirmatory
factor analysis (CFA). However, based on psychometric analysis and
CFA results, two items were suggested to be removed. Further, the study
indicated that some of the Normative Commitment Scale items need to be
rewritten to be more representative of the construct. In addition, the
Continuance Commitment Scale was not shown to include two separate
subscales.

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.
Author info: Correspondence should be sent to: Dr. Larry S. Bassham, P.O. Box
1705 Cushing, OK 74023
North American Journal of Psychology, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 2, 297-312.
NAJP
298 NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY

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.
Xu & Bassham REEXAMINATION OF TCM MODEL 299

Need for Reexamination of the Structure of TCM


The factor structure of the three-component measure of
organizational commitment is not consistent in factor analytical studies
(e.g., Allen & Meyer, 1990a; Blau, Paul, & St. John, 1993; Carson &
Carson, 2002; Hackett, Bycio, & Hausdorf, 1994; McGee & Ford, 1987;
Reilly & Orsak, 1991). The findings from those studies indicated an
unclear determination as to whether or not one of the measures, CCS,
represents a unidimensional construct. McGee and Ford (1987), the first
to examine the measure, asked whether CCS measures a unitary
commitment construct or two separable commitment constructs, one
from the employees recognition that alternatives are few and the other
from a recognition that the employees investments are too great to
sacrifice. They found that the two subscales of CCS correlated in
different directions to the ACS and suggested that CCS might consist of
two different constructs. However, Hackett et al. (1994) found that the
two constructs of CCS were highly related and correlated similarly with
other constructs. Due to the controversial findings, Meyers and Allen
(1997) suggested that the factor structure of TCM should be evaluated in
further studies.
Lack of ACS and NCS discriminablity is another contested issue
about Meyer and Allens three-component commitment model
(Bergman, 2006). According to Meyer and Allen (1997), the two
constructs correlated stronger than expected (p. 122). Also, in a meta-
analysis, Meyer, Stanley, Herscovitch, and Topolnytsky (2002) reported
that the corrected correlation between affective and normative
commitment was substantial ( = .63), suggesting considerable overlap in
the two constructs. In the analysis for the original version (Allen &
Meyer, 1990a) of the commitment scales, a considerably larger
correlation was found for the revised version measure (Meyer & Allen,
1997) ( = .77) than for the original version measure ( = .54).
Due to the lack of consistency of the factor structure of the TCM in
the literature, more studies are necessary to examine the underlying
structure of the commitment model. This is important for organizational
commitment researchers and practitioners in understanding commitment
theories in a network of work-related constructs and comprehending the
individuals commitment levels in groups and organizations.
The purpose of this study was to further investigate the factor
structure of Allen and Meyers (1990) scales using a new population,
presidential assistants in higher education in the United States.
Psychometric properties of the measurement were examined.
Furthermore, the three- and four- component models were compared in
terms of Confirmatory Factor Analysis fit indices. In addition,
300 NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY

discriminant validity between affective commitment and normative


commitment was evaluated.

METHOD
Participants
The target population for this study was all the presidential assistants
from four year degree-granting higher education institutions in the United
States, both public and nonprofit private, classified in the 2006 Carnegie
Classifications of Institutions in Higher Education (The Carnegie
Foundation, 2006). Presidential assistants are an understudied population
chosen for this study because they hold significant power in colleges and
universities (Fisher, 1985; Lingenfelter, 2004). These employees are the
gatekeepers to the president (Miles, 2000; NAPAHE, 2004).
After extensive research to compile a population of presidential
assistants, a total of 1,334 potential college and university presidential
assistants were identified. Two hundred seventy-nine responses were
usable for this research, resulting in a response rate of 20.91%.
Data from the survey provided insight into the composition of
presidential assistants in higher education. A greater number of females
(79.9%, n = 223) participated than did males (19.7%, n = 55). The
average age of presidential assistants was 4150 years. The two most
populous groups identified were 51 to 60 years of age (44.0%, n = 123)
and 41 to 50 (28.3%, n = 79). In addition, presidential assistants were
predominantly white (84.6%, n = 236) with African Americans (8.6%, n
= 24) and Hispanics (3.6%, n = 10) as primary minorities.

Material
The TCM survey administered in this study was comprised of the
Affective (ACS), Continuance (CCS), and Normative Commitment (NCS)
Scales. Each scale had eight items, for a total of 24 items. All items had a
six-point Likert scale response format (e.g., 1 = strongly disagree to 6 =
strongly agree). Nine items were reverse recoded by the survey authors.
Internal consistency estimates (alpha coefficients) obtained in studies
that have employed these scales range from 0.74 to 0.89 for the ACS,
0.69 to 0.84 for the CCS, and 0.69 to 0.79 for the NCS (Allen & Meyer,
1990a, 1993; Meyer & Allen, 1984; Meyer, et al., 1989).
Participants were asked questions that reflected the individuals as
professionals in the presidential assistant position. The questionnaire also
included gender, race and ethnicity, degrees earned, salary, employment
status, position title, and region of the country employed.
Xu & Bassham REEXAMINATION OF TCM MODEL 301

Procedures
An initial email invitation and follow-up emails that encouraged
presidential assistants to participate in the online survey hosted by a mid-
western state university were sent to the compiled list of presidential
assistants. Participation was voluntary with no compensation.
Participants were directed to an index page, which gives an
introduction and informs them of the voluntary nature of the survey.
There were no risks associated with this survey. The program used to
build the survey was unable to trace respondents or associate information
with them. Participants that agreed to take the survey consciously
decided to do so by choosing a hyperlink to the survey instrument from
this index page. Completion of the survey of 49 questions took
approximately 10-15 minutes.
The online survey was posted for a maximum of five weeks. A final
notice, announcing the deadline of the online survey, was sent by email
to the presidential assistants prior to the closure of the online survey.

Data Analysis
The psychometric characteristics of the scale were evaluated using
reliability analysis. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was conducted
with LISREL-SIMPLIS 8.8 (Jreskog & Dag, 2006) software program,
using maximum likelihood estimation of the sample covariance matrix.
Model fit was evaluated using the minimum fit function 2. As
2
values are potentially inflated by large sample sizes, fit was also
examined using four practical fit indices. They were the root mean square
error of approximation (RMSEA), the comparative fit index (CFI), and
the standardized root mean square residual (SRMR). The ideal cut-off
point used for RMSEA was .08 (Browne & Cudeck, 1993), SRMR was
.08 (Hu & Bentler, 1995), and CFI was .95 (Hu & Bentler, 1995). When
all three criteria are met, the model is regarded as a good fit to the data.
However, a less strict standard is used in this study to judge model fit:
the cut-off point for RMSEA is .08 (Browne & Cudeck, 1993), SRMR,
.08 (Hu & Bentler, 1995), and CFI is .90.

RESULTS
Descriptive Statistics
Table 1 shows the means, standard deviations, skewness, and kurtosis
values for each item. According to Curran, West, and Finch (1996), for
univariate normality, skewness and kurtosis values of 0 to 2, and 0 to 7,
respectively, can be taken as demonstrating sufficient normality. On the
basis of the values shown in Table 1, the data appear to show sufficient
normality. In addition, Table 1 presents the correlation matrix of 24
items.
302 NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY

TABLE 1a Descriptive Statistics and Correlation Matrix for Presidential


Assistants Sample
ACS 1 ACS 2 ACS 3 ACS 4 ACS 5 ACS 6 ACS 7 ACS 8
ACS 1 1.000

ACS 2 0.366 1.000

ACS 3 0.375 0.243 1.000

ACS 4 0.327 0.171 0.305 1.000

ACS 5 0.439 0.297 0.340 0.225 1.000

ACS 6 0.489 0.291 0.421 0.327 0.546 1.000

ACS 7 0.444 0.677 0.319 0.321 0.472 0.540 1.000

ACS 8 0.552 0.409 0.416 0.298 0.730 0.646 0.575 1.000

CCS 1 -0.084 0.046 -0.050 -0.043 -0.024 -0.030 0.035 -0.035

CCS 2 0.020 -0.025 0.183 0.061 0.027 0.072 0.039 -0.084

CCS 3 0.332 0.085 0.358 0.364 0.235 0.281 0.278 0.221

CCS 4 0.038 0.045 0.005 0.170 -0.015 0.034 -0.015 -0.021

CCS 5 -0.032 -0.053 -0.049 0.024 -0.106 -0.148 -0.033 -0.211

CCS 6 -0.029 -0.158 -0.042 0.062 -0.080 0.000 -0.112 -0.198

CCS 7 -0.071 -0.138 -0.052 -0.040 -0.130 -0.088 -0.118 -0.222

CCS 8 0.036 0.038 0.145 0.009 0.070 -0.005 0.113 -0.041

NCS 1 0.126 0.090 0.241 0.140 0.171 0.119 0.145 0.143

NCS 2 0.132 0.103 0.168 0.063 0.125 0.107 0.130 0.151

NCS 3 0.200 0.230 0.208 0.096 0.340 0.271 0.224 0.446

NCS 4 0.168 0.127 0.238 0.164 0.135 0.155 0.130 0.185

NCS 5 0.364 0.187 0.314 0.368 0.273 0.307 0.311 0.342

NCS 6 0.072 0.113 0.151 0.086 0.131 0.106 0.110 0.114

NCS 7 0.209 0.137 0.153 0.175 0.103 0.105 0.168 0.071

NCS 8 0.271 0.224 0.332 0.187 0.275 0.321 0.342 0.309

5.10 5.28 3.72 2.93 5.30 5.11 5.21 5.33


Mean
1.317 1.184 1.462 1.396 1.301 1.372 1.229 1.204
SD
-1.659 -2.105 -0.396 0.562 -2.113 -1.665 -1.890 -2.067
Skewness
2.133 4.466 -0.811 -0.726 3.656 1.776 3.172 3.746
Kurtosis
Note: ACS = Affective Commitment Scale, CCS = Continuance Commitment Scale, NCS
= Normative Commitment Scale

Reliability Analysis
Three scales of TCM were subjected to reliability analysis. The
Cronbachs alphas of ACS, CCS and NCS were .848, .746 and .658
respectively. Judging from the small to moderate correlations with the
rest of the CCS items, item CCS03 (Too much in my life would be
disrupted if I decided I wanted to leave my organization now) should be
removed. So should the item NCS03 (Jumping from organization to
Xu & Bassham REEXAMINATION OF TCM MODEL 303

TABLE 1b Descriptive Statistics and Correlation Matrix for Presidential


Assistants Sample
CCS 1 CCS 2 CCS 3 CCS 4 CCS 5 CCS 6 CCS 7 CCS 8
CCS 1 1.000

CCS 2 0.171 1.000

CCS 3 -0.046 0.335 1.000

CCS 4 0.284 0.215 0.202 1.000

CCS 5 0.183 0.536 0.199 0.340 1.000

CCS 6 0.196 0.423 0.143 0.340 0.418 1.000

CCS 7 0.147 0.384 0.100 0.174 0.361 0.470 1.000

CCS 8 0.094 0.398 0.371 0.244 0.494 0.355 0.252 1.000

NCS 1 0.108 0.184 0.105 -0.072 0.136 0.101 0.106 0.242

NCS 2 0.113 0.106 0.088 0.055 0.069 -0.070 0.070 -0.009

NCS 3 -0.100 -0.090 -0.014 -0.047 -0.184 -0.213 -0.197 -0.096

NCS 4 0.026 0.131 0.245 0.009 0.082 0.052 0.063 0.194

NCS 5 0.011 0.004 0.381 0.032 -0.090 -0.073 -0.086 0.032

NCS 6 -0.050 0.063 0.055 -0.042 0.025 -0.051 0.007 0.038

NCS 7 0.085 0.225 0.188 0.038 0.172 0.210 0.172 0.295

NCS 8 0.040 0.046 0.296 -0.037 -0.036 -0.018 -0.001 0.107

4.37 3.95 4.07 4.23 3.86 3.05 3.96 4.05


Mean
1.757 1.488 1.598 1.511 1.524 1.663 1.590 1.610
SD
-0.706 -0.211 -0.421 -0.590 -0.293 0.304 -0.375 -0.485
Skewness
-0.953 -0.972 -0.946 -0.646 -0.964 -1.189 -0.963 -0.933
Kurtosis
Note: ACS = Affective Commitment Scale, CCS = Continuance Commitment Scale, NCS
= Normative Commitment Scale

organization does not seem at all unethical to me). Items NCS05 (If I got
another offer for a better job elsewhere I would not feel it was right to
leave my organization) and NCS08 (I do not think that wanting to be a
company man or company woman is sensible anymore) were weakly
correlated with the rest of the NCS items, with correlations ranging from
.06 to .42 and .10 to .27 respectively.
304 NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY

TABLE 1c Descriptive Statistics and Correlation Matrix for Presidential


Assistants Sample
NCS 1 NCS 2 NCS 3 NCS 4 NCS 5 NCS 6 NCS 7 NCS 8
NCS 1 1.000

NCS 2 0.230 1.000

NCS 3 0.057 0.130 1.000

NCS 4 0.318 0.168 0.103 1.000

NCS 5 0.139 0.041 0.092 0.422 1.000

NCS 6 0.396 0.349 0.090 0.285 0.143 1.000

NCS 7 0.544 0.085 -0.065 0.364 0.117 0.317 1.000

NCS 8 0.159 0.230 0.066 0.192 0.257 0.214 0.119 1.000

3.64 4.49 4.96 3.84 3.73 4.14 3.13 4.08


Mean
1.355 1.566 1.520 1.551 1.636 1.431 1.325 1.431
SD
0.100 -0.806 -1.300 -0.363 -0.246 -0.504 0.282 -0.460
Skewness
-0.765 -0.565 0.378 -1.020 -1.154 -0.652 -0.530 -0.648
Kurtosis
Note: ACS = Affective Commitment Scale, CCS = Continuance Commitment Scale, NCS
= Normative Commitment Scale

Initial Analysis
Initially, a three-factor CFA model was tested. In this model, the
ACS, CCS, and NCS items loaded on their intended factors according to
Allen and Meyers (1990) 24-item model, allowing for correlation among
latent factors. Table 2 presents standardized factor loadings of the items
and inter-correlations among factors. The chi-square statistic for this
model was 2 (249, =279) = 838.95, p < .01. An unacceptable data-
model fit was suggested by the RMSEA (.093, 90% CI = .086, .100),
SRMR (.11), and CFI (.84) (see Table 3). All the items loaded
significantly onto their intended factors; however, the NCS items
generally had lower loadings than items loading onto other factors. These
lower loadings of the NCS items were consistent with its lower
Cronbachs alpha (.658).
This study considered as candidates for deletion those items that had
low factor loadings on their intended factor, in combination with high
modification indices and standardized residuals. At the same time, the
wordings of those items were considered for ambiguity in an attempt to
delete fewer items. As a result, items CCS03 and NCS03 were deleted.
Items NCS05 and NCS08 were not deleted, but were moved from the
Xu & Bassham REEXAMINATION OF TCM MODEL 305

NCS scale to the ACS scale due to their high correlation with ACS items
and weak association with NCS items. The strong correlations of NCS05
and NCS08 with the ACS items indicated that the item wordings were
ambiguous. Particularly, in item NCS05, if I got another offer for a
better job elsewhere I would not feel it was right to leave my
organization, the word feel suggested an affective connotation. Further,

TABLE 2 Standardized Factor Loadings and Factor Intercorrelations across


Three Models
Three Factor Modified Three Four Factor Solution
Solution Factor Solution
F1 F2 F3 F1 F2 F3 F1 F2 F3 F4
Item A C N A C N A C-L C-H N
A1 .64 .65 .65
A2 .52 .52 .52
A3 .51 .52 .52
A4 .39 .41 .41
A5 .75 .74 .74
A6 .74 .74 .74
A7 .70 .71 .71
A8 .87 .86 .86
C1 .26 .27 .27
C2 .70 .68 .67
C3 .36
C4 .42 .41 .42
C5 .73 .74 .75
C6 .63 .64 .64
C7 .53 .55 .55
C8 .61 .59 .61
N1 .65 .74 .74
N2 .35 .31 .31
N3 .15
N4 .57 .50 .50
N5 .39 .45 .45
N6 .53 .52 .52
N7 .61 .70 .70
N8 .37 .42 .42

A 1.0 1.0 1.0


C -.08 1.0 -.12 1.0
C-L .05 1.0
C-H -.17 .98 1.0
N .44 .27 1.0 .32 .30 1.0 .32 .37 .29 1.0

Note: F = Factor; A = ACS; C = CCS; N = NCS; C-L = Continuance Affective Scale Low
Alternative; C-H = Continuance Commitment Scale High Sacrifice

in item NCS08, I do not think that wanting to be a company man or


company woman is sensible anymore, the phrase company man or
woman means that a person is working for an organization from the time
306 NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY

they are able to work to retirement. The investment of oneself in an


organization creates a strong affective bond between the person and the
organization he is working for (Allen & Meyer, 1993). In short, perhaps
the phrase company man or woman tended to provoke strong affective
reactions from the survey participants. This explains why NCS08 has
strong positive correlations with the items in the ACS scale. Thus, the
modified model consisted of three scales, the 10-item ACS, 7-item CCS,
and 5-item NCS.

Modification Analysis
This modified model was tested using CFA. The chi-square statistic
for this model was 2 (206, =279) = 520.87, p < .01. A good fit was
suggested by the RMSEA (.075, 90% CI = .067, .083), SRMR (.074),
and CFI (.90). The correlations among those scale constructs are
presented in Table 2. The Cronbachs alphas for the modified ACS, CCS
and NCS were .847, .749, and .670.

TABLE 3 Summary of Fit Indices for the Commitment Models


Model 2 df RMSEA 90% CI CFI SRMR
Three Factor 838.95 249 0.093 0.086; 0.84 0.11
Model (p < 0.100
0.001)
Modified Three 520.87 206 0.075 0.067; 0.90 0.074
Factor Model (p < 0.083
0.001)
Four Factor 515.91 203 0.075 0.067; 0.90 0.071
Model (p < 0.083
0.001)
Note: RMSEA = Root Mean Square Error of Approximation; 90% CI = 90% Confidence
Interval for RMSEA; CFI = Comparative Fit Index; SRMR = Standardized Root Mean
Square Residual

The four-factor model was tested in which the CCS scale was split
into two subscales, one assessing the personal sacrifice associated with
leaving the organization and the other an awareness of the lack of job
alternatives (Hackett, et al. 1994). The chi-square statistic for this model
was 2 (203, =279) = 515.91, p < .01. A good fit was suggested based
on RMSEA (.075, 90% CI = .067, .083), SRMR (.071) and CFI (.90).
However, the correlation between the two constructs under CCS was
as high as .98, indicating that the two constructs were actually the same
one. Thus, this study accepted the three-factor modified TCM model.

DISCUSSION
This study is one aspect of a larger study of the effect of presidential
assistants career stages on organizational commitment. Little research
Xu & Bassham REEXAMINATION OF TCM MODEL 307

has been done with the most prominent office in colleges and
universities, i.e. assistants to presidents, that hold significant power
(Fisher, 1985; Lingenfelter, 2004). Literature suggested that presidential
assistants work as a sounding board for presidents, to whom the
presidents can express roughly formed versions of thoughts and ideas
with confidence (Fisher, 1985; Giddens, 1971; Lingenfelter, 2004).
Statistical analysis of the presidential assistant data on the original
TCM model suggests modification of the scale is necessary. As a result,
two items were removed, with one from the CCS scale and the other one
from the NCS scale. In addition, two items were moved from the NCS to
the ACS scale. Reliability analysis of the ACS and CCS scales shows
acceptable Cronbachs alphas; whereas reliability of the NCS scale is
weak. The CFA test suggests the new model fits the data well. The
correlation between the ACS and NCS factors for the original and
modification scales is not high enough to cause a differentiation problem,
indicating that the two scales do not overlap significantly. Further, test of
the four-factor model indicates that the two CCS subscales, personal
sacrifices associated with voluntary turnover and lack of job alternatives,
do not discriminate from each other.
Bergman (2006) together with others (Carson & Bedeian, 1994;
Cohen, 1993, 1996; Yousef, 2000) called for scale revision of Allen and
Meyers Three-Component conceptualization of organizational com-
mitment. Despite the popularity of the model, research shows there are
consistent issues with the factor structure and item discrimination. The
current study responds to this need by validating further the factor
structure of the TCM model in a new population, presidential assistants
in higher education in the United States.
The results of this study further strengthen the need for organizational
commitment researchers to rewrite at least some of the NCS items to
make them more construct specific. However, this study does not suggest
the necessity to split the CCS scale into two subscales, as some literature
indicated (Carson & Carson, 2002). This inconsistency calls for further
validation of the CCS scale.
There are a few limitations associated with this study. First,
presidential assistants responded to the survey from their individual
perceptions that included personal definitions and life experiences, which
could provide socially desired answers. Second, the parameters of data
collection through an online survey may limit the response rate because
not all presidential assistants accept this medium. Third, this was a cross-
sectional study of presidential assistants at a particular time. Some of the
organizational commitment components may show changes over time.
Hence, a longitudinal study may result in different conclusions.
308 NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY

As previously stated, this study was cross-sectional. According to


Bergman (2006), Normative Commitment tends to develop through
lifelong socialization and acculturation. Further study should examine a
longitudinal development of organizational commitment as presidential
assistants institutional tenures grow longer.
Qualitative methodology would also be helpful in future studies.
Such studies could better address the organizational culture of the various
university settings as well as offer thick description of those settings
(Bogdan & Biklen, 2007; Patton, 2002; Tashakkori & Charles, 1998;
Tashakkori, & Teddlie, 2003). Using such methodology as interviews,
document analysis and participant observations, researchers could better
examine norms that influence presidential assistants obligation to the
organization in contrast to other study populations.
Last, this study administered the original TCM instrument (Allen &
Meyer, 1990a). A newer version of the TCM instrument has been
developed that addresses some of the issues associated with the scales,
e.g. the discrimination problem of ACS and NCS (Meyer & Allen, 1997).
Further development of construct items is needed in the organizational
commitment research literature (Bergman, 2006). This modification will
lead to a more reliable and valid measurement of organizational
commitment.

REFERENCES
Allen, N. J. & Meyer, J. P. (1990a). The measurement and antecedents of
affective, continuance and normative commitment to the organization.
Journal of Occupational Psychology, 63(1), 1-18.
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