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Journal of Applied Psychology Copyright 1986 by the American Psychological Association, Inc.

1986, Vol. 71, No. 3,492-499 0021-9010/86/$00.75

Organizational Commitment and Psychological Attachment: The Effects
of Compliance, Identification, and Internalization on Prosocial Behavior
Charles O'Reilly III and Jennifer Chatman
University of California, Berkeley

Previous research on organizational commitment has typically not focused on the underlying dimen-
sions of psychological attachment to the organization. Results of two studies using university em-
ployees (N = 82) and students (N = 162) suggest that psychological attachment may be predicated
on compliance, identification, and internalization (e.g., Kelman, 19S8). Identification and internal-
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.

ization are positively related to prosocial behaviors and negatively related to turnover. Internalization
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.

is predictive of financial donations to a fund-raising campaign. Overall, the results suggest the im-
portance of clearly specifying the underlying dimensions of commitment using notions of psycholog-
ical attachment and the various forms such attachment can take.

In the past decade, the construct of organizational commit- and values of an organization, to one's role in relation to the
ment has occupied a prominent place in organizational behav- goals and values, and to the organization for its own sake, apart
ior research (Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982; Salancik, 1977; from its purely instrumental worth [italics added]." Others have
Staw & Ross, 1978). Unfortunately, as Morrow (1983, p. 486) made a similar point and differentiated a type of attachment
has pointed out, "the growth in commitment related concepts based on calculative involvement or an exchange of behavior
has not been accompanied by a careful segmentation of com- for specific extrinsic rewards from a moral attachment where
mitment's theoretical domain in terms of intended meaning of involvement is predicated on a congruence of values (Becker,
each concept or the concepts' relationships among each other." 1960; Etzioni, 1961; Gould, 1979; Hall, Schneider, & Nygren,
By her count, there are over 25 commitment-related concepts 1970;Kidron, 1978; Meyer & Allen, 1984).
and measures. Staw (1977), for instance, has noted that the Although numerous differences in the approach to commit-
value of commitment as a separate construct distinct from ment research exist, a central theme that continues to appear is
other psychological concepts such as motivation, involvement, the individual's psychological attachment to an organization—
or behavioral intention remains to be demonstrated. What is the psychological bond linking the individual and the organiza-
needed are theoretical and operational definitions that clearly tion. Although the term commitment is broadly used to refer to
differentiate commitment and its components from other re- antecedents and consequences, as well as the process of becom-
lated constructs (Gould, 1979; Kanungo, 1979; Scholl, 1981; ing attached and the state of attachment itself, it is the psycho-
Wiener, 1982). logical attachment that seems to be the construct of common
This lack of consensus is manifested in a remarkable varia- interest. The lack of consensus in previous research can be at-
tion in how commitment is denned and measured. In addition, tributed, in part, to a failure to differentiate carefully among
different terms have been used to describe the same basic phe- the antecedents and consequences of commitment on the one
nomenon. Porter and his colleagues (Mowday, Steers, & Porter, hand, and the basis for attachment on the other. For instance,
1979; Porter, Steers, Mowday, & Boulian, 1974), for instance, some investigations have explored the processes through which
have defined commitment as "the strength of an individual's one becomes committed (e.g., Galanter, 1980; Salancik, 1977;
identification with and involvement in a particular organiza- Staw & Ross, 1978) or the impact of individual and organiza-
tion" (Porter et al., 1974, p. 604). Their measurement included tional influences on this process (Angle & Perry, 1983; Steers,
assessments of motivation, intent to remain, and identification 1977). Other studies have explored the consequences of com-
with the values of the organization. Identification and involve- mitment manifested in attitudes and behaviors such as proxim-
ment have also been seen by other researchers as the basis for ity seeking and long tenure (Horn, Katerberg, & Hulin, 1979;
psychological attachment (e.g., Brown, 1969; Hall & Schneider, Rusbult&Farrell, 1983; Werbel& Gould, 1984), expressions of
1972; Lee, 1971; Sheldon, 1971). Buchanan (1974, p. 533) saw positive affect and loyalty (Kanter, 1972; O'Reilly & Caldwell,
commitment as "a partisan, affective attachment to the goals 1980), motivation and involvement (Mowday et al., 1982;
Scholl, 1981), and behaviors such as performance and obedi-
ence to organizational policies (Angle & Perry, 1981; Galanter,
1980).
The authors wish to thank the Berkeley-IBM Joint Utilities Study
for support in the data collection effort, and Harold Angle for helpful
But what is the basis for one's psychological attachment to an
comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. organization? One important mechanism in the development
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to of psychological attachment is the process of identification (e.g.,
Charles O'Reilly III, School of Business Administration, University of Bowlby, 1982; Sanford, 1955; Stoke, 1950; Tolman, 1943).
California, 350 Barrows Hall, Berkeley, California 94720. From this perspective, attachment to an individual, object,
492

Without a psychological the individual and become incorporated into the cognitive re. 1979). we propose that these are tional commitment is conceived of as the psychological attach. attachment predicated on more than simple material exchange.g. quences of attachment. In this case. it is to at- the reasons for this attachment and manifestations of it.g. and (c) internaliza. 1972. and whose commitment is based on identification and internaliza- (c) internalization or value congruence. automation grant to the university. ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ATTACHMENT 493 group. it will reflect the we propose two classes of dependent variables: (a) in-role or degree to which the individual internalizes or adopts character.. motives. For example. Role behaviors should be predicted by all forms viduals can accept influence in three conceptually distinct ways: of commitment. respecting its values and ac. Inter. "Unless I'm rewarded for it in some way. The first investigation used responses from 82 univer- complishments without adopting them as his or her own. 1974. I see no reason that." The motivational basis for such extrarole behav. (1983). Hall & from employees. and internalization were either generated by the of cooperation. 1979. an individual identifies with a model can. in an investigation into the basis for attitude prosocial behaviors whereas compliance-based commitment change. tempt to develop measures of the dimensions of organizational although organizational commitment has often been used in a commitment predicated on compliance. and (b) extrarole or prosocial acts that are not directly This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. word-processing and electronic mail facilities. The average age of respondents was 31-40. claiming rewards (e. administrator level. sity employees involved in a survey of office automation equip- nalization occurs when influence is accepted because the in. "I find that my values and the require the organization to bear the increased costs associated university's values are very similar" and "Since joining this organiza- with more detailed and sophisticated control systems. ternalization. Kelman. A final set of 7 items was to develop this psychological attachment among members may chosen to assess internalization (e. Thus.. Second. (1982. activities. 1958). p. my personal values and those of the organization have become .. Organ. altruism. 1961. friends as a great organization to work for" and "This organization has ior is likely to require more than simple compliance. or organization results from identification with the atti. formulation of compliance as behavior engaged in to obtain specific Mowday et al. Thus. Katz (1964) also observed that one class of Schneider. No faculty respondents were included in the sam- The importance of having organizational members whose ple. as can The purpose of this investigation is twofold. following Smith et al. to per. First. identification. punctual- This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. and ance has recently been underscored by Smith. ment felt by the person for the organization.. an individual may the dimensions of commitment and prescribed and extrarole feel proud to be a part of a group. generating a psychological attachment is based on more than simple compli. Mowday et al.. (1983) in a study of organizational citizenship behavior. identification. that is. the values of the individual and the group or organization are the same. Twenty-seven percent had at least some college education. istics or perspectives of the organization. dents at both the undergraduate and MBA level. A total of 82 of 127 questionnaires were returned. membership that shares the organization's goals and values can tudes. for purposes of this study. The second study involved 162 graduating business stu- duced attitudes and behaviors are congruent with one's own val. independent constructs. ues. here. On the basis of previous research (e. that is. had been given access to various tion or involvement predicated on congruence between individ. occurs when an individual accepts influence to establish Two studies were undertaken to investigate relations among or maintain a satisfying relationship. the basis for one's psychologi.. Method volvement for specific. Buchanan. The degree to which higher turnover is also possible.. Over 65% of the sample had college degrees. Furthermore. This approach calls ity). especially those in critical positions. 1970. 1975). Study 1 cal attachment to an organization may be predicated on three independent foundations: (a) compliance or instrumental in.g. public General Method and private attitudes may differ. identification and internalization will be related to extrarole or Kelman (1958). Respondents were employees who. processes. some of the attri. organiza. and conse. I sometimes have to act in ways that are not completely consistent form above and beyond the call of duty for the benefit of the with my true values"). Turnover should be lower among employees (a) compliance or exchange. Compliance occurs tion. of course. ment. essential behaviors for a functioning organization consisted of 7 compliance items were developed based on Kelman's (1958) original those innovative behaviors that go beyond role prescriptions. Having a tion. "I talk up the university to my organization. Hall et al. to expend extra effort on behalf of this organization" and "In my job vidual members. that is. when attitudes and behaviors are adopted not because of shared beliefs but simply to gain specific rewards.g. and spontaneous unrewarded help authors or drawn from previous studies (e. or characteristics of the model are accepted by tion (Ouchi. Employees were drawn ual and organizational values. attention to the fact that the underlying dimensions or bases specified by a job description but which are of benefit to the for attachment may vary within and across individuals.g. as a part of an office involvement based on a desire for affiliation. or goals of the model. extrinsic rewards. 1980. and in- global way to encompass antecedents. Seven items were also included to reflect identi- fication with the organization (e. constructed a taxonomy of this sort. Etzioni. in Kelman's terms. (b) identification or affiliation. noting that indi. 1958). Twenty-one items thought to represent com- note that many critical behaviors in organizations rely on acts pliance. Identification. and Near the average tenure was 9 years. A failure a tradition of worthwhile accomplishments"). "There are many instances where organizations need indi. response rate of 65%. These differences may represent from five academic units and ranged from clerical and secretarial to separate dimensions of commitment. 15) addressed this directly. Gould. prescribed behaviors expected of all job holders (e. values. It also organization and which are not of direct benefit to the individ- differentiates the state of attachment from both its antecedents ual. will not be. sponse set of the individual (Kagan.g. it is postulated that commitment rooted in and its consequences. They Independent variables. ensure that individuals act instinctively to benefit the organiza- butes. (b) identification or Subjects. Williamson. vary..

on the similarity of my values and those represented by the organization. nalization. The first factor. third factor is defined by two items with loadings greater than ple even though it is not required"). -. These 7 items were again analyzed and performed on the 21 items developed to assess compliance. To ensure orthogonality among the three commitment ous research (e. Unless I'm rewarded for it in some way. . -. My attachment to this organization is primarily based This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. Seven of the items showed unambiguous loadings on the a principal component analysis with a varimax rotation was two factors extracted. The 21 items interpretable factors defined by 12 of the 21 items.27 -. a set Three clear factors emerged. I talk up the university to my friends as a great organization to work for.01 t o r = -. trarole behaviors were postulated to reflect two underlying di- mensions: (a) intrarole behaviors or behaviors expected as a Results part of the job.19 . if the respondent was still employed.16 -.. These items asked respondents how frequently. On the basis of Smith et al. pliance.06 J2 £L -.16 2. . tation.33 4Z 10. it is necessary to express the right attitude.21 -. The second factor has three items with factor load- signed duties on time" and "I do what my boss says without complaint") ings greater than 0. a turnover rate of approximately 18%. £1 . My private views about the university are different than those I express publicly. subjected to a principal component analysis with a varimax ro- pendent dimensions of commitment existed.17 -. set was again analyzed and the results are shown in Table 1. Item loadings denning factors are underlined.21 -.22 . The reason I prefer this organization to others is because of what it stands for.19 6.7 and one loading of 0. If the values of this organization were different. M . 4.08 JS..39 J2 -. the results are shown in Table 2.g.24 .g. To investigate this.21 22 .90 -.19 . .45 -.18 . and (b) extrarole or prosocial acts beyond what was specified in the job description. These 11 items were also In the first research question.22 Percentage of variance explained 76 14 ll 78 12 10 Note.30 9.38 JI -. is based on value similarity and was labeled Inter- engaged in prescribed or in-role behaviors (e.10 -. Sixteen months after the survey data were collected.40 № -.10 .06.04 di . Of the original 82 respondents.00 Jfi 1 2.12 . on a 7-point scale.06 -. the degree identification..29 -.33 for an item that does not load on In addition. -. 1975. I feel a sense of "ownership" for this organization rather than being just an employee. and internalization. Dependent variables. .04 8.39 -. 1981) to assess dimensions.g. The not required but that help the university's image" and "I help new peo. more similar").46 5. "I attend functions that are affiliation and the factor was designated Identification. tenure intentions and actual turnover were also assessed.18 7. personnel records were checked to ascertain -. I see no reason ^i to expend extra effort on behalf of this organization. O'Reilly & Caldwell.21 41 . .. 494 CHARLES O'REILLY HI AND JENNIFER CHATMAN Table 1 Varimax Factor Loadingsfor Commitment Dimensions Varimax factor loadings Study HAr =82) Study 2(N= 162) Item" 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 . we postulated that three inde. I am proud to tell others that I am a part of this organization.06 -.33 -. . Respondents indicated.27 . clearly defined of 11 self-report items were included.10 3.34 -. These three items all reflect Com- At the time of the survey.22 -. J4 . £L . 14 The 11 self-report items designed to assess intrarole and ex- had left and 68 remained. How hard I work for the organization is directly linked to how much I am rewarded. Initial results showed four to which they agreed or disagreed with each statement.23 -.25 . "I complete my as.01 . This reduced were randomly ordered and embedded in a larger questionnaire.07 -.07 J2 1 1 . ' Minor changes in item wording were made to reflect the different sample in Study 2. Since joining this organization.22 -. These items appear to reflect pride in and extrarole or prosocial behaviors (e. will you be working quent analyses.4. factor scores were computed and used in subse- tenure intentions (e.'s (1983) study. they by five items. my personal values and those of the organization have become more similar. Correlations among the factors ranged from r = for this organization three years from now?").13 -. 0. In order for me to get rewarded around here. its values. I would not be as attached to this organization. M .12 This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. "If you have your own way. subjects responded to four items used in previ.08 . on a 5-point scale from never (I) to always (5). either of the other two factors.23 .31 & . What this organization stands for is important to me.g. Kraut.11 .

administered to the student sample. ns) suggesting tions. is significantly re- ordered and administered as a part of a "graduating student survey" lated to intrarole and extrarole behavior. 0.46 0. tenure intentions. Respondents for the second study were 162 of 321 graduat- remain with organization. shown in Table 3. Interestingly. that is. trarole behavior. iation with the organization is associated with length of service. I attend functions that are not required. with suitable modifications in wording. is also Smith et al. Item loadings defining factors are underlined. Thus. and negatively re. very strongly related and assessed commitment to the school of business. /? < . exposure to the organization. relevant for student respondents and could not be used. to an intent to remain with the organization. correlations between tenure and commitment were examined.03 0. "Have you been a member of the aca- r = . are correlated only student clubs or activities (e.001). part-time). Compliance was negatively related to tenure. (1983). I make suggestions to improve the organization. The correlation between the tenure ing business students surveyed in the last two weeks of the term (a 50% intentions index and actual turnover 16 months later was r = response rate).24 (p < .8 1). of the undergraduate respondents and 44% of the MBA students were reported behavior. but help the school's image"). thogonality of the variables used in subsequent analyses. suggesting that commitment rooted in pride in affil- second factor is defined by three items characteristic of behav.25. not significantly correlated with tenure (r = . The 21 items developed to assess compliance. but strongly predictive of respondents remaining with the organiza- that help the university's image. These results are consistent with those reported by Smith that value similarity may result from factors other than simple et al. and complying with rules and regula.35 6. for example. Fifty percent To examine relations among the bases of attachment and self. The four questions assessing tenure intentions were also fac. Table 4 presents regressions for three of the four outcome MBA students were not asked for any self-report measures.20 0. zations?"). so the four items were summed to form an Method index scored so that a high value represents a strong intent to Subjects. 0.04) was obtained with the stan- events at work (e.05) with demic affairs council?" and "Did you hold office in any student organi- in-role behavior.77 —0. tion of new students even though it is not required" and "I attend school lated to an intent to remain with the university. undergraduate students were also asked to indicate whether they had participated in any of 10 are modest. Several patterns are worth Independent variables. noting. A sin- 1. iors required by the job description. and internalization were. Instead. correlations among the measures were com. These activities constituted a comprehensive list of extracur- haviors from associations between commitment and turnover ricular opportunities associated with the school that were available to intentions or turnover has little effect. partialling out in-role and extrarole be.g. Internalization and identification are positively re- Extrarole Dimensions (N = 82) lated to intent to stay with the organization. Tenure intentions.012 2.g. identification. A total of 89 of 189 undergraduates (47%) and 73 of 132 MBA students (55%) responded to short questionnaires. and turnover. or similar. employees with longer tenure showed significantly lower and extrarole behaviors. Several of the questions used in Study 1 were not related to extrarole behavior. Attachment based on tions designed to tap in-role and extrarole behaviors as suggested by identification.08 tion. a discriminant analysis performed with turnover as the dependent variable. 14 (ns) with extrarole behaviors and r = . . To further explicate the differences in commitment shown in Tables 3 and 4. 31. The four items denning the extrarole levels of commitment based on compliance (r= —. or pride in affiliation with the university. factor scores were computed to ensure or. —0. ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ATTACHMENT 495 Table 2 variables. the two factors appear to represent in-role that is. Because ordinary least squares regression with a dichoto- loadings mous dependent variable does not permit accurate estimation Item of the significance levels for coefficients. Other questions Compliance-based commitment is not significantly related to were reworded to apply to student activities (e. As hypothesized. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.28 dardized coefficients for internalization and identification 3. Similar analyses including tenure with the university as 4. Contrary to expectations. dimension are actions for which the individual receives no im. female. I complete my assigned duties on time.48 -. mediate reward and which benefit the larger organization. Although not functions that do not help me directly. Undergraduate surveys included seven ques- lated to actual turnover 16 months later.g. Dependent variables.. I participate in planning and organizing social gle significant function (p < . (1983). that is.09 a control variable did not alter the pattern of results. 0. -0. "I help in the orienta- intrarole or extrarole behavior or turnover but is negatively re. Results are generally consistent with those shown in Varimax Factor Loadings for Intrarole and Table 3. First. I volunteer for tasks that are not required. 0.. Again. puted and are reported in Table 3.001). 5. the correlations among the outcome variables In addition to these self-report measures. Results showed a single underlying dimension (Cronbach a = . Study 2 tor analyzed. whereas compli- ance-based commitment is negatively associated with this out- Varimax factor come. being on time. 0. The p < .. commitment based on internalization.61 -0.51 internalization and identification is associated with lower pro- 7. 11. all students. internalization or value-based commitment was working a full 8-hr day. I work a full eight-hour day (or a full shift if independent of length of service. Questions were randomly ity of individual and organizational values. I comply with the rules and regulations of this pensities to exit. commitment predicated on This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.81 tion nor compliance is related to the in-role or extrarole vari- Percentage of variance explained 65 35 ables. staff parties).02 0. neither internaliza- organization. although identification is significantly associated with ex- Note. Identification was positively related to length of service (r = .

69* Adjusted R1 .03 Compliance .13 -.60*** .36*** .20** .14 .51 .55* 1. cant associations with contributions are present. for each respondent (average pledge was $ 175). The find.90.05. values is significantly associated with both indices of extrarole factor scores were computed for use in subsequent analyses.20 . and outcome measures are shown in Table 3. Results for the 10 rotation.00 -.20** .07 * Entries are standardized regression coefficients.39*** .50*** . The amount pledged for a 3-year period was coded school without explicit reward.**p<.35*** . to ensure orthogonality among commitment indices.14 -. higher scores represent increasing levels of extrarole activity. doing things to help the raising campaign.28*** . summed to form an index of extrarole behavior (Cronbach dents.05 -.10. behavior for the undergraduates and with the amount of money A factor analysis of the seven items used to assess in-role and pledged to the school by the MBA students. and compliance.11 -.28*** Identification .15 -. The amount pledged by and attending school functions that help the school but not nec- 25 students who did not participate in this study was also obtained and compared to the gifts pledged by study participants.16 *p<. These five items. but no signifi- factor defined by five of the seven questions.25** .10. participation in extra- tions pledged by each student to the school during the annual fund. No significant all with factor loadings greater than 0.34*** -.21** . The amounts essarily the individual. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.10 .01. This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.28** Identification .03 .04 Compliance .10 .62 20. To ascertain the dimensionality of the 10 dichotomous ques- Results tions asking about participation in clubs and activities. The responses to these five questions were bias exists in terms of donations between respondents and nonrespon.05. and Zed- Using the sample of 162 students. define three interpretable factors.65. of willingness to help plan social events.15 F 2.70*** 5.45*** . the results of Study 1. .07 .25** -. Three Bivariate associations between dimensions of commitment clear factors emerged with the same items loading on the appro. helping to orient new students.31 .36*** .02 -.86). responses were aggregated to form a scale scored so that factor analyzed and the results are shown in Table 1. a Gutt- man scaling procedure was used. data were obtained from the fund development office on the contribu.17* . *p<. commitment based on internalization of Again. the 21 commitment items eck (1981) suggest that a coefficient of reproducibility greater were subjected to a principal component analysis and varimax than .13 .30*** 12.23** .06 . These 12 items were again hence.***p<. This suggests that no self-selection shown in Table 2. The same 12 items identified in Study 1 appeared to school activities revealed a coefficient of reproducibility of .16 .13 .27** . ings were highly comparable to those of the first study. Consistent with priate factors of internalization. identification.**p<. Similar findings for extrarole behaviors revealed a single interpretable underlying extrarole behaviors are shown for identification. curricular activities of the school. These results are very similar to those pledged by both groups were similar.01.62*** -.***p<. 496 CHARLES O'REILLY III AND JENNIFER CHATMAN Table 3 Correlations Between Commitment and Outcome Variables Study 2 Study 1(^=71) Undergraduates (n = 89) MBAs(n = 73) Intrarole Extrarole Intent to remain Extrarole Basis for prescribed prosocial with the prosocial Participation in Dollar amount commitment behaviors behaviors organization Turnover behaviors extrarole activities pledged Internalization . included assessments correlations between compliance and extrarole activities are ev- Table4 Regression Results Study 2" Undergraduates MBAs Study 1" Participation Contribution Extrarole Intrarole Intent to leave in student Extrarole to fund Independent variables behaviors behaviors the organization organization behaviors raising Internalization .6*** 2. Ghiselli. Campbell. a = .19** .8 5 is indicative of a unidimensional scale.

ined. the latter two are likely consequences of This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.. tion. Internalization may involve the more psychodynamic compliance is. financial invest- versely related to actual turnover. and money on behalf of the organization. with the exception of a significant association process suggested by Bowlby (1982). that for identification is basis for attachment. the actions may result in changed attitudes. still is problematic. Across both tain organizational membership (Mowday et al. (Salancik. distinct from other psychological concepts. however. Kanter. similarity or pride in affiliation. fication are important correlates of subjects' willingness to ex. rather than vice versa more prosocial the behavior of the individual. results from both studies also suggest that there are understand and appreciate the goals and values represented by strong links between commitment based on internalization and the organization. Table 4 presents the regression results of Study 2. The nature of these relations ments. mitment and linking these to outcomes such as absenteeism. First. and that the more internalized the commitment. an organization's goals and values. and prosocial behaviors (Angle & Perry. Gould. Although the evidence pre- either consistently misreporting their behavior or that. The second study also attempts to reduce the response. tal commitment appears less important for longer tenured em- response bias by using dependent variables based on actions ployees? Several possible explanations exist. Again. Mobley. justifica- tal involvement. 1979).g. and a desire to main- Compliance is unrelated to any extrarole variables. It may be that respondents are mensions of commitment is needed. threshold effect above which instrumental commitment ceases tions and donations). social pressures. Hand. it may be that instrumental or finding that internalization predicts actual donations to the extrinsic factors are reinterpreted over time as symbolic re- . 1983. the standardized regression coefficient for internaliza. Identification predicts both participation and extra. although or justify these behaviors by reporting increased identification compliance or instrumental attachment is not strongly linked and internalization. 1981. studies butions. These findings are consistent with the general hypotheses school is clearly not a methodological artifact. a willingness to exert consid- role behaviors for undergraduates but not donations by MBAs. significant in five. nization can result from value congruence. 1977). The associations between internalization to the dependent variables used here.Pfeffer&Lawler. but not to participation in student organizations and have often measured commitment as a combination of belief in activities. First. Again. There may be a rather than on self-reports (participation in student organiza. there may be others. for this study. It appears that. 1980. zation are most strongly related to commitment based on value effectiveness. Three general areas of research seem useful. unrelated to extrarole behaviors or actual in which a person imitates a model or adopts characteristics and turnover. Over time.g. New employees appear to with the moral-calculative distinction drawn by Etzioni (1961) base their commitment on compliance. 1969.. Previous research on commitment suggests iors that are not specified by job descriptions are largely a func. rell. in instrumental exchange of behavior for rewards. all organizational participants necessarily receive extrinsic re- tential for consistency bias. the university employee sample (Study 1) data are. effective reward and control systems. the positive correlation of tenure and identification. Sanford (1955) and others with intent to leave. the similar. For instance. Pfeffer & Lawler.g. Whereas the first component is focused on the psychological tion is significant in three equations. having sented here clearly shows three distinct foundations for psycho- once engaged in extrarole activities. O'Reilly & Caldwell. Salancik. 1960. the processes Overall. not antecedents. further investigation into the actual psychological di- tion of causality problematic. Griffeth. that this process may occur as a result of a combination of clear tion of identification and internalization rather than instrumen. Internalization is sig. critical voluntary behav. Second. and retrospective rationalization (e. opportunity to move (e. For instance. 1977). they cognitively re-evaluate logical bonding. and not to involvement rooted Steers. Why is it that compliance or instrumen- tion. self-selection processes. additional research into the development Discussion of psychological attachment to organizations clearly is needed. 1977). Although some ambiguity may exist. Internalization and identification are also strongly in. Becker. identification or pride in affiliation may de- identification and prosocial behaviors. role models. but cannot rule out this interpreta. Previous failures to develop clear operational defi- Compliance is significantly related only to an intent not to stay nitions of the basis for commitment may have contributed to with the organization. erable effort on behalf of the organization. in part. ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ATTACHMENT 497 ident. Alternatively. may be at least three dimensions underlying one's psychological and the lack of any significant association between internaliza- commitment to an organization.. one. Kidron. Although the results of the two studies are seen as consistent and complementary. First.Rusbult&Far- pend time. One's commitment to an orga- This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. Several limitations with the studies reported here deserve O'Reilly. Commitment based on velop. causality. self-reported and cross sectional. 1978). the to be important. 1972. 1983). & Meglino. 1979. the Previous research on organizational commitment has been findings are similar to those of Study 1. or a simple lack of suggests that commitments based on internalization and identi. it may be that as one comes to Second. The significant negative correlations between compliance ity of the factor structures shown in Table 1 suggests that there and tenure. extrinsic rewards. note. studies. making a determina. the results presented from both studies offer support through which commitment is established need to be exam- for the central research questions addressed. exchanging behavior for and others (e. prosocial behaviors requiring the the lack of strong findings explicating the components of com- expenditure of personal time and effort on behalf of the organi. values of the model. In sum. Brown. Determining that there exist different dimensions of commitment to an orga. it is possible that nization. effort. it is obvious that almost and identification and turnover are useful in mitigating the po. wards for their efforts.. 1979. criticized for failing to investigate commitment as a construct nificantly related to extrarole behaviors and to financial contri. and that for compliance is significant in only commitment. These findings are consistent tion and tenure may be revealing. 1981. 1980.

21. The commitment and job tenure Buchanan. J. Acad- emy of Management Journal. Notes on the concept of commitment. 1574-1579. 32-40. ture: Lessonsfrom Silicon Valley firms. (1964). & Morris. Ad- an organization and consequent attitudes and behaviors should ministrative Science Quarterly.. New pp. tributions beyond those narrowly required by the job. and turnover. Dallas. F. involvement. New York: Basic Books. extrinsic re- sis.493-522. and that these variations can be differen.. J. as postulated. Journal of tachment may vary. Ouchi. 7. Predicting turnover of employees from measured job Overall. and an acceptance Kanungo. Administrative Caldwell. Steers. Kanter. others. T. 26. Applied Psychology. Correlates of organizational identi- Finally. D. H. D. 1-14. D. (1982). (1983). H. of new employees: Some evidence of postdecisional justification. 280-290. X. 13. H. 247. (1983. (1981). R. Be- faction. or are objectively less important Etzioni.. (1970). 64. Kelman. Corporations. 559-565. Review and behaviors. 65. (1960). zational reward: A field test of the sufficiency of justification hypothe. be considered. The concept of identification. C. (1975). tional commitment: Some methodological considerations. bureaucracies. Psychological Bulletin. P. Academy of Management Review. & Perry. and organizational cul- and organizational influences. 131-133. Concept redundancy in organizational research: References The case of work commitment. may lead organizational members to consider the nature of their Gould. The measurement of orga- commitment and organizational effectiveness. H. York: Academic Press. Paper presented at the forty- Becker. Psychological Bulletin. persis. absenteeism. O'Reilly. Mowday. D. 8. cial activities such as those investigated here. Psychological induction into the large group: Find- tant when crisis situations force members to question what it is ings from a modern religious sect. In a similar vein.g. Freeman. Alpert. the nature of one's at. 66. (1972). & Zedeck. R. 486-500. 346-355. conceptual analysis of the employee turnover process. M. N. (1983). identification. 86. Measurement theory for ter for Union Carbide or the financial scandal at E. havioral Science. and so forth. (e. CT: JAI Press. These may include motivation. Angle. S. (1981). (1979). Quarterly. 224- ence Quarterly. (1980). (1984). 372-378.. Katz. 213-226. 51-60. The study reported here has Lee. ternalization or identification may become much more impor. tations of involvement such as voluntary participation and con. critical behaviors in organizations. TX. 296-305. Kraut. nizational commitment. S. Effects of job alternatives. Work and Occupations. that they constitute the bases for organizational commitment. An equity-exchange model of organizational involve- psychological attachment to the organization (e. Hand. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. O'Reilly. J. An empirical assessment of organizational Mowday. tence of employment. & Meglino. Psychological Review.).. 26. Compliance. Hall. The evidence presented here suggests that the Hall. 176-189. B. a Harvard University Press. (1985). Organizational commitment: Individual O'Reilly. & Perry. J. Administrative Science Quarterly. organizational identification. Journal of Applied Psychology. Staw (Eds. (1979).. satis. as well as Horn. 119-138. Griffeth. Schneider.. & Caldwell.. Research in organizational behavior (Vol. L. R. & Whetten.. flex. C. (1980). 19.. (1971). become less salient. (1980). the Bhopal disas- Ghiselli. 340-350. and internalization: ty-seeking behaviors of the sort described by Bowlby (1982) and Three processes of attitude change. Testing the "side-bet theory" of organiza- The results suggest that. tially associated with important organizational attitudes and Mobley. (1958). Journal of Sociology. 25. New York: Free Press. Journal of Conflict Resolution. D. & Hulin. and clans. Commitment and community. & Caldwell. to be relevant. in. M. Markets. a will. (1969). Administrative Sci. American Journal of Psychiatry.. the sizeable literature on commitment supports its attitudes. August). wards. 1985).. B. Katerberg. 69.. E. Organizational linkages: mings & B. reveals two broad categories of dependent variables that seem Kagan. In L. This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. D. O'Reilly. and extrinsic factors on subsequent satisfaction and commitment. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance. C.. A. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. 9. M. Pfeffer. 123-146. Ad- ization of managers in work organizations. importance as a useful construct for understanding a range of 233-243. & Morris. Meyer. & Nygren. Button the behavioral sciences. D. O'Reilly. Brown. Job choice: The impact of intrinsic Bowlby. Science Quarterly. (1983). Cum. (1974). & Allen. & Porter. cults. A. lower absenteeism rates. C. & Steers. J.g. Personal factors in basis for one's commitment may be related to positive manifes. (1961). (1981). ited. Previous research of three approaches to the prediction of turnover. 14. 65. B. C. C. Work values and organizational commitment. 14. ibility. 239-246. H. 506-514. S. (1978). (1979). 533-546. Greenwich. Porter. concern for the welfare of the organization. examined three forms of psychological attachment and argued Academy of Management Journal. R. H. The psychology of commitment. 137. Galanter.. 129-141. (1958). 597-616.. S. An empirical analysis of organizational identification. For example. (1972). 17. A comparative analysis of complex organizations... R. & Lawler.. loyalty. 2. and conformity. American third annual meeting of the Academy of Management. Whetten.. Identification and some conditions of organizational Journal of Applied Psychology. The motivational basis of organizational behavior. (1980). R. The concepts of alienation and involvement revis- of organizational dictates manifested through obedience. comes. Comparative examination a reduced tendency to leave the organization. gested by Kanter (1972). 53-62. 263-295). 498 CHARLES O'REILLY III AND JENNIFER CHATMAN wards. L. 4. Organizational identity. that the organization represents. 86. First are the types of positive involvement sug. and motivation would be examples of this class of out. Alpert & ment. These might include participation in organizational so.. P. (1979). (1979). S. J. 1983). J. Caldwell. G. H.. & Schneider. (1982). Building organizational commitment: The social. Variables such as job involvement. Campbell. Cambridge. Administrative Science Quarterly. the relation between psychological commitment to fication as a function of career patterns and organizational types. B. Journal of Vocational Behavior. J. Administrative Science ministrative Science Quarterly. Responses to an organi. R. A second type of consequent outcome may be proximi. 15. W. Angle. Kidron. J. 10. and behavioral commitment on attitude toward the organiza- . R. Morrow. Attachment. Academy of Management Review. W. J.. 44.. 14. San Francisco: W. MA: ingness to expend effort beyond what is required by the job.

(1975). M. and papers that would ordinarily be too long to be considered for regular journals. the APA Council of Repre- sentatives voted in 1985 to discontinue publication of Psychological Documents with publica- tion of the December 1985 catalog. Administrative Science Quarterly. & Farrell. Rusbult. Salancik (Eds. Two sides of commitment. Sanford. 429-438. (1982). Academy of Management Review. S. Select Press expects to expand the system to cover a broader range of documents including interdisciplinary content and possibly brief. it was extremely difficult for APA to maintain service that was both timely and economical. (1950). job commitment. Administrative Science Quarterly. (1983). Academy of Management Review. (1981). behavior: Its nature and antecedents. ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ATTACHMENT 499 tion: A field test of the insufficient justification paradigm. (1977. early announcements of new findings. the expenses related to fulfilling orders. 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