AuthorsShepherd, Jeryl Lynne
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AbstractHuman resource management advocates consider that obtaining employees' affective commitment to the organisation is an important objective. A key part of this concept is concerned with employees' identification with organisational goals and values. Recent research however, indicates that employers want employees to maintain their commitment levels even though organisations are undergoing periods ofextensive change that impact on many aspects of these goals and values. In the literature, employee commitment is regarded as a stable construct that nothing seems to alter. Despite this, there is increasing evidence to suggest that commitment may change if something in the organisation changes. To date, little research has sought to measure the impact of organisational changes on employee commitment. This study seeks to find out if commitment is altered by organisational changes or if commitment remains constant after the implementation of change. It also examines the impact of a range ofvariables on employees' commitment levels not previously addressed in the literature. The study adopted a cross sectional design. Data was collected by use of both quantitative techniques, (incorporating the British Organisational Commitment Scale or BOCS) and qualitative approaches, in three organisations located in the South East of England. An evaluation of the BOCS' reliability and dimensionality was carried out. In contrast to the literature, an eight item scale was shown to be superior, providing the best fit to the data. BOCS was found to comprise two distinct, but related components, hence the measure is considered bi-dimensional. The study makes several contributions to the literature. In particular, the: process of change (i.e. strategy used by each organisation to elicit organisational changes); antecedents to commitment (i.e. personal and work related variables); extent to which changes are experienced and content of change (i.e. the changes themselves) are all shown to affect the outcomes for individuals' commitment after periods of change in the organisation. Of the changes examined, almost all lead to increased levels ofemployees' self reported commitment. This challenges the claims that suggest commitment is stable and unchangeable. The study also revealed a number of factors lead to increased commitment amongst the workforce after change. These represent employee perceptions of change. Researchers and practitioners will need to focus on these issues in the future when considering commitment if they are to safeguard it after changes in the workplace.
CitationShepherd, J.L. (1999) 'Employee commitment after change at work'. PhD thesis. University of Luton.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
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