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A Three-component Conceptualization Of Organizational Commitment

J. Meyer, N. Allen
Published 1991 · Psychology
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Abstract Diversity in the conceptualization and measurement of organizational commitment has made it difficult to interpret the results of an accumulating body of research. In this article, we go beyond the existing distinction between attitudinal and behavioral commitment and argue that commitment, as a psychological state, has at least three separable components reflecting (a) a desire (affective commitment), (b) a need (continuance commitment), and (c) an obligation (normative commitment) to maintain employment in an organization. Each component is considered to develop as a function of different antecedents and to have different implications for on-the-job behavior. The aim of this reconceptualization is to aid in the synthesis of existing research and to serve as a framework for future research.
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