Advertisement

Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 132, Issue 4, pp 859–872 | Cite as

Called to Commitment: An Examination of Relationships Between Spiritual Calling, Job Satisfaction, and Organizational Commitment

  • Mitchell J. NeubertEmail author
  • Katie Halbesleben
Article

Abstract

Religious and spiritual variables have largely been excluded from organizational research. Yet, there is a growing body of literature that suggests religion and spirituality have a significant and substantive role in influencing employees’ attitudes and behaviors at work. This paper aims to add to this literature by looking at the relationships of spiritual calling with job satisfaction and affective organizational commitment after accounting for a range of demographic, religious, and work controls. Furthermore, we explore the interactive effect of spiritual calling and job satisfaction on organizational commitment. The data are drawn from a nationally representative sample of 771 adults in the United States. The results provide evidence of a positive relationship between spiritual calling and both job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Additionally, our results support the interaction of spiritual calling and job satisfaction explaining additional variance in organizational commitment. Specifically, not only is organizational commitment strongest when spiritual calling and job satisfaction are both strong, but the results also indicate that spiritual calling is positively associated with organizational commitment even if one’s job is not very satisfying.

Keywords

Calling Spiritual Religious Job satisfaction Organizational commitment 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This article is based on research supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #0925907. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

References

  1. Allen, N. J., & Meyer, J. P. (1990). The measurement and antecedents of affective, continuance and normative commitment to the organization. Journal of Occupational Psychology, 63(1), 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bader, C., Mencken, F. C., & Froese, P. (2007). American piety 2005: Content, methods and selected results from the Baylor Religion Survey. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 46(4), 447–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bartlett, K. R. (2001). The relationship between training and organizational commitment: A study in the health care field. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 12(4), 335–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beadle, R., & Knight, K. (2012). Virtue and meaningful work. Business Ethics Quarterly, 22(2), 433–450.Google Scholar
  5. Bellah, R. N., Madsen, R., Sullivan, W., Swindler, A., Madsen, R., & Tipton, S. (1985). Habits of the heart: Individualism and commitment in American life. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  6. Berg, J. M., Grant, A. M., & Johnson, V. (2010). When callings are calling: Crafting work and leisure in pursuit of unanswered occupational callings. Organization Science, 21(5), 973–994.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blau, G. (1986). Job involvement and organizational commitment as interactive predictors of tardiness and absenteeism. Journal of Management, 12(4), 577–584.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blau, G. (1988). An investigation of the apprenticeship organizational socialization strategy. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 32(2), 176–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bunderson, J. S., & Thompson, J. A. (2009). The call of the wild: Zookeepers, callings, and the double-edged sword of deeply meaningful work. Administrative Science Quarterly, 54(1), 32–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Burke, P. J. (1980). The self: Measurement implications from a symbolic interactionist perspective. Social Psychology Quarterly, 43, 18–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Burke, P. J., & Stets, J. E. (1999).  Trust and commitment through self-verification. Social Psychological Quarterly, 347–366.Google Scholar
  12. Burke, P. J., & Tully, J. C. (1977). The measurement of role identity. Social Forces, 55(4), 881–897.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cammann, C., Fichman, M., Jenkins, D., & Klesh, J. (1983). Assessing the attitudes and perceptions of organizational members. In S. Seashore, E. Lawler, P. Mirvis, & C. Cammann (Eds.), Assessing organizational change: A guide to methods, measures and practices (p. 84). New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  14. Cardador, M., Dane, E., & Pratt, M. G. (2011). Linking calling orientations to organizational attachment via organizational instrumentality. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 79(2), 367–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chan, C. C., McBey, K., & Scott-Ladd, B. (2011). Ethical leadership in modern employment relationships: Lessons from St. Benedict. Journal of Business Ethics, 100(2), 221–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chan-Serafin, S., Brief, A. P., & George, J. M. (2013). How does religion matter and why? Religion and the organizational sciences. Organization Science,. doi: 10.1287/orsc.1120.0797.Google Scholar
  17. Chusmir, L. H., & Koberg, C. S. (1988). Religion and attitudes toward work: A new look at an old question. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 9(3), 251–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Colarelli, S. M., Dean, R. A., & Konstans, C. (1987). Comparative effects of personal and situational influences on job outcomes of new professionals. Journal of Applied Psychology, 72(4), 558–566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Crede, M., Chernyshenko, O. S., Stark, S., Dalal, R. S., & Bashshur, M. (2007). Job satisfaction as mediator: An assessment of job satisfaction’s position within the nomological network. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 80(3), 515–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Davidson, J. C., & Caddell, D. P. (1994). Religion and the meaning of work. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 33(2), 135–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Davies, R. (1983). Calling. In A. Richardson & J. Bowden (Eds.), A new dictionary of Christian theology (p. 79). London, UK: SCM Press.Google Scholar
  22. DeCotiis, T. A., & Summers, T. P. (1987). A path analysis of a model of the antecedents and consequences of organizational commitment. Human Relations, 40(7), 445–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dik, B., & Duffy, R. (2009). Calling and vocation at work. The Counseling Psychologist, 37(3), 424–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dik, B. J., Eldridge, B. M., Steger, M. F., & Duffy, R. D. (2012). Development and validation of the calling and vocation questionnaire (CVQ) and brief calling scale (BCS). Journal of Career Assessment, 20, 242–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Dobrow, S. R., & Tosti-Kharas, J. (2011). Calling: The development of a scale measure. Personnel Psychology, 64, 1001–1049.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Dougherty, K., Johnson, B., & Polson, E. (2007). Recovering the lost: Re-measuring U.S. religious affiliation. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 46(4), 483–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Duffy, R. D., Allan, B. A., Bott, E. M., & Dik, B. J. (2013). Does the source of a calling matter? External summons, destiny, and perfect fit. Journal of Career Assessment,. doi: 10.1177/1069072713514812.Google Scholar
  28. Duffy, R. D., Bott, E. M., Allan, B. A., Torrey, C. L., & Dik, B. J. (2012). Perceiving a calling, living a calling, and job satisfaction: testing a moderated, multiple mediator model. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59(1), 50–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Duffy, R. D., Dik, D. J., & Steger, M. F. (2011). Calling and work-related outcomes: Career commitment as a mediator. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 78(2), 210–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Duffy, R., & Sedlacek, W. (2007). The presense and search for a calling: Connections to career development. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 70, 590–601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Elangovan, A. R., Pinder, C. C., & McLean, M. (2010). Callings and organizational behavior. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 76(3), 428–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hall, D. T., & Chandler, D. E. (2005). Psychological success: When the career is a calling. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26(2), 155–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hofmans, J., De Gieter, S., & Pepermans, R. (2013). Individual differences in the relationship between satisfaction with job rewards and job satisfaction. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 82(1), 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hogg, M. A. (2007). Uncertainty-identity theory. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 39, pp. 69–126). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  35. Hogg, M. A., Adelman, J. R., & Blagg, R. D. (2010). Religion in the face of uncertainty: An uncertainty-identity theory account of religiousness. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 14(1), 72–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Johnson, R. E., Chang, C., & Yang, L. (2010). Commitment and motivation at work: The relevance of employee identity and regulatory focus. Academy of Management Review, 35(2), 226–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Judge, T. A., Piccolo, R. F., Podsakoff, N. P., Shaw, J. C., & Rich, B. L. (2010). The relationship between pay and job satisfaction: A meta-analysis of the literature. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 77(2), 157–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Judge, T. A., Thoresen, C. J., Bono, J. E., & Patton, G. K. (2001). The job satisfaction–job performance relationship: A qualitative and quantitative review. Psychological Bulletin, 127, 376–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kalleberg, A. L. (1977). Work values and job rewards: A theory of job satisfaction. American Sociological Review, 42(1), 124143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. King, J. E., Jr. (2008). (Dis) Missing the obvious. Journal of Management Inquiry, 17(3), 214–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. King, P. E. (2003). Religion and identity: The role of ideological, social, and spiritual contexts. Applied Developmental Science, 7(3), 197–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Klein, H. J., Molloy, J. C., & Cooper, J. T. (2009). Conceptual foundations: Construct definitions and theoretical representations of workplace commitments. In H. J. Klein, T. E. Becker, & J. P. Meyer (Eds.), Commitment in organizations: Accumulated wisdom and new directions. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence-Erlbaum Associated.Google Scholar
  43. Kristof-Brown, A. L., Zimmerman, R. D., & Johnson, E. C. (2005). Consequences of individuals’ fit at work: A meta-analysis of person-job, person-organization, person-group, and person-supervisor fit. Personnel Psychology, 58(2), 281–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Locke, E. A. (1969). What is job satisfaction? Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 4(4), 309–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lynn, M. L., Naughton, M. J., & VanderVeen, S. (2009). Faith at work scale (FWS): Justification, development, and validation of a measure of Judeo-Christian religion in the workplace. Journal of Business Ethics, 85(2), 227–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lynn, M. L., Naughton, M. J., & VanderVeen, S. (2011). Connecting religion and work: Patterns and influences of work-faith integration. Human Relations, 64(5), 675–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Mathieu, J. E., & Zajac, D. M. (1990). A review and meta-analysis of the antecedents, correlates, and consequences of organizational commitment. Psychological Bulletin, 108(2), 171–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. McGrath, A. (1999). Calvin and the Christian calling. The Journal of Religion and Public Life, 94, 31–35.Google Scholar
  49. Meyer, J. P., & Allen, N. J. (1984). Testing the ‘side-bet theory’ of organizational commitment: Some methodological considerations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 69(3), 372–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Meyer, J. P., & Allen, N. J. (1990). A three-component conceptualization of organizational commitment. Human Resource Management Review, 1(1), 61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Meyer, J. P., Allen, N. J., & Gellatly, I. R. (1990). Affective and continuance commitment to the organization: Evaluation of measures and analysis of concurrent and time-lagged relations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75(6), 710–720.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Mottaz, C. J. (1987). An analysis of the relationship between work satisfaction and organizational commitment. The Sociological Quarterly, 28(4), 541–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Mowday, R. T., Porter, L. W., & Steers, R. M. (1982). Employee-organization linkages : The psychology of commitment, absenteeism, and turnover. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  54. Neubert, M. J., & Dougherty, K. D. (2012). Christian perspectives on faith at work: An empirical exploration of faith and work associations across religious traditions. In Judi. Neal (Ed.), Handbook of faith and spirituality in the workplace (pp. 45–67). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  55. Novak, M. (1996). Business as a calling: Work and the examined life. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  56. Peterson, C., Park, N., Hall, N., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2009). Zest and work. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 30(2), 161–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Pierce, J. L., & Dunham, R. B. (1987). Organizational commitment: Pre-employment propensity and initial work experiences. Journal of Management, 13(1), 163–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rosso, B. D., Dekas, K. H., & Wrzesniewski, A. (2010). On the meaning of work: A theoretical integration and review. Research In Organizational Behavior, 30, 91–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Silber, I. F. (1993). Monasticism and the ‘Protestant Ethic’: Asceticism, rationality and wealth in the medieval west. British Journal of Sociology, 44(1), 103–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Silberman, I. (2005). Religion as a meaning system: Implications for the new millennium. Journal of Social Issues, 61(4), 641–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Steensland, B., Park, J. Z., Regnerus, M. D., Robinson, L. D., Wilcox, W. B., & Woodberry, R. D. (2000). The measure of American religion: Toward improving the state of the art. Social Forces, 79(1), 291–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Steger, M. F., Pickering, N., Shin, J. Y., & Dik, B. J. (2010). Calling in work: Secular or sacred? Journal of Career Assessment, 18, 82–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Stryker, S. (1980). Symbolic interactionism: A social structural version. Menlo Park, CA: Benjamin Cummings.Google Scholar
  64. Stryker, S., & Burke, P. J. (2000). The past, present, and future of an identity theory. Social Psychology Quarterly, 63(4), 284–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Tracey, P. (2012). Religion and organization: A critical review of current trends and future directions. The Academy of Management Annals, 6(1), 87–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Tredget, D. (2002). The Rule of Benedict and its relevance to the world of work. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 17(3), 219–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Verquer, M. L., Beehr, T. A., & Wagner, S. H. (2003). A meta-analysis of relations between person-organization fit and work attitudes. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 63(3), 473–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Walker, A. (2013). The relationship between the integration of faith and work with life and job outcomes. Journal of Business Ethics, 112(3), 453–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wang, Y., & Yang, F. (2011). Muslim attitudes toward business in the emerging market economy of China. Social Compass, 58(4), 554–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Wanous, J. P., Reichers, A. E., & Hudy, M. J. (1997). Overall job satisfaction: How good are single-item measures? Journal of Applied Psychology, 82(2), 247–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Watson, G. W., & Papamarcos, S. D. (2002). Social capital and organizational commitment. Journal of Business and Psychology, 16(4), 537–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Weaver, G. R., & Agle, B. R. (2002). Religiosity and ethical behavior in organizations: A symbolic interactionist perspective. Academy of Management Review, 27(1), 77–97.Google Scholar
  73. Weber, M. 2010 (1930). The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism (T. Parsons, Trans.). New York: Routledge Classics.Google Scholar
  74. Werner, A. (2008). The influence of Christian identity on SME owner-managers’ conceptualisations of business practice. Journal of Business Ethics, 82(2), 449–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Whittington, J. L., Goodwin, V. L., & Murray, B. (2004). Transformational leadership, goal difficulty, and job design: Independent and interactive effects on employee outcomes. Leadership Quarterly, 15(5), 593–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Wiener, Y., & Vardi, Y. (1980). Relationships between job, organization, and career commitments and work outcomes: An integrative approach. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 26(1), 81–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Wrzesniewski, A. (2002). It’s not just a job: Shifting meanings of work in the wake of 9/11. Journal of Management Inquiry, 11, 230–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Wrzesniewski, A., McCauley, C., Rozin, P., & Schwartz, B. (1997). Jobs, careers, and callings: People’s relations to their work. Journal of Research in Personality, 31, 21–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Yücel, İ. (2012). Examining the relationships among job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intention: An empirical study. International Journal of Business & Management, 7(20), 44–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ManagementBaylor UniversityWacoUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyBaylor UniversityWacoUSA

Personalised recommendations