Weak Links and Strong Links: Employee Commitment and Performance

  • Karen N. Gaertner
  • Stanley D. Nollen


During the last decade American companies have looked in many quarters for ways to improve performance. Different human resource strategies have been tried, from demassing and downsizing to career planning and employee involvement. Despite the self-evident importance of employee performance to the firm, few definitive statements can be made about how it can be increased. One performance improvement strategy that has been tried is to create a highly committed workforce, a workforce that is tightly linked to the firm —loyal, unlikely to leave. The implicit assumption is that a committed workforce is also a high performing workforce. Therefore, by creating commitment, higher performance will surely follow. Unfortunately, this assumption is not always valid.


Organizational Commitment Career Opportunity Employment Security Promotion Opportunity Career Employment 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Angle, H.L. and Perry, J.L. (1981). An Empirical Assessment of Organizational Commitment and Organizational Effectiveness. Administrative Science Quarterly, 26, 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Becker, H.S. (1960). Notes on the Concept of Commitment. American Journal of Sociology, 66, 32–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bluedorn, A.C. (1982). A Unified Model of Turnover from Organizations. Human Relations, 35, 135–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Buchanan, B. (1974). Building Organizational Commitment: The Socialization of Managers in Work Organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 14, 346–355.Google Scholar
  5. Cotton, John L. and Jeffrey M. Tuttle, “Employee Turnover: A Meta-Analysis and Review with Implications for Research,” Academy of Management Review, 1986, Vol. 11, No. 1, 55–70.Google Scholar
  6. Curry, J.P., Wakefield, D.S., Price, J.L., and Mueller, C.W. (1986). On the Causal Ordering of Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment. Academy of Management Journal, 29, 847–858.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. DeCotiis, T.A. and Summers, T.P. (1987). A Path Analysis of a Model of the Antecedents and Consequences of Organizational Commitment. Human Relations, 40, 445–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gaertner, K. N. and Nollen, S. D. “Career Experiences, Perceptions of Employment Practices, and Psychological Commitment to the Organization.” Human Relations, forthcoming.Google Scholar
  9. Hall, D.T., Goodale, J. Rabinowitz, S. and Morgan, M. (1978). “Effects of Top-down Departmental and Job Change Upon Perceived Employee Behavior and Attitudes: A Natural Field Experiment.” Journal of Applied Psychology, 63, 62–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hrebiniak, L.G. and Alutto, J. (1972). Personal Role-related Factors in the Development of Organizational Commitment. Administrative Science Quarterly, 17, 555–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Katz, D. and Kahn, R.L. (1978). The Social Psychology of Organizations. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  12. Landau, J. and Hammer, R.H. (1986). Clerical Employees’ Perceptions of Intra-organizational Career Opportunities. Academy of Management Journal, 29, 385–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lincoln, J.R. and Kalleberg, A.L. (1985). Work Organization and Workforce Commitment: A Study of Plants and Employees in the U.S. and Japan. American Sociological Review, 50, 738–760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Meyer, J.P., Paunomen, S.V., Gellatly, I.R., Goffin, R.D., and Jackson, D.N. (1989). “Organizational Commitment and Job Performance: It’s the Nature of the Commitment that Counts.” Journal of Applied Psychology, 74, 152–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mowday, R.T., Porter, L.W., and Steers, R.M. (1982). Employee-Organization Linkages: The Psychology of Commitment, Absenteeism, and Turnover. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  16. Mowday, R.T., Steers, R.M., and Porter, L.W., (1979) “The Measurement of Organizational Commitment.” Journal of Vocational Behavior. 14, 224–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. O’Reilly III, C. and Chatman, J. (1986). Organizational Commitment and Psychological Attachment: The Effects of Compliance, Identification, and Internalization on Prosocial behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 492–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Organ, D.W. (1987) Organizational Citizenship Behavior: The Good Soldier Syndrome. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath and Company, Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  19. Quinn, R.P. and Staines, G.L. (1979). The 1977 Quality of Employment Survey. Ann Arbor: Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research.Google Scholar
  20. Vroom, V. (1964). Work and Motivation. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen N. Gaertner
    • 1
  • Stanley D. Nollen
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Business AdministrationGeorgetown UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations