Organizational Behavior


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Organizational Behavior

  1. 1. Work and Occupations A Dual Process Model of Organizational Commitment: Job Satisfaction and Organizational Support JEONGKOO YOON and SHANE R. THYE Work and Occupations 2002; 29; 97 DOI: 10.1177/0730888402029001005 The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: Additional services and information for Work and Occupations can be found at: Email Alerts: Subscriptions: Reprints: Permissions: Citations (this article cites 54 articles hosted on the SAGE Journals Online and HighWire Press platforms): Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  2. 2. Yoon, Thye / OCCUPATIONS WORK AND ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT The authors propose and test a new dual-process model of organizational commitment that con- nects organizational practices and specific job characteristics to the emotions and cognitions of employees. In turn, emotional reactions and cognitive processes are theorized to be the proxi- mate cause of organizational commitment. Specifically, the model stipulates that overall job sat- isfaction and perceptions of organizational support are key emotional and cognitive processes that mobilize commitment in the workplace. The theoretical model was estimated with a sample of employees drawn from two large Korean organizations (N = 2,443). Overall, the results pro- vide strong support for the model. The main findings are that feelings of job satisfaction and per- ceptions of organizational support operate through independent channels to mediate the impact of work experiences on organizational commitment. The authors discuss the implications of these findings in light of current theory and research on commitment. A Dual Process Model of Organizational Commitment Job Satisfaction and Organizational Support JEONGKOO YOON Ajou University SHANE R. THYE University of South Carolina C ommitment is a broad-ranging concept that cuts across many organiza- tional and sociological domains. It is generally recognized that commit- ment is a good predictor of many behaviors, including absenteeism (Brooke & Price, 1989; Gellatly, 1995; Sagie, 1998), turnover (Jaros, 1997; Martin, 1979; Micheals & Spector, 1982; Mueller & Price, 1990; Price & Mueller, 1986), and organizational citizenship behavior (Mathiew & Zajac, 1990; Authors’ Note: We are grateful to Edward J. Lawler and three anonymous reviewers for many valuable suggestions on this article. This study was supported in part by the Brain Korea 21 Grant to the Supply Chain Management Team in School of Business Administration at Ajou University. Direct correspondence to Jeongkoo Yoon at School of Business Administration, Ajou University, Suwon, South Korea (jkyoon@madang. or Shane R. Thye, Department of Sociology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC ( WORK AND OCCUPATIONS, Vol. 29 No. 1, February 2002 97-124 © 2002 Sage Publications 97 Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  3. 3. 98 WORK AND OCCUPATIONS Schappe, 1998; Williams & Anderson, 1991).1 In recent years, theories of com- mitment have also been advanced by researchers interested in social movements (Kanter, 1968), social exchange relations (Kollock, 1994; Lawler & Yoon 1996), and more generally, social order and solidarity (Hechter, 1987). In this article, we are concerned with organizational commitment, broadly defined as a strong identification with a particular company or organization (Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982). Drawing on previous research, we offer a new theoretical model of organizational commitment. This model integrates two interrelated approaches that have been sharply demarcated in traditional studies of organizational commitment: (a) an emotional/affective approach that centers on global job satisfaction and (b) a cognitive/evaluative approach that focuses on perceptions of organizational support. In this study, overall job satisfaction and perceived organizational support are simultaneously incorporated into a single model as dual pathways to commitment. This new model is then tested with a large sample of employees drawn from two Korean organizations. To our knowledge, no research to date has developed and tested a single theoretical model of organizational commitment that includes both pathways. Past efforts to understand organizational commitment have taken two independent directions. The first emphasizes the importance of job satisfac- tion, typically defined as “a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experiences” (Locke, 1976, p. 1300). Psychological and organizational researchers agree that overall job satisfac- tion is an important mediating construct in the development of employee commitment (Iverson & Roy, 1994; Lincoln & Kalleberg, 1990; Mowday et al., 1982; Mueller & Price, 1990; Price & Mueller, 1986).2 Much of this research has focused on the causal agents that precipitate job satisfaction. For example, psychologists tend to focus on personality traits (Brief, Butcher & Roberson, 1995; Watson, Pennebaker, & Folger, 1986), whereas researchers in sociology and organizational behavior typically emphasize organizational features and job rewards (Mottaz, 1985; Rusbult & Farrell, 1983). Despite these differences, it is now generally understood that global job satisfaction is one of the best predictors of organizational commitment (Lincoln & Kalleberg, 1990; Mueller & Price, 1990; Price & Mueller, 1986; Staw, Sutton, & Pelled, 1994). The second approach places greater emphasis on the principle of reciproc- ity. An important concept in this tradition is perceived organizational sup- port, which refers to the employee’s “global beliefs concerning the extent to which the organization values their contributions and cares about their well-being” (Eisenberger, Huntington, Hutchison, & Sowa, 1986, p. 501). The concept of perceived organizational support (i.e., the organization’s Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  4. 4. Yoon, Thye / ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT 99 attachment to the employee) can be viewed as a reciprocal yet closely related counterpart to organizational commitment (i.e., the employee’s attachment to the organization). The basic theoretical premise is that employees who per- ceive they are supported by the organization are likely to reciprocate in terms of commitment (Eisenberger, Fasolo, & Davis-LaMastro, 1990; Settoon, Bennett, & Liden, 1996; Shore & Tetrick, 1991). As such, perceived organi- zational support is also widely known to be a good predictor of organizational commitment (Eisenberger et al., 1986, 1990). Despite substantial progress in each domain, the central ideas of these two areas have not been integrated in theories of commitment. That is to say, the- ory development and empirical studies on job satisfaction tend not to incor- porate the key ideas found in the organizational support literature and vice versa. In this article, we aim to develop a single model that bridges these two important research programs and thereby provide a more general view of commitment. Toward this end, we propose and test a theoretical model that incorporates both overall job satisfaction and perceived organizational sup- port as mediators of organizational commitment. We offer the two as theoret- ically distinct paths to commitment; job satisfaction represents an emotional/ affective process, whereas perceived organizational support represents a par- allel cognitive/evaluative process. A secondary goal of this article is to identify more clearly the specific job characteristics and organizational factors that result in perceived organiza- tional support. Compared to job satisfaction, whose etiology is well under- stood, studies have not systematically investigated the causes of perceived organizational support (see Wayne, Shore, & Liden, 1997, for an exception). Many researchers simply treat perceived organizational support as exoge- nous. Yet if both job satisfaction and perceived organizational support medi- ate employee commitment as independent pathways, then we would expect to see certain job characteristics differentially related to each. As such, we compare and contrast the organizational factors that lead to job satisfaction to those associated with perceptions of organizational support. In what follows, we explicate a new model of organizational commitment. We then test the model with survey data collected in two large Korean work organizations. Given the nature of the data, we control for cultural factors and explore how Korean cultural norms affect the processes under consideration. THE MODEL As shown in Figure 1, we propose that dual processes lead to organiza- tional commitment: One pathway runs through overall job satisfaction and Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  5. 5. 100 WORK AND OCCUPATIONS Job Characteristics Autonomy (+) Variety (+) Workload (-) Pay (+) Job Satisfaction Organization-Related Variables Communication (+) Distributive Justice (+) Procedural Justice (+) Organizational Commitment Controls & Covariates Tenure Organizational Occupation Support Organization A Age Male Education Figure 1: A Dual Process Model of Organizational Commitment the other through perceived organizational support. Based on prior theory and research, our model of commitment includes four job-related variables (i.e., job autonomy, job variety, workload, and pay) and three variables related to organizational practice (i.e., procedural justice, distributive justice, and communication). Together, these seven are theorized to be important pre- dictors of job satisfaction and organizational support. To partition off addi- tional variance, we also include a number of control variables that measure characteristics of the employee and organization. The model presumes that employees develop emotions and beliefs from their work experiences. In turn, these are the proximal cause of organiza- tional commitment. Most research to date has focused either on the direct effects of work experiences on organizational commitment or on their indi- rect effects mediated by job satisfaction. In contrast, we claim that employee work experiences are mediated both by global positive emotions (i.e., overall job satisfaction) and cognitions regarding the organization’s treatment of employees (i.e., perceived organizational support). If correct, this view implies that most direct relations between work experiences and commit- ment will be spurious when mediating factors are taken into account (also see Smith, 1992; Smith, Kendall, & Hulin, 1985). We also investigate whether perceived organizational support is equivalent to job satisfaction as a mediat- ing factor when the two are simultaneously considered in the same model. In the abstract, our model suggests that multiple layers of exchange tran- spire between the employee and organization. Specifically, the exogenous and endogenous variables of our model can be construed as the objects of first- and second-order exchange, respectively. First-order exchange refers to Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  6. 6. Yoon, Thye / ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT 101 the direct exchange between any two parties of material goods or tangible resources. This occurs when the employee is given tangible benefits (e.g., salary, promotions, job autonomy, clear communication, fair treatment) in exchange for labor. In contrast, second-order exchange involves the exchange of nonmaterial goods, such as beliefs, perceptions, emotions, and cognitions. The endogenous path through perceived organizational support suggests that organizations exchange a satisfying and supportive environ- ment for the loyalty and commitment of their employees. This has been shown to occur through an attribution process (Lawler, 1992). Whether it is through global job satisfaction or perceived organizational support, in either case the organization is attributed as the source of benefit. In this manner, the model suggests that first- and second-order exchanges are important in the commitment process. EXOGENOUS FACTORS Four exogenous job-related variables are predicted to directly affect job satisfaction. Variety and autonomy may be construed as rewards intrinsic to the job itself (Hackman & Oldham, 1975). Variety is the degree to which a job allows choice or freedom over work methods, quality criteria, and work schedule (Price & Mueller, 1986). The lack of variety makes a job easily pro- grammable and can thereby alienate the employee from the work process (Hackman & Oldham, 1975; Perrow, 1986; Price & Mueller, 1986). As such, variety should enhance job satisfaction. Autonomy is the degree to which the employee is directly involved with job-related decisions (Breaugh, 1985; Price & Mueller, 1986; Spector, 1986). Research has shown that high levels of autonomy increase job satisfaction because it enhances the psychological ownership of work (Cummings, Molloy, & Glen, 1977; Hackman, 1986). In contrast, work overload may be viewed as an inherent cost. Work overload is defined as the degree to which job demands are too high for an employee to finish the job on time (Price & Mueller, 1986). Empirical studies find that work overload reduces job satisfaction because it is stressful and physically taxing (Ko, Price, & Mueller, 1997). Of the four exogenous variables, pay is perhaps the best-known predictor of job satisfaction (Iverson & Roy, 1994; Mottaz, 1987). We also explore whether the four job factors affect perceptions of organi- zational support. On one hand, there is little prior research directed at the antecedents of organizational support, so there is no a priori reason to suspect these four variables are necessarily good predictors. On the other hand, pay, autonomy, variety, and workload can be construed as everyday rewards that indirectly communicate if the organization values or cares about the Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  7. 7. 102 WORK AND OCCUPATIONS employee. In this sense, the four exogenous factors may be related to percep- tions of organizational support. Given the less direct nature of the connection, however, we suspect the four job factors will have a weaker effect on per- ceived organizational support than on everyday job satisfaction. The model also hypothesizes that three organizational factors affect both perceived organizational support and overall job satisfaction. The organiza- tional factors we investigate here are communication, distributive justice, and procedural justice. Each variable reflects a wide range of organizational prac- tices that affect everyday job experiences, information flows, and employee benefits. Given the breadth of these factors, we predict the three organiza- tional variables will directly affect both job satisfaction and perceived organi- zational support. Communication refers to the degree to which an organization provides proper information in a clear and timely manner (O’Reilly & Roberts, 1976; Weick, 1987). Communication plays an instrumental role in everyday work routines by providing the information necessary for employees to perform their jobs efficiently (O’Reilly & Roberts, 1976; Weick, 1987; Yates & Orlikowski, 1992). With this in mind, we predict that high levels of commu- nication will enhance job satisfaction. Communication is also predicted to affect perceived organizational support (Dollar & Zimmers, 1998; Suzuki, 1998). To the extent the employee can reliably provide and receive informa- tion from superiors, this should foster perceptions of choice and control known to strengthen cognitive attachments to the larger organization (Lawler, 1992). When communication is indirect and limited, the employee may feel isolated and perceive less organizational support. Perceptions of justice play a similar role. There are two fundamental types of justice (Hegtvedt & Markovsky, 1995). Distributive justice is “the per- ceived fairness of the amounts of compensations employees receive com- pared to their contributions,” whereas procedural justice is “the perceived fairness of the means used to determine those amounts” (Folger & Konovsky, 1989, p. 115). Many researchers are interested in how perceptions of justice affect organizational behavior and in which kind of justice is more important (Brockner, Tyler, & Cooper-Schneider, 1992; Tyler, 1990, 1994; Yoon, 1996). Overall, prior research suggests that procedural justice affects percep- tions of the organization (e.g., trust, legitimacy of authority, and commit- ment), whereas distributive justice has a greater effect on job satisfaction and turnover (Alexander & Ruderman, 1987; Folger & Konovsky, 1989; Yoon, 1996). Based on these findings, we predict that although both kinds of justice are important, distributive justice will have a greater impact on job satisfac- tion, whereas procedural justice will have a greater impact on perceived orga- nizational support. Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  8. 8. Yoon, Thye / ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT 103 In addition, we include a number of control variables, that is, tenure, occu- pation, and organization. Previous studies of Korean hospital employees find that nonmanual workers and those with longer tenure perceive greater orga- nizational support (Yoon, Han, & Seo, 1996). Other research indicates these factors are also related to job satisfaction (Yoon, 1996). Furthermore, we include a dummy variable to capture unmeasured differences between the two organizations. This will absorb variation on the dependent variable due to different organizational cultures or specific company policies (Harris & Mossholder, 1996; Meglino, Ravlin, & Adkins, 1989). THE ENDOGENOUS PROCESSES Shore and Tetrick (1991) proposed a conceptual distinction between over- all job satisfaction and perceived organizational support, indicating the for- mer represents an affective-laden attitude, whereas the latter is a descriptive belief about the organization. They argued that overall job satisfaction is more sensitive to fluctuations in the immediate job, whereas perceived orga- nizational support is more responsive to accumulated job experience. Eisenberger, Cummings, Armeli, and Lynch (1997) agreed that job satisfac- tion and organizational support are distinct. To illustrate, consider an employee who temporarily endures poor working conditions and long hours for a business in financial trouble. The employee may recognize the financial problems, be dissatisfied with the current job, but attribute the problems externally (i.e., market conditions or a competing firm) and still view the organization as supportive. The contrary can also occur: Conditions over which the organization has little control may result in high job satisfaction without an increase in perceived organizational support. In effect, perceived organizational support varies with the degree of organizational discretion, whereas job satisfaction does not (Eisenberger et al., 1997). As noted above, much research connects job satisfaction to organizational commitment (Iverson & Roy, 1994; Lincoln & Kalleberg, 1990; Mowday et al., 1982; Mueller & Price, 1990; Price & Mueller, 1986). Overall, this litera- ture indicates that satisfied employees are more likely to develop cognitive bonds with the organization (i.e., commitment) and are less prone to turnover. Turning to perceived organizational support, research indicates that employ- ees who perceive organizational support are likely to express gratitude in the form of commitment (Buchanan, 1974; Cook & Wall, 1980; Eisenberger, et al., 1986, 1990; Steers, 1977). Moreover, perceived organizational support can work through the employee’s reward expectations to induce commit- ment. In a supportive organization, employees should come to anticipate their efforts will be rewarded. As a consequence, they should be more likely Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  9. 9. 104 WORK AND OCCUPATIONS to identify with the larger institution and incorporate organizational member- ship into their identity (Eisenberger et al., 1986, p. 501). THE KOREAN CONTEXT We examine the theoretical model with data from two Korean organiza- tions. This provides an opportunity to consider how cultural and normative processes unique to Korea might affect commitment and determine if theo- retical explanations primarily developed in the West generalize to Eastern settings. We also consider how Korean cultural norms interface with our the- oretical model and discuss the broader applicability of our findings (Corn- field, 1997). A growing literature documents that values, attitudes, and behaviors known to affect work outcomes differ between Western and Asian societies (see Kim, Triandis, Kagitcibasi, Choi, & Yoon, 1994). For example, research indicates that collective and relational orientations are dominant among Korean workers, whereas individual and utilitarian orientations are most prevalent among workers in Western societies (Cha, 1994; Kim, 1994). Other studies indicate that work relations in the East are often treated as family rela- tions (Bae & Chung, 1997; Hong, 1997). That is, based on Confucian philos- ophy that emphasizes the family as the prototypical model around which to organize groups and collectivities, many Korean employees might expect the company to treat them as family members. This relationship entails high lev- els of mutual obligation, employer protection of employee rights, and the express devotion of the employee to the company as if it were a family busi- ness (Yammarino & Jung, 1998). The implication is that relational and proce- dural features of the organization may have greater predictive power in our Korean sample. In terms of our model, these norms suggest that communication and pro- cedural justice will have strong effects on organizational support and job sat- isfaction. The reason is that these measures capture relational and procedural aspects of the organization. Similarly, we suspect that perceived organiza- tional support (i.e., a relational construct) will be a better predictor of com- mitment than job satisfaction (i.e., an individual emotion). We also include measures of age, education, gender, and occupation to capture the effect of culturally based status characteristics (Berger, Fisek, Norman, & Zelditch, 1977). Historically, Korea is a deeply stratified society in which observable status characteristics confer a broad range of social advantages. Although industrialization since the 1960s has relaxed the tradi- tional status order, many Koreans are still intensely concerned with occupa- tional and educational prestige. High status is also accorded to males and the Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  10. 10. Yoon, Thye / ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT 105 elderly. It follows that educated, white-collar, male, and older employees should perceive greater organizational support and job satisfaction. METHOD The data were collected from two large organizations in Korea between the winter of 1996 and the spring of 1997. One company is the largest elec- tronics company in Korea, which manufactures home appliances, multime- dia products, telecommunication equipment, and semiconductors. The com- pany’s net sales volume in the fiscal year 1996 was $18,800 million, and its net profit was $194 million. There were approximately 57,000 employees as of December 1996. The second company is one of the largest electric compa- nies that generates, transmits, and distributes power. In 1996, the company’s sales were $13,700 million, yielding a net profit of $1,300 million. The sec- ond company was smaller than the first, with around 38,000 employees as of December 1996. We first clustered the branches of these two companies by regions and business domains and then sampled employees randomly from each cluster. The sample includes all employees representing all occupational categories. Among the 3,500 questionnaires distributed, a total of 2,589 responses were returned by the close-out date. The response rate was 74% (2,589/3,500 = .74). Listwise deletion of missing values subjected the final analyses to 2,443 respondents. The majority of respondents were male (82%), young (mean age = 32), and had served 8.3 years in the same organization. The average level of edu- cation was more than junior college graduation (mean = 14.4 years), and the pay averaged 1,480,000 won per month (about U.S.$1,850 as of December 1996). White-collar workers constituted 31% of the respondents. About half of the respondents (57%) were employees at the electronics company; the others (43%) were employees at the electric company. An analysis of the responses did not reveal any significant sampling biases with respect to occu- pational categories, education, gender, or age. MEASUREMENT Most key measures (i.e., organizational commitment, organizational sup- port, job satisfaction, autonomy, variety, workload, communication, distribu- tive justice, and procedural justice) were composed of 5-point Likert-type scales on which respondents were asked to indicate the extent of their Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  11. 11. 106 WORK AND OCCUPATIONS agreement with each item (1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree). To con- trol for an agreement response bias, a few statements were negatively worded. The three endogenous variables in our theoretical model were organiza- tional commitment, perceived organizational support, and job satisfaction. Organizational commitment was measured by a four-item index selected from Mowday et al. (1982): (a) “I speak highly of the company to my friends,” (b) “I don’t care about the fate of the company in which I work” (reverse coded), (c) “I am proud to tell others I am an employee of this com- pany,” and (d) “I feel very little loyalty to this company” (reverse coded). Per- ceived organizational support was measured by four items selected from Eisenberger et al.’s (1986) scale: (a) “Our company really cares about me,” (b) “our company is willing to help me when I need a special favor,” (c) “our company does not care about my opinions” (reverse coded), and (d) “our company feels that anyone could perform my job as well as I do” (reverse coded). Job satisfaction was measured by five items modified from the Brayfield and Rothe (1951) scale: (a) “I am contented with my job itself,” (b) “I like my current job,” (c) “I often think my job is very good,” (d) “I find enjoyment in my job,” and (e) “I am losing interest in my job” (reverse coded). In general, these constructs were found to be reasonably reliable. (Cronbach’s α = .70, .76, and .84, respectively, for the indices). We measured two exogenous variables related to intrinsic job rewards. Autonomy was measured by six items adapted from Breaugh (1985): (a) “I am able to modify what I am supposed to accomplish,” (b) “I have control over the scheduling of my work,” (c) “my job is such that I can decide when to do particular work activities,” (d) “my job allows me to modify the normal way I am evaluated so that I can emphasize some aspects of my job and play down others,” (e) “I am allowed to decide how to go about getting my job done,” and (6) “I am able to choose the way to go about my job.” Variety was measured by a four-item scale selected from Price and Mueller (1986): (a) “My job has variety,” (b) “the duties in my job are repetitious and routine” (reverse coded), (c) “I have the opportunity to do a number of different things in my job,” and (d) “many of my tasks are the same from day to day” (reverse coded). Turning to the job-related variables, workload was measured with a scale adapted from Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, and Rosenthal (1964): (a) “I do not have enough time to get everything done on the job,” (b) “I have to work very fast on the job,” and (c) “the workload on my job is too heavy.” Pay was measured as the natural log transformation of respondents’ monthly income before taxes and deductions. Communication was measured by a four-item scale selected from O’Reilly and Roberts (1976): (a) “It is easy to talk openly to all members of this work unit”; (b) “the information I receive is often inaccurate Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  12. 12. Yoon, Thye / ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT 107 in this work unit”; (reverse coded); (c) “communication in this work unit is very open, clear, and timely,”; and (d) “I am kept informed of what’s going on in this work unit.” These indices were again reasonably reliable (Cronbach’s α = .82, .72, .75, and .71, respectively). Distributive justice was measured by a four-item scale modified from Price and Mueller (1986): (a) “Compared to other employees, my work reward is proper in view of my training and education”; (b) “compared to other employees, my work reward is proper in view of my effort that I input”; (c) “compared to other employees, my work reward is proper in view of my work experience,”; and (d) “compared to other employees, my work reward is proper in view of my work responsibilities.” Whereas distributive justice is related to organizational rewards, procedural justice is tied to the processes and means through which the outcomes are generated (Alexander & Ruderman, 1987). Procedural justice was measured with a four-item scale modified from several sources (Alexander & Ruderman, 1987; Price & Mueller, 1986; Yoon, 1996): (a) “The procedures used to determine my pay raise are fair and consistent,” (b) “the procedures used to evaluate my perfor- mance are fair and consistent,” (c) “the procedures used to determine my pro- motion are fair and consistent,” and (d) “the procedures used to determine other fringe benefits are fair and consistent” (Cronbach’s α = .81 and .76, respectively, for the distributive and procedural justice scales.) In terms of the covariates, occupation was classified as manual or nonmanual. Tenure was simply measured by years of employment. Among the respondent demographics, age was measured categorically, and the mid- point of years was assigned to each respondent. Education was measured by years in school. Gender was dummy coded, assigning 1 for males and 0 for females. Finally, the two organizations were dummy coded to control for variance at the organizational level. RESULTS Linear structural equation modeling was used for the analysis (LISREL 8: Jöreskog & Sörbom, 1993). LISREL affords the advantage of estimating the causal model while correcting for attenuation due to random measurement error (see Thye, 2000). The maximum likelihood routines produce a measure of the goodness of fit for the overall model as well as explained variance (R2) of each endogenous variable. The standardized coefficients reported below can be interpreted as standardized betas in ordinary least square regression. The analysis is broken into four parts. First, we conduct a confirmatory factor analysis to determine if our key theoretical constructs are distinct. Second, Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  13. 13. 108 WORK AND OCCUPATIONS we examine the correlation between key variables. Third, we estimate the path coefficients for the dual process model of commitment. Finally, we examine the direct and indirect effects of the exogenous variables to assess the explanatory power of the endogenous pathways. CONFIRMATORY FACTOR ANALYSIS To assess whether organizational commitment, overall job satisfaction, and perceived organizational support are distinct constructs, we conducted a confirmatory factor analysis. Specifically, we compare the three-factor model (i.e., all factors distinct) with several alternative formulations (i.e., Model 1 is the single-factor model; Model 2 represents all possible two- factor models). The three-factor model is the baseline model for this compar- ison (Model 3). Multiple indicators are used to assess the fit, including the Comparative Fit Index (CFI) (Bentler & Bonett, 1980), the Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI) (Tucker & Lewis, 1973), the Goodness-of-Fit Index (GFI), and the Adjusted Goodness-of-Fit Index (AGFI) (Jöreskog & Sörbom, 1993). To compare the three models, we use a chi-square significance test to determine significant improvements in fit (James, Mulaik, & Brett, 1982). Model 1 presumes one overall factor and fits the data poorly, as indicated by low values of CFI, TLI, GFI, and AGFI (.77, .72, .84, and .78, respectively). The standardized factor loadings also reveal that items measuring overall job satisfaction loaded quite poorly on the global factor. Model 2 hypothesizes three distinctive two-factor models, overall job satisfaction, and perceived organizational support (Model 2a = organizational commitment + perceived organizational support, overall job satisfaction; Model 2b = organizational commitment + overall job satisfaction, perceived organizational support; Model 2c = perceived organizational support + overall job satisfaction, orga- nizational commitment). The associated GFIs are somewhat improved com- pared to the single-factor model. However, the values are still below normally accepted levels. The values for CFI, TLI, GFI, and AGFI associated with each model are as follows: Model 2a (.87, .85, .91, and .87), Model 2b (.82, .78, .88, and .82), and Model 2c (.86, .83, .89, and .84). Model 3, which hypoth- esizes three distinctive factors, shows considerable improvement in the GFI (.93, .91, .95, and .93, respectively, for CFI, TLI, GFI, and AGFI). Com- paring Model 3 to the best two-factor model (i.e., Model 2a) yields a CFI improvement of .06. Based on Widaman’s (1985) suggestion that an increase in CFI of greater than 0.01 represent substantive improvement, we conclude that Model 3 provides the best relative fit. We also find that the chi-square dif- ference between Model 2a and Model 3 is significant, χ2 (2, N = 2,850) = 721.5, p < .001, which is further evidence in support of the three-factor Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  14. 14. Yoon, Thye / ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT 109 TABLE 1: Confirmatory Factor Loadings for the Three-Factor Model (N = 2,850) Perceived Organizational Organizational Overall Job Commitment Support Satisfaction Organizational commitment I am proud to tell others I am an .85 employee of this company. I speak highly of the company .82 to my friends. I feel very little loyalty to this .54 company. (R) I don’t care about the fate of .59 the company in which I work. (R) Perceived organizational support My company really cares about .74 my well-being. My company is willing to help me if .61 I need a special favor. My company does not care about .44 my opinions and extra effort. (R) My company is proud that I am a .57 member of this organization. Overall job satisfaction I find enjoyment in my job. .73 I often think my job is very good. .73 I like my current job. .80 I am contented with my job itself. .81 I am losing interest in my job. (R) .58 NOTE: (R) indicates the item is reverse coded. All factor loadings are statistically significant, p < .001. model. The factor loadings for Model 3 are shown in Table 1. All of the items load significantly on their respective factors, and all loadings are greater than .46. An examination of the cross-loadings did not indicate values larger than .27. Overall, these findings suggest that perceived organizational support, overall job satisfaction, and organizational commitment are distinct constructs.3 CORRELATION MATRIX Table 2 presents the LISREL corrected correlation matrix for all variables in the analysis. In general, the pattern of correlations supports the paths hypothesized in the model. As predicted, both perceived organizational sup- port and overall job satisfaction are related to organizational commitment (r = .62 and r = .60, respectively). We also find the exogenous variables are Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  15. 15. 110 WORK AND OCCUPATIONS related to perceived organizational support as expected. For example, per- ceived organizational support is significantly correlated with variety (r = .23), autonomy (r = .36), communication (r = .67), procedural justice (r = .72), and distributive justice (r = .59). Although the correlations are some- what smaller, job satisfaction is also related to key exogenous variables. Table 2 shows that job satisfaction is moderately related to variety (r = .45), procedural justice (r = .33), distributive justice (r = .36), and autonomy (r = .44). There is a strong relation between job satisfaction and communication (r = .62). We were somewhat surprised to find that work overload is not related to organizational support (r = .00) or job satisfaction (r = .01). Fur- thermore, pay is significantly related to job satisfaction (r = .12) but not per- ceived organizational support (r = .02). We also find that certain exogenous factors are differentially related to perceived organizational support and job satisfaction. For example, variety and autonomy are more strongly related to job satisfaction than perceived organizational support (see Table 2). As predicted, perceived organizational support is more strongly related to procedural justice (r = .72) than to distrib- utive justice (r = .59), whereas job satisfaction is more strongly related to dis- tributive justice (r = .36) than to procedural justice (r = .33). Interestingly, communication is a good predictor of both organizational support and job satisfaction (r = .67 and r = .62, respectively). In sum, the pattern of correla- tion dovetails nicely with our theoretical model. MODEL ESTIMATION We adopt a progressive strategy to estimate the semi-chain path model shown in Figure 1. After estimating the hypothesized model, we relax certain paths to improve the model’s overall fit. Among numerous strategies for doing so (Bollen, 1989; Marsh, Balla, & McDonald, 1988; Wheaton, 1987), we adhere to a conservative approach. That is, we retain all original paths even when they were not supported. Table 3 shows results of the LISREL estimation. Model 1 represents the estimation of the model given in Figure 1, whereas Model 2 shows another estimation after paths were added to improve the model fit. The chi-square for Model 1 is 5,988 with 889 degrees of freedom (p = .000). The GFIs show a reasonable fit between this model and the data (GFI = .91, AGFI = .89, TLI = .87). And although Model 2 uses 5 additional degrees of freedom, the overall fit is significantly improved as indicated by the chi-square test (χ2 = 5,826, df = 884, p = .000). Furthermore, the related GFIs remain nearly unchanged in the second model (GFI = .92, AGFI = .90, TLI = .88). For these reasons, we focus the remaining analysis on Model 2 shown in Table 3. Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  16. 16. TABLE 2: Means, Standard Deviations, Reliability Coefficients, and Correlations Between all Variables (N = 2,850) © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 1. Organizational commitment 1.00 2. Organizational support .62 1.00 3. Job satisfaction .60 .61 1.00 4. Autonomy .32 .36 .44 1.00 5. Variety .25 .23 .45 .24 1.00 6. Workload .03 .00 .01 .07 .03 1.00 7. Communication .48 .67 .62 .51 .28 –.06 1.00 8. Procedural justice .44 .72 .33 .22 .14 .03 .41 1.00 9. Distributive justice .37 .59 .36 .20 .16 –.07 .29 .73 1.00 10. Pay .04 .02 .12 .24 .19 .08 .11 –.01 .00 1.00 11. Tenure –.04 –.08 .09 .15 –.05 –.01 .14 –.22 –.15 .44 1.00 12. White .17 .08 –.01 .09 .09 .02 –.02 .16 .12 .02 –.13 1.00 13. Age –.04 –.05 .14 .18 .06 .01 .18 –.21 –.15 .56 .79 –.16 1.00 14. Education –.03 –.03 .08 .10 .28 .05 .07 .00 .00 .36 –.11 .00 .19 1.00 15. Male .00 .10 .17 .15 .19 .14 .24 –.05 .02 .37 .24 –.11 .44 .25 1.00 16. Organization A .21 .09 –.05 .01 .03 .19 –.21 .33 .19 –.03 –.34 .43 –.38 –.11 –.19 1.00 Mean 2.89 2.90 3.05 3.12 3.23 3.14 2.90 2.65 2.74 14.21 8.29 .30 32.3 14.38 .82 .57 Standard deviation .50 .52 .55 .66 .53 .67 .54 .75 .70 .30 5.96 .46 6.5 2.05 .37 .49 Cronbach’s α .70 .76 .84 .82 .72 .65 .61 .76 .81 NOTE: Male, White, and Organization A are dummy variables. Their omitted categories are female, manual, and Organization B. 111
  17. 17. 112 TABLE 3: Standardized LISREL Coefficient Estimates for the Causal Model (N = 2,850) Model 1 Model 2 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. Organizational Job Organizational Organizational Job Organizational Independent Variable Support Satisfaction Commitment Support Satisfaction Commitment Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 Controls and covariates Male .01 –.05** .— .03 –.05* –.07*** Age .03 .11*** .— .03 .11*** .— Education –.08*** –.04 .— –.07** –.04 –.04** Tenure –.05 –.02 .— –.05 –.02 .— White .01 –.01 .— –.01 –.01 .06*** Organization A .05 .05 .— .01 .04 .17*** Exogenous variables Autonomy .01 .12*** .— .00 .12*** .— Variety .04 .26*** .— .03 .26*** .— Workload .02 .09*** .— .02 .09*** .— Pay –.01 –.04 .— –.02 –.04 — Communication .47*** .45*** .— .46*** .45*** .12** Distributive justice .15*** .24*** .— .15*** .24*** .— Procedural justice .40*** .09* .— .41*** .08* .— Mediating variables Organizational support .— .— .45*** .— .— .31*** Job satisfaction .— .— .32*** .— .— .36*** R2 .72 .50 .48 .73 .50 .51 Degrees of freedom 889 884 Chi-square 5,988 (p = .00) 5,826 (p = .00) Goodness-of-Fit Index .91 .92 Adjusted Goodness-of-Fit Index .89 .90 Tucker-Lewis Index .87 .88 NOTE: Male, White, and Organization A are dummy variables. Their omitted categories are female, manual, and Organization B. *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001, two tailed tests.
  18. 18. Yoon, Thye / ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT 113 Endogenous paths. Overall, the results suggest that dual processes medi- ate organizational commitment. The Table 3 data indicate that the exogenous variables explain 73% of the variance in perceived organizational support and 50% of the variance in job satisfaction. In turn, the overall model explains 51% of the variance in organizational commitment. The standardized path coefficients indicate that both perceived organizational support (beta = .31) and job satisfaction (beta = .36) significantly enhance organizational com- mitment. In terms of the relative strength of each endogenous pathway, a test of equality shows no significant difference in the effect sizes. We find that organizational support and job satisfaction play equal mediating roles in the commitment process.4 Together, these results provide clear and consistent support for the model. Exogenous paths. The model presumes that job and organizational fea- tures significantly predict job satisfaction and perceived organizational sup- port. As expected, job autonomy, variety, and workload significantly increase both organizational support and overall job satisfaction (see Model 2, Table 3). Contrary to our prediction, however, pay was not significantly related to either job satisfaction or organizational support. Turning to the organizational factors, we predicted that communication, distributive justice, and procedural justice would have broader effects, and the data indicate that they do. These variables enhance both perceptions of organizational support and overall job satisfaction (see Model 2). We also predicted that although distributive and procedural justice would affect both job satisfaction and perceived organizational support, their sizes would differ. The results show this to be the case. We found the impact of dis- tributive justice on job satisfaction (beta = .24, p < .001) is greater than that of procedural justice (beta = .08, p < .05; see Model 2 in Table 3). In contrast, the impact of procedural justice on perceived organizational support (beta = .41, p < .001) is greater than that of distributive justice (beta = .15, p < .001). Inter- estingly, we found no significant direct effect of either procedural or distribu- tive justice on commitment. This suggests that when organizational support and job satisfaction are taken into consideration, the effect of justice on com- mitment is spurious. Again, this highlights the importance of the endogenous processes at the core of our model. We were somewhat surprised by one pattern in the results: the slight but significant effect of workload on job satisfaction (beta = .09, p < .001, see Table 3). This indicates that work overload mildly increases job satisfaction. In previous studies, work overload has been found to be a job stressor, damp- ening job satisfaction (Iverson & Roy, 1994; Ko et al., 1997; Yoon et al., 1996). We return to this issue in the discussion. Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  19. 19. 114 WORK AND OCCUPATIONS Among the variables measured here, communication emerged as the sin- gle best predictor of both perceived organizational support (beta = .46, p < .001) and job satisfaction (beta = .45, p < .001). The importance of communi- cation is further evidenced by the significant direct effect it has on commit- ment (beta = .12, p < .01). In some regards, this pattern is not surprising. If communication plays both instrumental and expressive roles, as we speculate above, then we would expect to see strong effects running through both endogenous processes. That we found such effects is not only consistent with our theoretical model but also with past research (Suzuki, 1998; Weick, 1987; Yates & Orlikowski, 1992). The direct effect of communication on commit- ment means there are effects above and beyond the endogenous processes. Clearly, communication is a strong predictor (both direct and indirect) of organizational commitment. Controls and covariates. We also made predictions concerning a variety of interpersonal control variables. The results indicate that male employees are slightly less satisfied and perceive less organizational commitment than female employees, more educated employees perceive less organizational support and are less committed to their organizations, and the elderly are more satisfied with their job than younger coworkers. These results are mostly consistent with previous findings (Luthans, McCaul, & Dodd, 1985; Sommer, Bae, & Luthans, 1996; Yoon, 1996). We also find that nonmanual workers are more committed to the organization than manual workers—a result that might reflect the tendency for manual workers to identify more with their union. Finally, we find some differences in organizational support and commitment between the two companies. In light of the many ways the two companies differ, this finding is difficult to interpret. EFFECT DECOMPOSITION To assess the mediating role of job satisfaction and organizational support on commitment, we first estimate the direct paths from the exogenous vari- ables to organizational commitment based on Model 2. We then decompose the total effect of the exogenous variables on commitment into direct and indirect components. Support for the dual process model comes in the form of large indirect effects. Such a finding indicates that the exogenous variables operate mostly through the mediating processes of the model. Table 4 shows the decomposition of the total effects for key exogenous variables. Again, the data strongly support the assumptions of the theoretical model. Notice that communication is the only exogenous variable that directly affects organizational commitment. Furthermore, only 13% of the Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  20. 20. Yoon, Thye / ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT 115 TABLE 4: Standardized Direct and Indirect Causal Effects of the Key Exoge- nous Variables on Organizational Commitment (N = 2,850) Indirect Through Direct Job Organizational Total Exogenous Variable Effect Satisfaction Support Effect Autonomy .00 .04** .00 .04** Variety .00 .10*** .01** .11*** Workload .00 .03** .01* .04** Pay .00 –.02 .00 –.02 Communication .12*** .16*** .14*** .42*** Distributive justice .00 .09*** .05*** .14*** Procedural justice .00 .03** .12*** .15*** *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001, two-tailed test. total causal effects are direct. A full 87% of the exogenous impact is mediated through job satisfaction and organizational support. Among the two mediat- ing processes, job satisfaction mediates 51% of the total causal effect and organizational support mediates 36%. Also notice that except for procedural justice, the mediating effect of each exogenous variable through job satisfac- tion is larger than that for organizational support. Recall that in the previous section, we found job satisfaction and organizational support to have similar direct effects on commitment. Taken together, these two findings suggest that although job satisfaction mediates a wider range of organizational features, once established, job satisfaction and perceived organizational support are equally potent in producing commitment. Both findings point to the impor- tance of job satisfaction and perceived organizational support as mediating factors. DISCUSSION Our study reveals that job characteristics and organizational features pri- marily operate through job satisfaction and perceived organizational support to produce organizational commitment. An estimation of the theoretical model finds that these two constructs mediate a majority of the total variance in organizational commitment. We also identify a variety of factors (such as open communication, perceptions of distributive, and procedural justice) that promote organizational commitment through both paths. In this section we consider some of the more general issues these findings address. This project offers a unique opportunity to compare the relative strength of job satisfaction and perceived organizational support as mediating Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  21. 21. 116 WORK AND OCCUPATIONS constructs. We find that both constructs are strong predictors of organiza- tional commitment (betas = .36 and .31, respectively). The primary differ- ence between the two is that job satisfaction appears to be more strongly related to a wider range of organizational policies and job practices. We are not surprised that everyday work experiences (i.e., autonomy, variety, and workload) have the strongest and most direct effect on everyday feelings of satisfaction and are less predictive of more abstract perceptions of organiza- tional support. Other researchers have speculated that job satisfaction is the most important predictor of commitment, precisely because it is sensitive to a wide range of job-related traits (Farkas & Tetrick, 1989; Lincoln & Kalleberg, 1990; Mathieu & Zajac, 1990; Mueller & Price, 1990). Our study is consistent with this assertion. We also find that communication is especially important in producing commitment. In fact, communication has multiple indirect effects and is the only theoretical variable that has an impact on organizational commitment directly. Communication, as such, appears to have several positive aspects in the organization. Earlier we claimed that communication plays an instrumen- tal role in the completion of work routines (O’Reilly & Roberts, 1976; Weick, 1987; Yates & Orlikowski, 1992) and that it triggers important cues concern- ing in-group membership (Dollar & Zimmers, 1998; Suzuki, 1998). To the extent the dual paths of our theoretical model capture instrumental and expressive processes, the findings suggest this to be the case. Our study also poses new questions concerning the role of justice in the commitment process. Prior research indicates that procedural justice tends to affect the relationship between the employee and organization (e.g., trust, legitimacy, and commitment), whereas distributive justice tends to have an impact on individual experiences and decisions (e.g., job satisfaction and turnover) (Brockner et al., 1992; Tyler, 1990, 1994). With this in mind, we hypothesized that procedural justice would operate through organizational support, whereas distributive justice would operate through job satisfaction. Both hypotheses were supported. However, those effects are not exclusive. We also found small but significant effects of procedural justice on job satis- faction and distributive justice on perceived organizational support. These findings indicate that justice perceptions have broader effects and suggest the need for additional theory and research. Autonomy and variety are well-known to be intrinsic job rewards (Hack- man & Oldham, 1975). Pay can be construed as a reward that is extrinsic to the job itself. Although we predicted that all three variables would increase job satisfaction, only autonomy and variety received the expected support. This suggests that intrinsic job rewards play a more important role in the development of job satisfaction than do extrinsic factors. In fact, neither job Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  22. 22. Yoon, Thye / ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT 117 satisfaction nor organizational commitment were found to increase with pay when intrinsic job factors were controlled. More generally, these data suggest that inherent job features are the proximate cause of satisfaction; external rewards appear to be less central. We were somewhat surprised by one finding: the small but positive effect of workload on job satisfaction. This finding may be interpreted in several ways. First, it may suggest that under some conditions, employees with high workloads have greater opportunity to contribute to the company and there- fore experience greater self-efficacy and esteem. The converse may also be true. That is, corporations may assign difficult and challenging tasks to the most competent employees. In either case, future researchers should find positive relations between workload, job satisfaction, and measures of employee self-esteem or self-efficacy. A final possibility is that the finding is not reliable and will not replicate in future studies. Only future research will be able to distinguish among these possibilities. We also found slight evidence of cultural norms at work. We suspected that group orientation, social relationships, and familism would be particu- larly important in our Korean sample. These factors, in turn, suggest that (a) procedural justice and communication should be good predictors of the endogenous processes and (b) organizational support would have a greater effect on commitment than job satisfaction. These hypotheses were partially supported. Although communication and procedural justice operate as pre- dicted, organizational support was not a stronger predictor of commitment. Some of the control variables related to commitment as in previous U.S. stud- ies, but others did not. For instance, we found that educated and male employ- ees were less committed to their organization, as is often reported in U.S. samples (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990; Sommer et al., 1996). However, contrary to previous studies in the United States, we did not find a positive impact of age and tenure on organizational commitment (Luthans et al., 1985; Sommer et al., 1996). Given the strong emphasis in Korea on respect for the elderly, these findings may reflect subtleties in the particular organizations of our study. CONCLUSION We developed and tested a new model of commitment that integrates ideas from two independent research programs: job satisfaction and organizational support. Whereas previous research has tended to examine these constructs as separate processes, our model suggests that organizational commitment and job satisfaction are equally weighted affective and cognitive processes that stem from a variety of job and personal characteristics. Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  23. 23. 118 WORK AND OCCUPATIONS At a theoretical level, our findings are consistent with Lawler and Yoon’s (1996) theory of relational cohesion. According to this theory, there are two endogenous processes leading to commitment: social bonding and boundary defining. Social bonding is an affective process that explains the develop- ment of commitment in terms of the emotions aroused through social interac- tion. Boundary defining is a cognitive process wherein collections of people come to see themselves as members of an overarching group and share a com- mon group identity. The theory has been rigorously tested and supported under a variety of conditions (Lawler, Thye, & Yoon, 2000; Lawler & Yoon, 1996). Interpreting our study from this perspective, job satisfaction can be con- strued as a type of positive emotion that is directed at the organization. Per- ceived organizational support can been seen as a salient cognition that the organization is concerned with employee well-being. As such, organiza- tional support may reinforce the boundary between the organization and employee by making organizational membership a component of the individ- ual’s core identity. In this regard, our study represents a field application of the theory of relational cohesion and provides further evidence for the impor- tance of cognitive and emotional processes known to produce commitment. In terms of practical implications, this project suggests that organizations wishing to improve employee commitment should aim to develop two kinds of programs. The first program should be aimed at increasing everyday job satisfaction. This could involve any policy that gives the employee a greater sense of variety, autonomy, and control over his or her job. The second set of directives should seek to make the organizational boundary more salient. This might involve corporate profit-sharing plans, weekly awards that are given to especially deserving employees, or any other activity aimed at build- ing a sense of organizational responsibility and communal identity. To the extent such plans are instated, our research suggests that workers will experi- ence job satisfaction, perceive high levels of organizational support, and ulti- mately become committed to the organization. LIMITS AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS In this section, we discuss some of the limitations of our research and specify reasons why our findings must be interpreted cautiously. We first consider methodological issues and then move to issues of theory and appli- cability. We conclude by examining how recent economic changes in Korea may affect the organizational dynamics of our theory. Because this research employs a cross-sectional survey, it is difficult to make definitive causal claims based on the findings. The model presumes a Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  24. 24. Yoon, Thye / ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT 119 specific time ordering among the exogenous variables, job satisfaction, per- ceived organizational support, and commitment. Yet all variables were mea- sured at a single point in time. Only experimental or time-series data on com- parable processes can fully determine the correct causal sequence. A related issue stems from the limitations that are inherent to any perception-to-perception methodology. Because we rely on perceptual data measured with a series of questionnaire items, our results may be affected by response artifacts such as common methods variance and/or demand characteristics. For example, the theory distinguishes perceived organizational support from perceived job satisfaction. And although the confirmatory factor analysis supports this dis- tinction, artifacts may still exist when information is collected from a single source. Future studies can resolve this issue by using research designs that gather multiple sources of information over time. With respect to the theory, our model explains 51% of variance in organi- zational commitment and 50% of the variance in job satisfaction. These num- bers suggest that some important theoretical variables may be missing from the model. Although the demographic controls in our study help to absorb extraneous variation due to potential misspecification (Harris & Mossholder, 1996; Meglino, Ravlin, & Adkins, 1989), such errors may still exist. Future efforts should be directed at developing more theoretically precise models to handle potential specification errors. Finally, we note that our model of com- mitment is tested with a sample drawn from two relatively large firms. Thus, special caution should be taken when the model is applied to smaller organi- zations, because they may embody different organizational dynamics. For instance, smaller firms or those with a unique market niche may engender an even greater sense of organizational identity. As such, perceived organiza- tional support may become even more potent as a predictor of commitment. In closing, we note that many changes have transpired in Korea since our 1996 survey. Most large Korean companies under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regime experienced restructuring and downsizing as a result of the 1998 exchange deficit. There is some evidence that these dynamics trig- gered substantial changes in employee perceptions and emotions directed toward the organization. For instance, Eisenberger and associates (1997) claimed that such economic restrictions do more to dampen employee job satisfaction than perceived organizational support. They assert that dissatis- fied employees can attribute the problem externally and thereby retain the image of a supportive organization. Beyond this, many Korean firms under IMF have adopted Western standards in human resource practices and accounting guidelines. These companies now pay employees based on merit; factors such as age, seniority, and rank in the organization are simply less important. This implies that the traditional hierarchical structure centered on Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
  25. 25. 120 WORK AND OCCUPATIONS collectivism and seniority can no longer be assumed. Such changes beget a shift in strategy for scholars interested in the contemporary work dynamics of Korea. Researchers must be sensitive to the unique blending of cultural and organizational forces that combine to produce basic social processes such as commitment (Cornfield, 1997). NOTES 1. Many researchers distinguish affective commitment from intent to stay. The two are often referred to as attitudinal and behavioral commitment, respectively (Mueller & Price, 1990). These constructs are also analogous to Allen and Meyer’s (1990) “affective and continuance commitment,” O’Reilly and Chatman’s (1986) “identification and compliance,” and Kanter’s (1968) “affective and instrumental commitment.” Scholars typically focus on one dimension or the other. Rusbult and Farrell (1983) focused on the continuance commitment or intent to stay, whereas organizational psychologists such as Mowday et al. (1982) and Lincoln and Kalleberg (1990) tended to focus on affective commitment. 2. The causal ordering of job satisfaction and commitment has been debated in this literature (Farkas & Tetrick, 1989; Mathieu & Zajac, 1990). In all, however, more studies support the posi- tion that job satisfaction causes commitment than the converse (Lincoln & Kalleberg, 1990; Mueller & Price, 1990). This is also consistent with our theoretical model. 3. We also performed a more inclusive confirmatory factor analysis that included all nine the- oretical constructs. Once again, the nine-factor model also fits the data very well (Goodness-of- Fit Index [GFI] = .93, adjusted GFI = .92, the Tucker-Lewis Index = .90, and Comparative Fit In- dex = .91), and none of the cross-loadings surpassed .30. Furthermore, there was no serious intercorrelation among the measurement errors. Taken in the context of the three-factor model, this provides further evidence for the validity of our constructs. 4. In the model, the equation errors for job satisfaction and organizational support are speci- fied to be intercorrelated with one another. We also tested for a reciprocal effect between per- ceived organizational support and job satisfaction, but the result did not support this nonrecursive model. The results are available from the author on request. REFERENCES Alexander, S., & Ruderman, M. (1987). The role of procedural and distributive justice in organi- zational behavior. Social Justice Research, 1, 177-198. Allen, N. J., & Meyer, J. P. (1990). The measurement and antecedents of affective responses to task characteristics. Journal of Business Research, 3, 311-321. Bae, K., & Chung, C. (1997). Cultural values and work attitudes of Korean industrial workers in comparison with those of the United States and Japan. Work and Occupations, 24, 80-96. Bentler, P. M., & Bonett, D. G. (1980). Significance tests and goodness of fit in the analysis of covariance structures. Psychological Bulletin, 88, 588-606. Berger, J., Fisek, M. H., Norman, R. Z., & Zelditch, M. (1977). Status characteristics and social interaction. New York: Elsevier-North-Holland. Bollen, K. (1989). Structural equations with latent variables. New York: John Wiley. Downloaded from at Middlesex University on February 22, 2008 © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
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