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Journal of organizational behavior volume 17 issue 4 1996 [doi 10.1002%2 f%28sici%291099 1379%28199607%2917%3a4%3c389%3a%3aaid-job755%3e3.0.co%3b2-2] duncan cramer -- job satisfaction and organizational continuance commi
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Journal of organizational behavior volume 17 issue 4 1996 [doi 10.1002%2 f%28sici%291099 1379%28199607%2917%3a4%3c389%3a%3aaid-job755%3e3.0.co%3b2-2] duncan cramer -- job satisfaction and organizational continuance commi

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  • 1. JOURNAL OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR, VOL. 17, 389-400 (1996)Research Job satisfaction and organizationalNote continuance commitment: a two-wave panel study DUNCAN CRAMER Department o Social Sciences, Loughborough University. U . K . $Summary The temporal relationship between job satisfaction and organizational continuance commitment over 13 months was examined in 295 professional employees of a British engineering company using LISREL with latent variables analysis. The cross-lagged path coefficients in the LISREL models were not significantly positive, suggesting that the relationship between these two variables was spurious and due to error variance. Test-retest coefficients for both variables were moderately positive, showing that the relative ranking of individuals on these variables was fairly stable over time.IntroductionJob satisfaction has usually been defined as the extent to which an employee has a positiveaffective orientation or attitude towards their job, either in general or towards particular facets ofit (Smith, Kendall and H u h , 1969). It has been differentiated from job involvement which hasbeen seen as the degree to which an individual identifies psychologically with their job (Locke,1976; Lodahl and Kejner, 1965). Several conceptions of organizational commitment have beendistinguished (Allen and Meyer, 1990; Griffin and Bateman, 1986; Mathieu and Zajac, 1990;Reichers, 1985). The concept most frequently studied has been attitudinal or affective commit-ment. This has been defined as the extent to which an employee identifies and is involved with aparticular organization and has been most commonly measured by the Organizational Commit-ment Questionnaire (Porter, Steers, Mowday and Boulian, 1974). The second most frequentlyinvestigated concept has been variously referred to as behavioural (Salancik, 1977), calculative(Griffin and Bateman, 1986; Hrebiniak and Alutto, 1972) or continuous (Meyer and Allen, 1984)commitment. It has usually been conceptualized in terms of the costs of leaving an organizationand has been most often assessed with the scale developed by Hrebiniak and Alutto (1972). Thisscale operationalizes commitment as the level of various inducements needed to leave anorganization. O’Reilly and Chatman (1986) distinguished three kinds of commitment based on the psycho-logical processes of compliance (or exchange), identification (or affiliation), and internalization(or value congruence). A later factor analysis on a larger and more representative samplerevealed two rather than three factors, called instrumental (compliance) commitment andAddressee for correspondence: Duncan Cramer, Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University, Lough-borough, Leicestershire, LEI 1 3TU, U.K.CCC 0894-3796/96/040389- 12 Received 11 March 199301996 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Accepted 30 May 1995
  • 2. 390 D.CRAMERnormative (identification and internalization) commitment (Caldwell, Chatman and O’Reilly,1990). Furthermore, some have suggested that the various foci of commitment such as theparticular individuals and groups within the organization need to be specified (Becker, 1992;Reichers, 1985). There is evidence that job satisfaction, job involvement and attitudinal organizationalcommitment can be discriminated (Brooke, Russell and Price, 1988; Mathieu and Farr, 1991).Factor analytic studies of Meyer and Allen’s (1 984) affective and continuance commitment scalessuggest that while affective commitment can be distinguished from continuance commitment, thecontinuance scale itself may consist of two dimensions reflecting few alternatives and highpersonal sacrifice respectively (Hackett, Bycio and Hausdorf, 1994; McGee and Ford, 1987;Meyer, Allen and Gellatly, 1990). Interest in the causal nature of the relationship between job satisfaction and organizationalcommitment stems partly from the presumed role these two variables play in conceptual modelsfor predicting turnover (Farkas and Tetrick. 1989; Williams and Hazer, 1986). Most models ofturnover assume that greater job satisfaction leads to greater organizational commitment(Bluedorn, 1982; Marsh and Mannari, 1977; Mobley, 1977; Price and Mueller, 1981). Theprimary reason for this causal order appears to be that job satisfaction is a more immediateaffective response to one’s work which is established more quickly after joining an organizationwhereas organizational commitment is slower to develop since it is based not only on the job buton others aspects of working for the organization such as its goals and values (Porter et al., 1974). However, Bateman and Strasser ( 19841, on the grounds of self-perception theory and research,suggested that greater organizational commitment may produce increased job satisfaction sincecommitment may initiate a rationalization process in which attitudes are made consistent withbehaviour. They claimed empirical support for this causal sequence in a five-month longitudinalstudy of 129 nursing employees which found that the cross-lagged path coefficient betweenearlier organizational commitment and later job satisfaction was significantly positive while thatbetween prior job satisfaction and subsequent organizational commitment was not significant.This finding suggests that job satisfaction results from organizational commitment. Using the LISREL program for linear structural relationship analysis with latent variables,Williams and Hazer (1986) re-analysed the cross-sectional data of Bluedorn (1 982) and Michaelsand Spector (1982) to examine the causal nature of the relationship between organizationalcommitment and job satisfaction in four nested models of turnover. They interpreted their analyses as providing greater support for the causal order of job satisfaction leading toorganizational commitment than the reverse sequence. However, they acknowledged that theirdata did not enable them to test for a reciprocal relationship between the two variables as such amodel would have been underidentified and that assessing directionality with cross-sectionaldata is a ‘nearly impossible task’ (p. 229), which needs to be investigated with longitudinal data. Subsequently, Farkas and Tetrick (1989) tested longitudinal analogues of the models proposed by Williams and Hazer (1986) on a four-year longitudinal study of440 naval recruits. Because two of their variables (job satisfaction and re-enlistment intention) were only measured with two items, these variables had to be assessed with single rather than multiple indicators. However, in contrast to Williams and Hazer (1986), they suggested that their analyses indicated a cyclical or possibly a reciprocal relationship between job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Although they argued that the reciprocal relationship between these two variables could not be tested directly because of underidentification at each time period, it could have been assessed if they had restricted their model to the cross-lagged relationship between these two variables (Greenberg, Kessler and Logan, 1979; Cramer, 1994; Cramer, Henderson and Scott, 1995). Moreover, a re- analysis of their data in which cross-lagged paths between job satisfaction and organizational
  • 3. SATISFACTION AND COMMITMENT 391commitment were postulated indicated that these paths became non-significant when error terms(many of which were significant) were free to correlate (Anderson and Williams, 1992). Curry, Wakefield, Price and Mueller (1986) analysed with LISREL the temporal relationshipbetween job satisfaction and organizational commitment over a seven-month period in 508female nurses. Although multiple indicators were available, these were not used to define thelatent variables. Instead, the loading of the indicator representing each latent variable was setequal to the square root of the reliability coefficient. They found no relationship between jobsatisfaction and organizational commitment over time. Vandenberg and Lance (1 992) examinedthe relationship between job satisfaction and organizational commitment at the same point intime on two occasions five-months apart in 100 management information system professionals.The two exogeneous variables of bonus equity and value congruence were used to identify thereciprocal pathways from job satisfaction and organizational commitment respectively. Onceagain, multiple indicators were not used to define the variables. Their results suggested thatorganizational commitment causes job satisfaction. However, as was true for Williams andHazer (1986), trying to determine the causal relationship between two variables measured at thesame point in time would appear not to be possible. Furthermore, as Kenny (1979) has noted,correcting correlations for attenuation means that the resulting parameter estimates cannot betested for significance in the usual way. Because of differences in the way the data from the longitudinal studies were analysed, it isdifficult to compare their results. The most appropriate method for examining the temporalrelationship between job satisfaction and organizational commitment seems to be latent variablestructural equation modelling in which the statistical fit of models postulating reciprocal,unidirectional and no cross-lagged relationships between job satisfaction and organizationalcommitment are compared. None of the previous studies has done this. However, Curry et al. (1986) found that the cross-lagged path coefficients between these twovariables were not significant as did Anderson and Williams (1992) when the error terms werefree to covary, implying that there is no temporal relationship between the two variables. In bothanalyses, organizational commitment was measured with the nine-item Organizational Commit-ment Questionnaire (Porter et al., 1974), which is seen as being a measure of organizationalaffective commitment. In the study of Curry et al. (1986)job satisfaction was assessed with six ofthe 18 items from the Brayfield and Rothe (1951) scale. However, in the study of Anderson andWilliams (1992) it was only measured with two items involving general satisfaction with theNavy. It is not known to what extent referring to the Navy in this way measured organizationalsatisfaction rather than job satisfaction and so it is unclear whether job satisfaction wasconfounded with organizational satisfaction. A further potential problem with the study by Curry et al. (1986) is that the interval betweenthe two waves may not have been sufficiently long for enough change in the two variables of jobsatisfaction and organizational commitment to have occurred, The relatively high test-retestpath coefficients for job satisfaction (0.8 1) and organizational commitment (0.84) implies thatinsufficient change may have taken place. Previous longitudinal research indicates that deter-mining the minimum interval necessary for studying the temporal relationship between jobsatisfaction and organizational commitment may be problematical. Test-retest correlations havevaried for job satisfaction from a low of 0.35 over 6-8 months (Farkas and Tetrick, 1989) to ahigh of 0.68 over five months (Bateman and Strasser, 1984) and for organizational commitmentfrom a low of 0.37 over 6-8 months (Farkas and Tetrick, 1989) to a high of 0.74 over five months(Vandenberg and Lance, 1992). All these studies used either the nine or 15-item OrganizationalCommitment Questionnaire (Porter et al., 1974) which is viewed more as a measure of affectivecommitment. Meyer et al. (1990) reported, for their two consecutive five-month intervals,
  • 4. 392 D.CRAMERtest-retest path coefficients of between 0.75 and 0.86 for affective continuance and between 0.83and 0.92 for continuance commitment. The explanation that job satisfaction influences organizational commitment implies that jobsatisfaction is less stable than organizational commitment (Porter et al., 1974). One index ofstability is the test-retest correlation of a measure. However, the presumption that organiza-tional commitment takes more time to develop than job satisfaction means that measures oforganizational commitment taken shortly after employees have joined an organization are likelyto be less well established than those taken later on when a person has had more experience onwhich to base their commitment to the organization. Consequently, during the initial period ofbelonging to an organization it is not clear whether the test-retest correlation for organizationalcommitment would be expected to be more positive than that for job satisfaction as implied byCurry et ai. (1986). However, once a person’s organizational commitment has had an oppor-tunity to develop, then the test-retest correlation for organizational commitment should be morepositive than that for job satisfaction. The expectation that the test-retest correlation for organizational commitment would be lesspositive in the earlier compared to the later stage of belonging to an organization was supported in the study by Farkas and Tetrick (1989) who measured job satisfaction and organizationalcommitment two months, 8-10 months and 20-21 months after enlistment. However, in thesecond interval when an individual’s organizational commitment would be expected to be better established than in the first interval, the test-retest correlation for organizational commitment was no more positive than that for job satisfaction, implying that job satisfaction was no less stable than organizational commitment. As mentioned previously, since job satisfaction was measured with only two items which referred to general satisfaction with the Navy, it is not clear to what extent job satisfaction was confounded with organizational satisfaction. The main aim of this paper is to explore the temporal nature of the relationship between job satisfaction and organizational continuance commitment (as opposed to organizational affective commitment) in a two-wave panel study over a longer period than the study of Curry et al. (1986) using linear structural equation analysis with latent variables. Unlike previous studies which have investigated this relationship over time with LISREL (Curry et al., 1986; Farkas and Tetrick, 1989), latent variables based on three indicators each were used to measure these constructs. The statistical fit of models having reciprocal, unidirectional and no cross-lagged relationships betweenjob satisfaction and organizational continuance commitment were compared. An interval of 13 months was chosen to increase the likelihood that sufficient change in these two variables would have occurred to be better able to explore their temporal relationship. Continuance commitment was chosen because it appears to show higher temporal stability than affective commitment (Meyer et af., 1990), which itself seems to show similar stability to job satisfaction (Bateman and Strasser, 1984; Farkas and Tetrick, 1989; Vandenberg and Lance, 1992). Consequently, it was predicted that if continuance commitment is indeed more stable than job satisfaction when error variance is controlled, then prior continuance commitment is more likely to affect subsequent job satisfaction than prior job satisfaction is to affect subsequent continuance commitment.MethodParticipantsQuestionnaires were distributed by the company on two occasions to all professional employeesof a British engineering company manufacturing aerospace and industrial power systems. These
  • 5. SATISFACTION AND COMMITMENT 393were returned by post direct to the author. Because of the need for anonymity and in order to tryto match questionnaires across the two waves, participants were invited to give the first twoletters of their first forename, the first two letters of their mother’s first forename and the day inthe month of their mother’s birthday. At wave 1, the questionnaire was given to 1522 employees,of whom 1074 (71 per cent) completed and returned it and of whom 865 (57 per cent) providedone or more of the questionnaire matching details. At wave 2, the questionnaire was distributedto 1500 employees, of whom 1068 (71 per cent) filled and returned it and of whom 879 (59 percent) gave one or more of the questionnaire matching details. Across the two waves, question-naires from 295 individuals could be matched. Of these, 239 were male and 55 were female.Gender was missing for one person. On the first occasion the mean age of these 295 employeeswas 25.24 years (S.D. = 1.80) and the mean duration of their employment with the firm was 4.59years (S.D. = 2.21). The mean interval between the completion dates of the two questionnaireswas 378.36 days (S.D. = 13.04). At the time of the study, about 10 per cent of the workforce werelaid off in a period of general national economic recession (1991-92).MeasuresThis study was part of a larger one commissioned by the company to monitor sources ofdissatisfaction thought to lead to turnover. A requirement of the study was that questionswould be specifically developed for this survey in conjunction with personnel staff and that theuse of existing scales was not permitted. The questionnaire used had been previously con-structed for the company to assess among other factors job satisfaction and organizationalcontinuance commitment (Cramer, 1993). Items measuring these two variables were answeredon a five-point scale, ranging from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’. The six items whichcorrelated most highly and consistently on the two orthogonal factors representing jobsatisfaction and organizational continuance commitment on the two occasions were selected tomeasure these two variables. Responses on these items were used as raw scores and were simplysummed where appropriate. Cattell’s (1966) scree test was used to determine the number offactors extracted by principal axis factoring. Orthogonal and oblique rotation of these factorsgave essentially similar results. The highest an item from one scale loaded on the other was lessthan kO.30. For job satisfaction, the items (with their factor loadings on the oblique factors given inbrackets first for wave 1 and second for wave 2) were ‘I find my work interesting’ (0.72, 0.78),‘My job gives me much pleasure’ (0.67,0.84), ‘I do not feel very involved with my job’ (-0.63,-0.75), ‘I am generally satisfied with my job’ (0.69, 0.76), ‘I generally like working here’ (0.53,0.75) and ‘Most of the tasks I carry out are lower than I should be doing’ (-0.47, -0.53). Theitems for organizational continuance commitment were ‘Changing companies is important formy further development’ (0.79,0.76), ‘I intend to work for another organization within the nextfive years’ (0.75,0.69), ‘Working for the same firm makes one too complacent’ (0.57,0.64), ‘It isunrealistic to expect someone to work for a long time in the same organization’ (0.57, 0.63),‘I could have a better career outside the company’ (0.53,0.53) and ‘I could not satisfy my careeraspirations any better anywhere else’ (-0.45, -0.46). The correlation between the obliquefactors representing job satisfaction and organizational continuance commitment was - 0.16 atwave 1 and -0.24 at wave 2. Item responses rather than factor loadings were used to createscales and indicators. Items were coded so that higher scores represented greater job satisfactionand organizational continuance commitment. The alpha reliabilities for the two scales on the twooccasions are shown in Table 1. They are high, ranging from a low of 0.79 for organizational
  • 6. 394 D. CRAMERcontinuance commitment at time 1 to a high of 0.87 for job satisfaction at time 2, and indicatethat all four variables were reliably measured. In their study of the discriminant validity of measures of organizational commitment, jobinvolvement and job satisfaction, Mathieu and Farr (199 1) found that job involvement but notjob satisfaction was significantly positively correlated with age, position tenure and organ-izational tenure. In the present study, job satisfaction was also not significantly correlated withthese three variables, suggesting that this measure may be more appropriately described as anindex of job satisfaction than of job involvement. Mathieu and Zajac (1990) in their meta-analysis of correlates of attitudinal and calculative commitment reported that the mean weightedcorrelation corrected for attenuation between position tenure and attitudinal commitment(7, = 0.152) was significantly more positive than that between position tenure and calculativecommitment (F, = 0.025). In the present study, organizational continuance commitment was notsignificantly correlated with position tenure, implying that this scale may be more a measure ofcalculative or continuance commitment than affective commitment. Furthermore, the synchro-nous correlation between job satisfaction and organizational continuance commitment at wave 1(r = 0.35) and wave 2 ( r = 0.37) was closer to the corrected mean weighted correlation betweenwork satisfaction and calculative commitment (Fr = 0.332) than between work satisfaction andattitudinal commitment (F, = 0.629) reported by Mathieu and Zajac (1990). Although Reichers (1985) has suggested that it may be necessary to distinguish desire to staywith the organization from organizational commitment, measures of organizational commit-ment, particularly those assessing continuance commitment, have traditionally included itemsreferring to staying with or leaving the organization. For example, three of the 15 items of theOrganizational Commitment Questionnaire (Mowday, Steers and Porter, 1979) contain thisreference (‘4. I would accept almost any type of job assignment in order to keep working for thisorganization’; ‘9. It would take very little change in my present circumstances to cause me toleave this organization’; and ‘11. There’s not too much to be gained by sticking with thisorganization indefinitely’). All eight items of Meyer and Allen’s (1984) Continuance Commit-ment Scale (McGee and Ford. 1987) include this reference (e.g. ‘1. Right now, staying with myorganization is a matter of necessity as much as desire’ and ‘ 5 . It would be very hard for me toleave my organization right now, even if I wanted to’) while all four items of Hrebiniak andAlutto’s (1972) Index of Organizational Commitment are answered in terms of a generalquestion incorporating this content (‘Would you leave your present organization under any ofthe following conditions?’). The finding that items containing this reference did not emerge as a separate factor in this study suggests that it may be difficult differentiating desire to leave from organizational continuance commitment.Model development and evaluationLinear structural relationship analysis (LISREL) with latent variables was used to determine thestatistical fit of four competing models (Joreskog and Sorbom, 1989). For each scale theresponses of the six items were summed in pairs to form three observed indicators to representthat latent variable. The loading of the first pair was fixed as unity. The two items with thehighest intercorrelation formed the first pair, followed by two items with the next highestintercorrelation. All four models postulated that the variable at time 2 was a function of the samevariable at time 1. The error term of the same indicator at the two waves was free to covary. Forinstance, the first indicator of job satisfaction at time 1 was free to correlate with the firstindicator ofjob satisfaction at time 2. This was done because Anderson and Williams (1992) have
  • 7. SATISFACTION AND COMMITMENT 395shown that models which specify errors to be uncorrelated result in bias of the parameterestimates representing reciprocal effects. The first model was the most comprehensive and heldthat both cross-lagged paths were functional. In other words, it assumed that the two variableswere reciprocally related in that time 2 job satisfaction was influenced by time 1 organizationalcontinuance commitment and time 2 organizational continuance commitment was affected bytime 1 job satisfaction. The remaining three models were subsets of the first. The second and third models held thatonly one or other of the cross-lagged paths was operative while the fourth model posited nocross-lagged paths. The second and third models assumed a unidirectional relationship betweenthe two variables. The second model held that time 2 job satisfaction was a function of time1 organizational continuance commitment whereas the third model postulated that time2 organizational continuance commitment was determined by time 1 job satisfaction. The statistical fit of a model which is a subset of another one can be compared with that model.Consequently, the first model can be compared with the others, while the second and third modelcan be compared with the fourth. A model with a significantly lower x2 as shown by a x2difference test provides a better fit to the data. Where no significant difference exists between anytwo of the models, the model with the fewer significant path coefficients offers the mostparsimonious solution. Five other indices of fit were also given, the first three of which are calculated by LISREL anddescribed by Joreskog and Sorbom (1989). The goodness of fit index represents the proportion ofvariance explained. The closer this value is to 1.OO, the better the fit. The adjusted goodness of fitindex adjusts the goodness of fit index for the degrees of freedom used to estimate the freeparameters of the model. The root mean squared residual is a measure of the average residualsbetween the observed covariance matrix and the estimated matrix. The smaller this index is, thebetter the fit. T o calculate the other two indices of fit, a structural null model needs to be estimated(Bentler and Bonett, 1980) although some feel this unduly restrictive model should only be used inexploratory studies where neither previous theory nor research is available as a guide (Sobel andBohrnstedt, 1985). The normed fit index is (x2nUll ~ ~ ~(Bentler ~ ~ ) 1980) whereas~ - ~ and Bonett, / x ~ ~ ~the parsimonious fit index is the normed fit index multiplied by dfmode[/df",,ll (James, Mulaik andBrett, 1982). The four models were estimated with the maximum likelihood method.ResultsAll analyses involved the full sample of 295 participants. The means (averaged across items),standard deviations, alpha reliabilities and intercorrelations for job satisfaction and organ-izational continuance commitment on the two occasions are presented in Table I . Two-tailedrelated t-tests indicated that both job satisfaction ( t = 2.38, p < 0.05) and organizational <continuance commitment ( t = 4 . 4 0 , ~ 0.001) were significantly lower at time 2 than at time 1. All four variables were significantly and positively intercorrelated, ranging from a low of 0.26between job satisfaction at time 1 and organizational continuance commitment at time 2 to ahigh of 0.70 between organizational continuance commitment at time 1 and time 2 . The x2 test of each model and its degrees of freedom are shown in Table 2 together with theother goodness of fit indices and the standardized beta coefficients. The x2 difference testrevealed no significant differences between any of the nested models, suggesting that no modelwas superior to the other three: M4-M 1 (xi= I .32, n.s.); M4-M2 (x: = 1.14, n.s.); M4-M3
  • 8. 396 D. CRAMERTable 1. Means, standard deviations, alpha reliabilities and intercorrelations of job satisfaction andorganizational continuance commitment on two occasions (n = 295)Variables M S.D. JSI JS2 occ, occ*JSI 3.58 0.68 (0.85)JS2 3.49 0.77 0.66* (0.87)occ 1 2.89 0.65 0.35* 0.36* (0.79)occ2 2.75 0.71 0.26* 0.37* ~ 0.70* ~ ~ ~~~ (0.80)JS, and JSz = job satisfaction at times 1 and 2 respectively; OCCl and OCC2 = organizational continuance commitmentat times I and 2 respectively; alpha reliabilities are in brackets along the diagonal.* p < 0.001 (one-tailed).Table 2. Goodness of fit indices and standardized beta coefficients for the four competing models (n = 295)Model 1 2 3 4 Null JS HOCC OCC + JS JS + OCC JS-OCCGoodness of fit indices 4f 42 43 43 44 66 x2 125.33* 125.51* 126.40* 126.65* 1817.28* X2M 2.984 2.919 2.940 2.878 27.535 GFI 0.939 0.939 0.938 0.938 0.375 AGFI 0.886 0.889 0.887 0.890 0.261 RMSQ 0.063 0.063 0.064 0.065 0.358 NFI 0.931 0.931 0.930 0.930 PFI 0.592 0.607 0.606 0.620Standardized beta coefficents JSI-JS2 0.71, 0.73* 0.71* 0.72* occI -0cc2 0.76* 0.76* 0.80* 0.80* OCCI-JS2 0.07 0.07 - JS I-OCC~ 0.03 0.03GFI = goodness of fit index; AGFI = adjusted goodness of fit index; RMSQ = root mean square residual;NFI = normed fit index [(x:,~, > /xiu,,];PFI = parsimonious fit index (NFI x dfmodel/dfnull); and JS2 = job JS,satisfaction at times 1 and 2 respectively; OCCl OCCz = organizational continuance commitment at times 1 and 2respectively.* p < 0.001.(x: = 0.25, n.s.); M2-MI (x: = 0.18, n.s.); M3-M1 (xf = 1.07, n.s.). For the other four good-ness of fit indices, differences between them for the four models are small or nonexistent. Sinceneither of the cross-lagged standardized beta coefficients was statistically significant, the mostparsimonious model is the fourth one which simply assumed that the variable at time 2 is solely afunction of the same variable at time 1. The power of obtaining a small path coefficient of theorder of 0.20 is about 0.93 (at the 0.05 two-tailed level) for a sample of 295. The test-retest betacoefficients for both job satisfaction and organizational continuance commitment were alsopositive and statistically significant.DiscussionThe results of this longitudinal study found that the correlation between job satisfaction andorganizational continuance commitment was significantly positive when both variables were
  • 9. SATISFACTION AND COMMITMENT 397measured at the same point in time and when they were assessed about 13 months apart,suggesting that the two variables may be causally related. The LISREL analyses, however,revealed that neither cross-lagged path coefficient was significantly positive, indicating that therewas no temporal relationship between these two variables. Measuring affective rather than con-tinuance commitment, Curry et al. (1986) and Anderson and Williams (1992) also concluded thatthere was no temporal relationship between job satisfaction and organizational commitment. These results appear to differ from those of Farkas and Tetrick (1989), who investigated withLISREL the relationship between job satisfaction, organizational commitment and several othervariables over three waves. They argued that their analyses implied that the relationship betweenjob satisfaction and organizational commitment may be cyclical or even reciprocal. A directcomparison of the analyses of the two studies is not possible because the same generic modelswere not examined. However, three differences in particular between the analyses of the twostudies should be noted. First and foremost, the models tested by Farkas and Tetrick (1989) do not appear to haveallowed the error terms of the latent variables to intercorrelate as pointed out by Anderson andWilliams (1992). As a consequence of this omission, the association between job satisfaction andorganizational commitment reported in their study may have been due to error common to thesetwo variables. In accord with other investigations (Joreskog and Sorbom, 1989), permittingcorrelations between error terms in the LISREL analyses in the present study produced modelswith a substantially better fit to the data. Anderson and Williams (1992) found that when errorterms were allowed to covary over time the cross-lagged path coefficients were not significant. Second, even though these models appeared to provide a fit as good if not better than othermodels considered, Farkas and Tetrick (1989) rejected models in which either earlier jobsatisfaction was free to covary with subsequent organizational commitment or earlier organ-izational commitment was free to covary with job satisfaction because the beta coefficients werenegative whereas the zero-order correlations had been positive. In other words, the reciprocalrelationship between job satisfaction and organizational commitment was assumed to beinstantaneous. In contrast to their results, it should be noted that both the cross-lagged betacoefficients in the present study were positive, although neither were significantly so. And third, asthey acknowledged, their models did not enable both of the synchronous paths between these twovariables to be estimated at the same time. Although the models presented in this paper did notpermit the synchronous beta coefficients between job satisfaction and organizational continuancecommitment to covary, it did allow both of the cross-lagged paths from time 1 to time 2 to beestimated in the same model, thereby enabling them to be compared in the same analysis. The results of this study also clearly show that the relative ranking of individuals with respect tojob satisfaction and organizational continuance commitment was fairly stable over the 13-monthperiod examined. The test-retest beta coefficients in this study are similar to those found by Curryet al. (1986) but are considerably higher than those reported by Farkas and Tetrick (1989) whichvaried quite considerably as a function of the model being tested. The test-retest correlations inthe present study are also higher than those reported by Farkas and Tetrick (1989) but similar tothose found by Bateman and Strasser (1984) and Vandenberg and Lance (1992) over the shorterperiod offive months. Consequently, it is possible that the interval of 13 months used in the presentstudy was not long enough for sufficient change in job satisfaction and organizational continuancecommitment to have occurred for the temporal nature of their relationship to be investigated. One reason for the lower stability found in the Farkas and Tetrick (1989) study may have beendue to the fact that their sample consisted of a cohort of younger individuals who had enlisted atthe same time and who were followed up shortly after enrolling whereas participants in thepresent sample had not joined the organization at the same time and were older. As a
  • 10. 398 D.CRAMERconsequence, individuals in the present study had had more experience of the work and theorganization on which to judge their satisfaction and commitment. A limitation of the presentstudy is the relatively small number of individuals in the sample who provided the necessaryinformation for matching their questionnaires from the two waves and who may not have beenrepresentative of the larger sample. Another potential weakness may have been the conceptual-ization of continuance commitment more in terms of the intention to leave the organization thanthe costs of leaving it. The construct validity of this measure needs to be further investigated. Mean job satisfaction and organizational continuance commitment was significantly lower onthe second than the on the first occasion. Mean life satisfaction over this period, however,showed a significant increase (Cramer, 1995), implying that the change in job satisfaction andorganizational continuance commitment may have been work-related and may have beenassociated with company changes leading to lay-offs in the workforce. Farkas and Tetrick (1989)also found job satisfaction and organizational commitment declined significantly over the threewaves of their study. Bateman and Strasser (1984), on the other hand, implied that there was nosignificant change in these two measures over a five-month period which was confirmed when thepresent author checked their figures. Vandenberg and Lance (1992) also reported no significantchange in these measures over a five-month period although the author’s own re-analysis of theirvalues indicated a significant increase in both organizational commitment ( t = 13.25, two-tailedp < 0.001) and job satisfaction ( t = 4.74, two tailed p < 0.001). The mean values of thesevariables appear similar over the seven-month period of the study by Curry et al. (1986) but thisimpression could not be confirmed because the test-retest correlations were not supplied.Although these studies vary in numerous ways and are too few to make meaningfully compari-sons, there does not appear to be any relationship between the pattern of change in the twovariables and the nature of the cross-lagged relationships obtained between them. The explanation that job satisfaction affects organizational commitment implies that jobsatisfaction is less stable than organizational commitment (Porter et af.,1974). Stability is typicallymeasured in terms of the test-retest correlation. In the present study a person’s organizationalcontinuance commitment was likely to have been established since employees had been with thefirm, on average, for over four years. Nonetheless, the test-retest correlation for job satisfaction was not significantly less positive than that for organizational continuance commitment. In other words, there is no evidence to suggest that job satisfaction may be less stable than organizationalcontinuance commitment in the present study. Consequently, this explanation for job satisfaction leading to organizational continuance commitment may have to be re-evaluated. The fact that this study together with that of Curry et al. (1986) and Anderson and Williams (1992) found no temporal relationship between job satisfaction and organizational commitment has the important practical implication that simply increasing job satisfaction is unlikely to result in greater organizational commitment. Furthermore, it indicates that the observed cross-lagged correlation between job satisfaction and organizational commitment is spurious and is the result of common factors. What these factors are remains to be determined.ReferencesAllen, N. J. and Meyer, J. P. (1990). ‘The measurement and antecedents of affective continuance and normative commitment to the organization’, Journal of Occupational Psychology, 63, 1-1 8.Anderson, S. E. and Williams, L. J . (1992). ‘Assumptions about unmeasured variables with studies of reciprocal relationships: The case of employee attitudes’, Journal of Applied Psychology, 77,638-650.
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