Organizational Commitment is important to maintain productivity, creativity, and job satisfaction. Higher levels of commitment result in lower turnover rates, higher productivity, and better service (Leiter and Maslach 1988) Organizational Commitment is characterized by three factors by Mowday and Steers (1978): 1) a strong belief in and acceptance of the organization’s goals and values; 2) a willingness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the organization: and 3) a strong desire to maintain membership in the organization. (p. 4). There are three types of organizational commitment: “Affective Commitment” – the employee likes her job; “Continuance Commitment” – the employee is staying out of fear of loss, for example, she has years in the pension system; and, “Normative Commitment” – the employee feels a sense of obligation to the organization. (Meyer and Allen 1991). Of the three types of organizational commitment, Affective Commitment is the most desired, where passion for work arises; and the one most affected by an organization’s leadership (Khalip 2016). A skilled leader is important to foster organizational commitment. Janssen (2004) found a link between employee conflict with their immediate supervisor and their organizational commitment. As conflict rose, organization commitment decreased (p.62). Furthermore, Leiter and Maslach (1988) suggest “there are direct negative relationships between unpleasant supervisor contacts and organizational commitment” (p. 305).
In order to develop organizational commitment, a leader should foster Affective Commitment to create a workforce that is positive, motivated, and productive. Building trust is vital to this. “Acting in accordance with your words is crucial to creating trust. A breakdown in trust will undermine the best efforts to build an ethical and effective organization.” (Boardman and Klum 2013). An effective leader leads by example and shows a strong work ethic. “People in organizations are far more likely to be influenced by what their CEO and senior managers do than simply by what they say. Therefore, CEOs and senior managers need to lead by example.” (Boardman and Klum 2013). Referring back to the three factors of organizational commitment, having a relevant vision is significant in cultivating the first factor in organizational commitment. “Vision is the responsibility of every leader at every level of the organization. It’s possible for leaders of departments or teams to create shared visions for their departments even when the rest of the organization doesn’t have one. (Blanchard 2010 p.27). A leader should empower her followers. Janssen (2013) proposes that feeling empowered to make a difference in the workplace facilitates commitment to the organization (p. 57). Blanchard (2010) defines empowerment as: Sharing information and tools to help people meet customer needs or exceed customer expectations (p.36) Janssen states that “empowerment is a motivational process of feeling enabled”; and, goes on to say: “Empowered employees are assumed to feel increased intrinsic work motivation and have a proactive, rather than a passive, orientation to their work roles” (p. 57). A leader who fosters and maintains high ethical standards creates notable benefits related to organizational commitment. “The ethical tone of an organization can affect: efficiency and effectiveness; decision making processes; staff commitment and job satisfaction; staff stress; staff turnover. (Boardman and Klum 2013).
In conclusion, organizational commitment is developed using strong management skills. Poor management is linked to decreased organizational commitment. A strong leader fosters trust, leads by example, creates a shared vision, empowers her employees, and nurtures high ethical standards in her team. Organizational commitment is important as it leads to lower staff turnover rates, higher productivity, and increased job satisfaction.