Kenneth W. Mentor, J.D., Ph.D.
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Organizational Commitment and the
Perception of Organizational Support

Kenneth W. Mentor

This paper is a a very condensed version of my Masters Thesis. My Masters degree is in Psychology, and as this paper demonstrates, my emphasis was on Social/Organizational Psychology. My committee chair at Central Michigan University was Dr. Terry Beehr. Several of the tables have lost something in translation and I am far enough removed from this work that I don't plan to take the time to fix these errors in this version. I apologize for any confusion.


Commitment, perceived support, and endorsement of the organization's products or services are measured. Measures of performance and agreement with reciprocity and equity norms are also included. Commitment and support are positively related. There is no relationship between commitment and performance, yet high commitment increased the endorsement of products or services.


Mowday, Porter, and Steers (1982) define organizational commitment as "the relative strength of an individual's identification with and involvement in a particular organization. Conceptually, it can be characterized by at least three factors: (a) a strong belief in and acceptance of the organization's goals and values; (b) a willingness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the organization; and (c) a strong desire to maintain membership in the organization" (p. 27).

Although there are a variety of definitions (Buchanan, 1974; Hrebiniak & Alutto, 1972; O'Reilly & Chatman, 1986; Scholl, 1981; Wiener, 1982), organizational commitment is becoming synonymous with the Mowday et al. (1982) definition. This lends consistency to the study of commitment (Reichers, 1986). Morrow (1983) identified thirty constructs that have been discussed as forms of commitment. Many researchers have formulated their own definitions and measures rather than building on existing research. Commitment, as defined and measured by Mowday et al. (1982), maintains an organizational focus and does not overlap empirically with other measures. Based on this and other suggestions (Akhtar & Tan, 1994; Griffin & Bateman, 1986; Reichers, 1985), the Mowday et al. (1982) definition is used in the present research.


Commitment antecedents generally fall into five categories: (a) personal characteristics; (b) work experiences; (c) role-related characteristics (Buchanan, 1974; Marsh & Mannari, 1977; Salancik, 1977; Schlenker & Gutek, 1987; Steers, 1977); (d) structural characteristics (Morris & Steers, 1980; Rhodes & Steers, 1981; Stevens, Beyer, & Trice, 1978); and (e) job choice processes (O'Reilly & Caldwell, 1980, 1981; Pfeffer & Lawler, 1980; Stumpf & Hartman, 1984). The present study focuses on personal characteristics and work experiences. Items in categories c, d, and e were not measured. Personal characteristics were considered, primarily to control for the potential relationships between these characteristics and the variables of primary interest. Work experiences were also considered, particularly in the area of support from the organization.

Personal Characteristics

Age has been shown to be positively related to commitment (Angle & Perry, 1981; Hrebiniak, 1974; Lee, 1971; Sheldon, 1971). However, it is generally thought that the link between age and tenure causes this relationship (Buchanan, 1974; Farrell & Rusbult, 1981; Morris & Sherman, 1981). That is, as age increases so does tenure, and tenure is argued to result in the link between age and commitment (Lincoln & Kalleberg, 1985; Williams & Hazar, 1986).

Mixed results are reported regarding education as an antecedent. Koch and Steers (1978) report a positive relationship between education and commitment. Education, or the desire for education, may also be inversely related to commitment (Steers, 1977). Angle and Perry (1981) reasoned that decreasing levels of education may restrict the individual to the present job. Mowday et al. (1982) pointed out that higher educated individuals may also have higher expectations than the organization is able to meet. This would likely lead to lower commitment.

The relationship of gender and commitment has also been addressed. Several researchers report that women are consistently more committed to organizations than are men (Angle & Perry, 1981; Hrebiniak & Alutto, 1972; Mowday et al., 1982). Others have argued that no gender relationship will be found when age, education, and organizational levels are statistically controlled (Brief & Aldag, 1975; Bruning & Snyder, 1983; Wheeler, 1981).

Age, tenure, education, desire for continued education, and gender were measured and statistically controlled to account for the potential effect each may have on the relationships of primary interest in the present research. Each of these variables is also considered individually.

Work Experiences

Work experiences have not been studied as much as other antecedents. Increased focus in this area is appropriate since organizations have the ability to manipulate work experiences. The current research assesses the employee's perception of support from the organization and the relationship between support and commitment. The perception of organizational support, which is discussed below, is a potential antecedent that can be manipulated by the organization.

Another employment factor likely to have a relationship with commitment is stage of employment. Career stage has been found to be a significant moderator in the development of commitment (Buchanan, 1974; Reichers, 1986). The likelihood that commitment is different for employees at different stages of employment would suggest that commitment research could be directed toward each of these stages, or at least toward subjects at similar stages. In the present research nearly all subjects were at a similar stage of employment. There are varying levels of tenure, but most respondents were in the same or similar positions.


The most replicated finding in commitment literature is an inverse relationship between commitment and turnover (Angle & Perry, 1981; Clegg, 1983; Mowday et al., 1982; Porter, Crampon, & Smith, 1976; Wiener, 1982; Wiener & Vardi, 1980). Another common finding is the lack of a relationship between commitment and performance (Morrow, 1993; Mowday et al., 1982; Steers, 1977; Wiener, 1982). This may be related to the difficult nature of performance measurement (Angle & Lawson, 1994; Campbell, McCloy, Opper, & Sagar, 1993; Austin and Villanova, 1992). Angle and Perry (1994) point out that since performance is setting specific, multidimensional measures of performance are required.

In the present research a simple performance measure is used to measure the relationship of commitment and performance. The performance scale was developed following interviews with managers of retail sales organizations. Managers rated each employee on several factors, including dependability, product knowledge, and sales performance. Another measure of performance, the likelihood of endorsing the organization's products or services, is included to identify a relationship between commitment and one aspect of performance. The salesperson's performance would likely be affected by endorsement of the organization's products or services.


Until the antecedents of commitment are more clearly understood, interventions aimed at increasing commitment may not be effective (Bateman & Strasser, 1984). If all antecedents are related to personal characteristics, selection techniques may be the best way to increase commitment to the organization. Antecedents to commitment that can be manipulated by the organization would be helpful in an effort to develop certain positive employee traits. The relationship between the perception of organizational support and commitment may provide insight into an antecedent that can be manipulated.

Perceived Organizational Support

Organizational support research addresses issues related to the organization's willingness to support its employees. Perceived support has been shown to be influenced by the frequency, extremity, and judged sincerity of statements of praise or approval (Eisenberger, Huntington, Hutchinson, & Sowa, 1986). The Eisenberger et al. model suggests that perceived support is influenced by the way in which the organization treats employees. To the extent that this treatment meets the individual's needs for praise and approval, the employee incorporates organizational membership into self-identity and develops an emotional bond to the organization.

A positive relationship between the perception of organizational support and commitment is hypothesized in the current research. An employee becomes committed to the organization as a function of beliefs concerning the organization's commitment to its employees. A cyclical relationship of mutual commitments could maintain a stable, responsible work force.

Reciprocity and Equity

The hypothesized relationship between perceived organizational support and commitment is thought to be reciprocal or equitable in nature. One theory that would explain this relationship is based on the norm of reciprocity (Gouldner, 1960). Gouldner points out that people should help those who have helped them and return benefits for those received. In the workplace, reciprocal obligations may be created as an individual receives a variety of benefits from the organization. The organization may be repaid for offering these benefits through future performance and higher commitment to the organization (Scholl, 1981).

A concept similar to reciprocity is equity (Adams, 1965). Individuals compare their contributions and rewards to those of comparable others in determining whether a situation is equitable. In an organization, an individual's equity attitudes would be affected by his or her treatment in the organization in comparison to co-workers. Reciprocity and equity were each measured in the present study.


1. There will be a positive relationship between organizational commitment and the perception of organizational support.

2. There will be a positive relationship between supervisor ratings of employees and organizational commitment.

3. Highly committed employees will be more likely to endorse or recommend the products or services of the organization.

4. The relationship between organizational support and commitment will be influenced by endorsement of the reciprocity and equity norms.


Organizations selected for research included 106 retail clothing, shoe, and specialty sporting goods stores located throughout the Denver metropolitan area. The manager of each store was asked to allow employees to complete the questionnaire. Thirty two of the managers declined. Employees of six other stores were unable to complete the survey within the time limit (discussed below). Twenty percent of the respondents were employed in sporting goods sales. Another 20% were employed as retail shoe salespeople. The remainder were retail clothing salespeople. Only employees working in the store at the time of the survey participated. Each store was surveyed just once. The number of employees on duty at the time of the survey ranged from one to six. Stores were surveyed at various times, both on weekdays and weekends.

Seventy-eight female and 40 male employees completed the survey. Ages ranged from 18 to 55. Sixty percent of the respondents were 24 years old or younger, and only 10% were over 30 years old. Ninety-six percent were high school graduates. Forty-two percent had some college education and 25% had a college degree, graduate study, or a graduate degree. Sixty-nine percent reported a desire to continue their formal education. Sixty percent of the subjects had been employed in their current organization for a year or less. Ninety percent had worked-for their organization for less than three years. Forty-five percent planned to remain with the organization indefinitely. Twenty-one percent were in management positions.


The questionnaire included the 15 item Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1979) and the 16 item Survey of Perceived Organizational Support (Eisenberger et al., 1986). The Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ) measures affective commitment (Allen & Meyer, 1990) to the organization, this is in contrast to a financial necessity to stay with the organization. The Survey of Perceived Organizational Support (SPOS) was developed to test beliefs concerning the support the organization offers its employees.

Three additional questions addressed the endorsement of the organization's products or services. Another 12 items measured agreement with reciprocity and equity items. Items on the commitment, support, endorsement, reciprocity, and equity scales were measured anchored at (1) strongly disagree to (7) strongly agree. Other questions measured demographic variables, intent to remain in the organization, and the desire for continued education.


The researcher introduced himself to the manager, provided a description of the project, discussed the time needed to complete the survey, and asked for permission to administer the questionnaire. The survey took approximately 15 minutes, respondents were given two hours to complete the questionnaire so that they could continue with pressing job duties. The amount of time required was a factor in the manager's decision to allow the questionnaire. Some managers suggested that the questionnaire could be picked up in a few days or returned by mail. Since this would affect the employee's sense of confidentiality, the two hour limit was used in all cases. The questionnaires were picked up after two hours, whether completed or not.

Upon manager approval, a brief introduction was given to employees. The researcher explained that he was interested in attitudes toward the organization. The employees were told that the research was part of a project which was not endorsed or requested by the organization. It was explained that (a) the organization referred to in the questionnaire was the store in which they were employed, rather that the entire company and all associated stores, (b) all responses would be confidential, no names were to be used, and the number on the questionnaire would be used only to match confidential information provided by the store manager, and (c) responses would be used only in combination with the responses of others.


Five separate scales were developed in the analysis of the questionnaire data. Cronbach's estimate of internal consistency was computed for each scale. Alphas were .69 for the reciprocity scale and .55 for the measure of equity beliefs. Alphas for organizational commitment, the perception of support, and the endorsement of organization products or services were .89, .94, and .89 respectively.

In spite of recent concerns regarding the multidimensionality of the OCQ (Angle & Lawson, 1994), the 15 item scale was used as a unidimensional measure. Akhtar and Tan (1994) address the question of the multidimentional nature of commitment and the OCQ. Their findings support the proposition of commitment as a multidimentional concept, but their results were inconsistent with previous research. The 15 item OCQ has been used by the majority of previous researchers. Since the interaction of turnover intent with commitment appears to be a valid concern, in the present research the entire 15 item scale is used (with an alpha of .89 which is quite respectable and consistent with previous research) with the effects of turnover intent statistically controlled in the analysis of data.

The means, standard deviations, and intercorrelations of the study variables are presented in Table 1. Significant positive correlations were found for several of the hypothesized relationships. Commitment and support were highly correlated, as were commitment and endorsement. Performance and turnover intent were significantly correlated, yet there was no significant relationship of performance to other variables. Women were more committed to their organizations than were men. The hypothesized positive relationships between commitment and perceived support and between commitment and endorsement of the organization's products or services received preliminary support in this analysis, but the hypothesized relationship between commitment and performance did not.

Table 1. Means, Standard Deviations, and Intercorrelations of Variables

Variable Means StD. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

1. Commitment 5.54 1.01 .-

2. Support 5.55 1.19 .79 .-

3. Endorsement 6.05 1.07 .59 .53 .-

4. Interaction 4.77 1.32 .32 .28 .38 .-

5. Reciprocity 4.53 .97 -.05 -.07 .02 .01 .-

6. Equity 5.17 .90 .02 -.03 -.01 .25 .19 .-

7. Tenure 17.00 20.41 .03 .02 -.06 -.11 -.16 .13 .-

8. Turnover Intent 2.40 1.71 -.38 -.21 -.18 -.06 -.03 -.00 -.06 .-

9. Education 3.00 1.01 -.10 -.13 -.16 -.01 -.30 .08 .23 .05 .-

10. Desire for Educ. .77 .42 -.07 -.07 -.06 -.04 -.03 -.06 -.14 .13 -.09 .-

11. Age 24.84 6.54 -.21 -.10 -.14 -.18 -.14 -.01 .27 -.13 .32 -.37 .-

12. Gender .66 .47 .19 .10 .04 -.04 -.14 -.09 -.19 -.06 -.04 -.13 -.15 .-

13. Performance 26.80 3.15 .07 .11 .09 .10 -.09 .07 .03 -.19 .15 .00 .08 .10 .-

14. Manager .22 .41 -.01 -.04 -.08 -.12 -.26 -.11 .24 -.08 .18 .01 .10 -.14 .06

P<.OOI when r>.28 p<.Ol when r>.23 p<.O5 when r>.1

A series of multiple regressions was used to further test the hypotheses. Stepwise multiple regression was used to test the contribution of variables to commitment, support, endorsement, and performance. These analyses were used to test the hypothesis and to eliminate variables that add little to the prediction of the dependent variables. All variables were used in the stepwise regressions, only those with significant results are listed in Table 2.

Table 2. Summary of Stepwise Multiple Regression Analyses

Step Variable Beta R Rsq RsqCh

Organizational Commitment

1. Perceived Support .6047 .7797 .6078 .6078**

2. Turnover Intent -.2337 .8102 .6565 .0487**

3. Endorsement .2080 .8327 .6934 .0369**

4. Age -.1458 .8448 .7136 .0202**

Perceived Support

1. Organizational Commitment .7835 .7635 .6138 .6138**

Performance Rating

1. Turnover Intent -.1892 .1892 .0358 .0358*

Endorsement of Products or Services

1. Organizational Commitment .5220 .5912 .3495 .3495**

2. Interaction with Co-workers .2199 .6270 .3931 .0435**

** P<.Ol * p<.05

Perceived support added most to the prediction equation in a stepwise multiple regression with commitment as the dependent variable. Other significant variables are turnover intent, endorsement of organization products or services, and age. This analysis supports two of the hypotheses in this research. As in the correlation analysis, both perceived support and endorsement are positively related to commitment.

In the stepwise regression with perceived support as the dependent variable, commitment was the only significant variable. No other significant predictors of organizational support were identified after the variance explained by commitment was controlled. The only variable related to performance was a significant negative relationship with turnover intent. Thus, the hypothesized relationship between commitment and supervisor rating of performance is not supported.

Table 3. Summary of Heirarchical Multiple Regression Analyses

Step Variable Beta R Rsq RsqCh

Organizational Commitment

1. Set 1 *** .3227 .1041 .1041

2. Interaction with Co-workers .1044 .4293 .1843 .0846**

3. Perceived Support .7249 .8070 .6513 .4670**

Performance Rating

1. Set 1 .1983 .0393 .0393

2. Turnover Intent -.2295 .2741 .0751 .0358*

3. Interaction with Co-workers .1099 .2992 .0895 .0144

4. Endorsement .1005 .3048 .0929 .0034

5. Perceived Support .2059 .3071 .0943 .0014

6. Organizational Commitment -.2733 .3380 .1142 .0199

Endorsement of Products or Services

1. Set 1 .2131 .0454 .0454

2. Turnover Intent .0320 .2822 .0797 .0343*

3. Interaction with Co-workers .1968 .4402 .1937 .1141**

4. Perceived Support .1265 .5957 .3548 .1611**

5. Organizational Commitment .4536 .6445 .4145 .0605**

Organizational Commitment

1. Set 1 .3158 .0997 .0997

2. Interaction with Co-workers .1044 .4293 .1843 .0846**

3. Reciprocity -.0998 .4346 .1889 .0046

4. Perceived Support .5771 .8070 .6513 .4624

5. Interaction (Support x Recip.) .1806 .8089 .6542 .0030

Organizational Commitment

1. Set 1 .3158 .0997 .0997

2. Interaction with Co-workers .1105 .4293 .1843 .0846**

3. Equity -.2200 .4335 .1880 .0037

4. Perceived Support .3948 .8071 .6514 .4634**

5. Interaction (Support x Equity) .4082 .8135 .6618 .01041#

*** Set 1 includes: Age, gender, tenure, education, and desire for continued formal education.

** P<.0l * p<.05 # P=.069

Hierarchical multiple regressions were used to test the hypothesized relationships while controlling for the effects of covariates. Results of these analyses and the orders in which variables were entered are listed in Table 3. Demographic variables were entered in step one. Several of these variables have been significantly related to commitment in previous studies and are controlled in the present study in order to test the primary hypothesized relationships. The next variable entered was a measure of interaction with co-workers. This variable was a possible predictor of commitment and was also a significant predictor of perceived support. The interaction with co-workers variable was entered before perceived support to control for any possible effect on the relationship of commitment and perceived support.

The perception of organizational support was a significant predictor of organizational commitment even after much of the variance was explained by other variables. As in the stepwise regression, the perception of support was the best predictor of commitment. This supports the hypothesized positive relationship between commitment and the perception of support.

Since only turnover intent predicted performance rating in a stepwise regression, it is not likely that other significant relationships would be identified in the heirarchical regression, and none were. Hierarchical regression was used to demonstrate the contributions of commitment and perceived support on performance when other variables were held constant, no relationship to performance was found. However, commitment was a significant predictor of endorsement after controlling for covariates. Commitment, perceived support, interaction with co-workers, and turnover intent were each positively related to endorsement.

The interaction of reciprocity on the relationship of perceived support and commitment was tested with moderated hierarchical regression. In this analysis the main effects of perceived support and reciprocity are statistically controlled before entering the interaction of the reciprocity and support variables. The interaction variable failed to add to the prediction of commitment.

The effect of equity attitudes on the relationship of perceived support and commitment was also tested with moderated multiple regression. The interaction of equity and support variable was a marginally significant moderator (p=.069). The effect of equity as a moderator variable in the relationship of perceived support and commitment is illustrated in Figure 1. Perceived support has the strongest effect on commitment when equity is low.

Figure 1. Moderating Effect of Equity on the Relationship of Commitment and Perceived Support


6.5 - Low Equity


6.0 - !

High Equity

5.5 - !


5.0 -


4.5 -


4.0 -

Low High

Perceived Support


The hypothesized positive relationship between the perception of organizational support and organizational commitment variables was supported by the analyses. The positive relationship between commitment and the endorsement of the organization's products or services was also supported in the analyses. The hypothesized relationship of commitment and performance was not supported in this research. The effect of the reciprocity norm endorsement on the commitment/support relationship was not found in the hierarchical regression, although there was marginal support for equity as a moderator of the commitment/support relationship.

Perceived Organizational Support

Support for the relationship between perceived support and organizational commitment is encouraging for the development of commitment. If employees are treated well and feel they are supported by their employer, they may return the favor in the form of increased commitment. Further work is needed to understand the reciprocal nature of this relationship. Witt (1991) has examined exchange ideology, a concept similar to equity and reciprocity. Research in this area may provide a clearer picture of the interaction of support and commitment.

Even without a clear understanding of this relationship, benefits of increased support can be realized. Perceived support is related to feedback and praise from the organization (Eisenberger et al., 1986). Increasing perceived support has benefits for both the individual and the organization since commitment is likely increased, goals are clarified through feedback, and efforts toward these goals may be increased as the result of increased commitment.

Identification of factors indicative of support from the organization may lead to other antecedents of commitment. In Eisenberger's research the perception of support was developed primarily through the employee's interpretation of statements of praise or approval (Eisenberger et al., 19-86). Other actions and policies of organizations may be further indicative of the organization's support for employees. For example, Landau and Hammer (1986) have found that the organization's policy on filling vacancies from within the organization is positively related to commitment. Others have suggested that opportunities to voice opinions will reduce turnover (Spencer, 1986; Steers & Mowday, 1981). These and other factors may lead to commitment, either directly, or through the perception of organizational support. Research in this area may indicate that these influences occur via the effect of the perception of support on commitment.

The relationship between commitment and the perception of support is promising. It suggests the possibility of effective methods of developing commitment. Many of the previously identified antecedents of commitment could not be controlled by the organization. In contrast, the perception of support can be manipulated by the organization and efforts at increasing commitment may result in benefits other than increased commitment. Further research into the commitment/perceived support relationship could lead to the identification of other antecedents of commitment as well as clearer reasons for attempting to develop and increase commitment.

Performance and Endorsement of Products or Services

In the present research, no relationship between commitment and performance was found. The only variable related to performance was turnover intent. This should lead to caution in interpreting any relationship between commitment and performance when the turnover intent variable is not controlled in the analysis.

The measurement of performance used in the present research is quite simple. Any relationships concerning performance would be suspect. The fact that endorsement of products or services was not related to performance is additional reason to doubt the validity of the measure. The relationship between commitment and endorsement, which may be a form of performance for retail employees, lends support to the idea that there is a link between commitment and performance. Due to the variety of variables involved in performance measurement, the relationship of commitment and performance may be difficult to identify. An additional consideration is that a desire to excel, if created by commitment, requires the ability to excel. By focusing on certain aspects of performance, narrower and less influenced by individual differences, potential benefits of increased commitment can be demonstrated.

Continued efforts toward exploring any relationship between commitment and performance should be encouraged. It is appealing to think that employees would make a conscious decision to be committed to an organization as the result of their treatment by that organization. A decision to commit to the organization would probably include a decision to be a productive employee. Festinger (1957) writes that dissonance will result when related attitudes do not fit together. Since this dissonance will lead to feelings of discomfort, the individual will make efforts to reduce the dissonance. It would seem that dissonance would result from a decision to be committed to an organization when that decision was not accompanied by efforts toward being a productive member of that organization.

Reciprocity and Equity

In the current research no relationship between reciprocity and commitment was identified. The basic idea that commitment would develop as the result of favorable treatment by the organization was supported in the relationship or perceived support and organizational commitment. This would seem to be a reciprocal relationship, yet further research is needed to clarify the relationship between reciprocity and commitment.

Equity, a concept similar to reciprocity, may have had a modest effect on the commitment/perceived support relationship. Although only marginally significant, this relationship was illustrated by plotting the different effect of equity on commitment in conditions of high and low perceived support. The relationship of commitment and perceived support is stronger for individuals with a lower degree of equity norm endorsement.

The relationship of perceived support to commitment is altered by high endorsement of the equity norm since individuals who support the equity norm remain committed to the organization in the absence of perceived support. In the present research equity moderates the relationship of commitment and perceived support, but not in the manner hypothesized. Perhaps those with high equity norm endorsement are motivated by pay, while those with low equity norm endorsement need support as well as pay. Further research into this relationship could lead to clarification of the relationship between equity and commitment.

Other Findings

An interesting result, found through forward multiple regression analysis, was the positive relationship of age and commitment. This has not been found consistently in previous research. In the present study, age was found to be a significant predictor of commitment after the tenure variable was entered into the analysis. An additional hierarchical multiple regression was used to test this relationship. With commitment as the dependent variable, tenure was entered first followed by age. Tenure did not contribute significantly to the prediction of commitment while age was a significant predictor (p<.05, RsqCh=.051) once the effect of tenure was removed.

An explanation for the relationship between age and commitment can be found in the intercorrelation of variables. Age was correlated with tenure, and tenure was correlated with whether the employee is in a managerial position, yet neither manager status nor tenure was correlated with commitment. Perhaps these results are due to the nature of retail sales. These organizations are not known for generous financial rewards. It is possible that managers and high tenure employees are unhappy with their pay. This dissatisfaction leads to lower commitment. In this research it appears that older employees are committed to their organization until their tenure increases or until they are promoted to a position of management.

Women were more committed to the organization than were men. These results support previous research by Angle and Perry (1981) and Hrebiniak and Alutto (1972). Angle and Perry reported surprise at their findings since commitment, as measured by the OCQ, is similar to work involvement, and women are historically less involved in their work than are men. Subjects in the current research were employed primarily in retail clothing stores. Since this is traditionally a female-dominated profession (note the majority female sample of the present study), higher commitment and involvement by women seems likely. Aranya, Kushnir, and Valency (1986) report lower commitment among females in a male-dominated profession. Perhaps the opposite occurred in the present research. Men had lower commitment in a female-dominated profession.

No relationships between commitment and education, or the desire for education, were found in this research. This is in contrast to previous research which has generally shown an inverse relationship between commitment and education and/or the desire for continued formal education (Hrebiniak & Alutto, 1972; Mowday et al., 1982; Steers, 1977).

In general, the results of this research are encouraging. The perception of support is an antecedent to commitment that can be manipulated by the organization in an effort to increase commitment. Even in the event that commitment is not increased, the organizational will surely benefit from the increased communication and other efforts directed toward increasing the perception of support. Yet the question of whether the organization will benefit from committed employees still remains. Further research may lead to identification of benefits of commitment, especially in the identification of aspects of performance that may be affected by commitment.


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