Influencers and consequences of Organisational Commitment within Sheffield City Region's mid-sized businesses

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The aim of this thesis is to investigate the influencers and consequences of organisational commitment (OC) within the context of the Sheffield City Region and mid-sized business. The existing literature on OC is almost wholeheartedly dedicated to investigating which type of commitment an employee will experience during their work. Ghosh and Swamy (2014) and Singh and Gupta (2008) considered this to be a weakness of commitment research as it has failed to explain what influences commitment, and its associated consequences. Meyer and Allen's (1991) three component model (TCM) is often used as a framework, and allows researchers to investigate to what extent employees are committed, and which of the three styles of commitment they experience: 'affective' and in line with organisational goals; 'continuous' and trapped through a lack of alternatives; or 'normative' and remaining through loyalty. However, what is missing from existing research is an investigation into the influencing factors of OC and the consequences of having committed employees in the same way that Meyer and Allen (1991, p.71) said 'would require further attention.' Essentially asking, why are employees are committed? Finally, it is noteworthy that OC theory has generally been developed in North-America's public sector and seldom tested in the United Kingdom and with smaller private organisations, a gap filled by this PhD study. In order to answer the research question, a mixed methods research approach was adopted in this thesis. In a pre-study, the existing Meyer and Allen (1991) TCM questionnaire survey was issued to employees in three case organisations in the Sheffield City Region. This allowed the researcher to position, for each employee their current commitment, or lack of thereof, relative to theory before investigating the reasons they were committed. The questionnaire also asked willing employees to volunteer for follow-up interviews. Further, and through a snowballing approach from the original sample, additional volunteers were located. In total, 147 completed TCM questionnaires were returned in the pre-study and 38 employees were interviewed from the three case organisations. The pre-study quantitative data was analysed using Microsoft Excel and SPSS and the qualitative data was transcribed and analysed in line with framework analysis (FA) (Ritchie and Spencer, 1994). The results from the qualitative data and FA demonstrated that 'Culture,' Organisational Direction,' and 'Relationship' were influencers of OC and the authors own 'Influencers of Organisational Commitment' (IOC model) was presented. Further, the researcher identified the consequences of commitment; for continuous commitment, only the requirement to remain was found. Whereas, for affective and normative commitment styles a number of outcomes were noted: goal and value alignment; reduced turnover; employee attachment; and interest and awareness in the organisations strategy. The influencers and consequences of organisational commitment were identified and explored through the findings and discussion chapters, serving as a practical and theoretical contribution to knowledge in line with the Corley and Gioia (2011) framework.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Director of studies: Fariba Darabi


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