How Does An Understanding Of Commitment Shape The Behavior Of Individuals Within Organizations?

Part A:

Introduction

The concept of commitment is a concept that is widely used in some ways to as it contains implicit explanations of mechanism that produce consistent human behavior (Colquitt et al. 2013). It normally comes into being when individuals link extraneous interests with consistent lines of activities by making side bets through their participation in social organizations (commitment. (n.d.). The concept of commitment shapes organizational behavior by producing three observable patterns of behavior and employees who exhibit such patterns of behavior are said to be committed. Employees with high organizational commitment tend to easily identify themselves with the organization, have a long-term membership and develop citizenship behavior (Tiwari, 2009).

The paper aims at discussing the understanding of the concept of commitment and how the commitment shapes the behavior of individuals within the organization. Firstly, I will begin by showing the definition of commitment (Randall, 1987). Secondly, I will show how commitment influences the behaviors of individuals and then provide an example to illustrate. Further, the paper will show the discussion of the relationship between employee and commitment as well as how they shape the behavior of individual within an organization. Finally, an understanding of the importance of relationship and commitment will be presented.

Part B:

Commitment is defined as a strong feeling of responsibility that employees have towards the mission of the organization (Becker, 1960; commitment. (n.d.). It is very vital to the organization’s success because high psychological attachment to the organization results in high productivity and performance. Commitment plays a very great role to determine if employees or members will stay within an organization and zealously work towards its goals (Gouldner, 1958). This is because commitment is greatly used by sociologists in analyzing both organizational and individual behavior. It is a descriptive concept that marks out different forms of action characteristic or specific groups or people because it is an independent variable accounting for some types of behavior of groups and individuals (Becker, 1960).

A prominent theory that explains organizational commitment is the three-component model (TCM) which argues that commitment to the organization has three different components (commitment. (n.d.). Firstly, there is an affective commitment that is one’s emotional attachment to an organization. Individuals that have a high level of affective commitment tend to enjoy their relationship with the organization and are more likely to stay despite unfavorable conditions as they stay because they want to stay. The second component is continuance commitment that is the degree with which individuals believe that their leaving the organization will be very expensive (Gouldner, 1958). This shapes behavior in that individuals with high level of this commitment will stay with the organization since they feel that they must stay. For instance, they will that quitting their job may result in the unacceptable length of unemployment (Colquitt et al. 2013). On the other hand, they feel that they will lose some degree of status in case they leave well-respected and famous organizations such top auditing firms like KPMG or top law firm or Research Company.

The final behavior resulting from commitment theory is a normative commitment that refers to the degree one feels obligated to the organization and feel that staying is the right thing to do as they believe they ought to stay (Lewis et al. 2003). Commitment is not only based on one of these commitments but also on a commitment profile that is the interaction between the three components. For instance, working at a prestigious auditing firm that gives individuals good salary and makes them feel important to bring about affective commitment since they enjoy their work and hence want to stay. Also, they have continuance commitment since they would not like to lose the pay and prestige associated with their work. Further, given the nature of their work, they feel they ought to stay and help with the provision of the financial service. This shapes the behavior of individuals to a greater good of themselves as well as to the company (Gouldner, 1958).

Commitment within an organization creates three observable patterns of behavior which have been termed organizational citizenship behaviors. The first behavior is identification. When individuals enter an organization, they gradually become identified with organization’s mission and/or goals that are manifested in pride in the organization as well as defense of the organization (Gemmiti, 2008). This behavior is explained from a traditional motivational perspective. For instance, many individuals tend to work hard to ensure that the mission of the organization is achieved, not because they are dedicated to the organization itself, but because they have eventually identified with that given social mission (Becker, 1960). This indicates that commitment shapes behavior of individuals because each and every member of the organization tends to work towards its goals even if they conflict with their interests (Colquitt et al. 2013).

The second organizational citizenship behavior is long-term membership. Commitment to an organization and identification with its mission or goals creates a long-term membership in the organization as well as the intention to remain with it forever (Gemmiti, 2008). For example, when people enter an organization for the first time, they criticize almost everything about it but with time they develop loyalty towards it. Individuals gradually become more satisfied with their job as well as the contributions/inducements balance (Colquitt et al. 2015). Individuals may not be fully satisfied, but they will remain with the organization even if potentially better opportunities come along due to their commitment to the organization (Whyte,1956). Commitment shapes behavior because it makes people maintain relationships in spite of the existence of better opportunities and some degree of dissatisfaction with one’s benefits or gains from that relationship (Lewis et al. 2003).

Another way that commitment shape behavior is that it results in high levels of extra role behavior; this is the behavior beyond required performance usually known as pro-social behavior or citizenship behavior. Such a behavior can be explained by simply one’s desire to succeed or achieve what they actually value. For instance, as explained by the expectancy theory of motivation, extra role behavior is exhibited when people perceive high instrumentality ( the belief that they high performance believed to valued results like recognition or promotions, or pay rises); and high expectancy ( the belief that they efforts will result in high performance). This shapes behavior because in spite of low expectancy, low motivational force, and low instrumentality, they tend to maintain high levels of extra-role behavior (Lewis et al. 2003).

On the other hand, commitment-based human resource systems tend to shape desired employee behavior as well as attitudes by simply forging links and connections between employee and organizational goals (Tiwari, 2009). Commitment helps in developing highly valued employees who can be fully trusted to use their discretion in carrying out job tasks that are consistent with the goals of the organization (Colquitt et al. 2012). People are complex and multifaceted as they have needs to acquire. On the other hand, they have needs to connect and bond with others, to learn and grow as well as to defend their self-esteem (Gemmiti, 2008). This implies that they join organizations with multiple, or a mix of such needs, but commitment is responsible for reshaping their relative strengths and salience through socialization and selection. With commitment, individuals develop distinctive as well as persistent patterns of behavior as well as a culture that teach them new ways of perceiving, thinking and acting to solve organizational problems effectively. This results in increase performance, productivity and organizational growth (Colquitt et al. 2015).

Part C:

Conclusion

Commitment produces consistent human behavior particularly being when individuals link extraneous interests with consistent lines of activities by making side bets through their participation in social organizations (Gemmiti, 2008). Commitment shapes behavior by producing three observable patterns of behavior. Commitment is a strong feeling of responsibility that employees have towards the mission of the organization (Tiwari, 2009). It shapes behavior by determining if employees or members will stay within an organization and zealously work towards its goals. A prominent theory that explains organizational commitment is the three-component model (TCM) which argues that commitment to the organization has three different components. There is a positive correlation between commitment and work attendance. Committed employees are more eager about their jobs as they are more motivated to dedicate a big proportion of time and effort to accomplishing the required tasks (Becker, 1960).

 

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