Author: Tong, Chun-ming Kenny
Title: Commitment of IT professionals : a study of organizational commitment asmoderated by professional commitment with three-component model
Year: 2004
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Electronic data processing personnel
Organizational commitment
Commitment (Psychology)
Work ethic
Department: Graduate School of Business
Pages: 89 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: In the old days, economy was mainly manufacturing-based. Business success was attributed to the mass production and automation of production processes. Importance of human resources is probably secondary to technology resources. Nowadays, the situation in many advanced economies, such as Hong Kong or the third world countries, is no longer the same. Emphasis on strategies such as services or high value-adding industries characterizes the transformation from the "manufacturing-based" economy to the new "knowledge-based economy". Under this wave, human resources out-weight others to be one of the most important critical success factors for many businesses. Consequently, contributions and behaviors of professional staffs, as knowledge workers, become important concerns to many employers and managers. A typical illustration of the "knowledge-based economy" is the growing importance of the role of Information Technology. The introduction of the terms such as "Internet Wave" or "E-Commerce Era" speaks the potential strategic position that IT can bring to businesses. To successfully build innovative and successful business model like what Amazon and Priceline did, a highly committed IT professionals workforce becomes a crucial factor, apart from having a talented CEO. Given the importance of employee's organizational commitment, our current understanding from the previous research studies, however, is very limited. The traditional 'mainstream' of modeling organizational commitment as a single dimension (Mowday, 1976) is oversimplified which results in an overlooking of the detail and complex interactions with external factors such as antecedents and consequences. Recent researches (Allen & Meyer 1990, Meyer, Allen et al 1993, Hackett et al 1994) in showing the existence of the three-component conceptualization of organizational commitment throw new lights on the issue, by conceptually separating the traditional single organizational commitment construct into three separate and distinguishable components constructs, namely, affective, continuance and normative components. However, the problem is that researches in the three-component conceptualization are very inadequate and fragmented. More researches should be conducted in order to take the full advantages of such conceptualization (Meyer and Allen 1990, Allen and Meyer 1996, Hackett et al 1991, Abubakr et al 1999). Building on the three-component conceptualization (namely affective, normative and continuance components) and previous researches in that area, this research is trying to construct a more completed model for organizational commitment under the three-component conceptualization. New dimensions on understanding organizational commitment are also developed by introducing and evaluating new antecedent and modulating factors in this study. In summary, a number of important findings and contributions have been made in this research. Firstly, consequence behavioral outcomes of the organizational commitment under three-component conceptualization are studied. It is found that these consequence behaviors generally match previous researches findings. In particular, this research shows evidence that the affective organizational commitment is the single most influential and important one among the three components, which reinforces previous findings (Eby et al, 1999, Traveglione et al., 1998, Abubakr M. Suliman & Paul A. Iles, 1999; Allen et al, 1994). In addition, turnover intention is the consequence variable which is the most vulnerable and to be easily influenced by all the three organizational commitment components (Hackett et al 1994, AlIen and Meyer 1996). Moreover, all three commitment components are important bccause all of them show significant causality effect on consequence variables such as staff turnover intention and job performance. Secondly, antecedents effect on the three-component organizational commitment conceptualization is studied. Different components are found to have different sets and influence level of antecedents. Among the studied antecedent variables of organizational commitment, age and award distribution criteria are the most influential factors while organizational-professional conflict and education have no significant effect on any of the commitment components. Thirdly, it is interesting to find that IT job functions and employment sectors do affect the three-component organizational commitment behaviors of their IT professionals. IT job functions of both IT managers and software developers are typically more committed to their organizations in terms of both affective and continuance components. Influence of the IT employment sectors on organizational commitment is more varied. In short, it is found that professionals in IT consulting firms and IT vendors are typically the least committed in all the three-component conceptualization, when compared with the sectors of financial institutions, governmental offices and education. Finally, new relations are found between the professional and organizational commitment under the three-component conceptualization. Professional commitments are found to be significant modulating factors of organizational commitments for all three components. Also, IT professionals are significantly more committed to their own IT profession than to their organization. In all, this research has successfully enriched the research knowledge as well as brought out practical implications and recommendations to IT workforce planners. In building more accurate and precise behavioral models of organizational commitment in the future, this research could be an important starting point reference far researchers in the area.
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