Date of Award

Summer 1982

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Committee Director

Michael J. Kavavagh

Committee Member

Raymond H. Kirby

Committee Member

Glynn D. Coates

Committee Member

Bruce McAfee


This research was designed to develop a model of organizational commitment by establishing a causal network among three individual characteristics--tenure, work motivation, and job satisfaction--two organizational/structural variables--decentralization and formalization,--and two job facets--the job characteristic model and job stress--as determinants of commitment.

The proposed model was tested on male and female samples represented by five occupational groups ranging from blue collar to professional workers. Successive iterations of a path analytic technique indicated that across the five occupational categories, job satisfaction was the single most important determinant of organizational commitment. However, if the facets of job satisfaction were examined more closely, important differences became apparent. Both blue collar and professional women reported that satisfaction with supervision determined, in part, their identification with organizational goals. Blue collar and white collar female employees, on the other hand, indicated that pay/promotion satisfaction was most important to them. Finally, the two male samples shared satisfaction with supervision and pay.

Among the remaining individual determinants of organizational commitment, tenure demonstrated a significant correlation with commitment among professional men and women as well as white collar men. Work motivation made significant contributions to commitment in blue and white collar women as well as white collar men but was negatively correlated with commitment in male professional. Of the two organizational/structural variables, decentralization did not attain significance in any of the female samples but affected commitment in white collar males whereas formalization had a significant impact on both the professional and white collar male sample. Predictions regarding the job characteristic model were, by and large, not supported while several of the job stress variables accounted for variance in organizational commitment. Overall, the proposed model provided the best fit for the male samples and identified important differences between male and female employees as well as among members of different occupational classes. Taken together, the results suggested the need for a further conceptual development and refinement of the commitment construct as well as a re-examination of the job characteristic model for female employees.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).