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Commitment to Supervisors and Organizations and Turnover Christian Vandenberghe HEC Montreal, Montreal, Qc, Canada Kathleen Bentein UQAM, Montreal, Qc,

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Presentation on theme: "Commitment to Supervisors and Organizations and Turnover Christian Vandenberghe HEC Montreal, Montreal, Qc, Canada Kathleen Bentein UQAM, Montreal, Qc,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Commitment to Supervisors and Organizations and Turnover Christian Vandenberghe HEC Montreal, Montreal, Qc, Canada Kathleen Bentein UQAM, Montreal, Qc, Canada

2 Introduction The interest of researchers and practitioners in employee commitment derives from its established links to desirable work outcomes, particularly turnover (Allen & Meyer, 1996; Griffeth, Hom, & Gaertner, 2000; Mathieu & Zajac, 1990; Tett & Meyer, 1993).

3 However, work in the multiple commitments area has suggested that different constituencies exist within organizations (e.g., Becker, 1992; Reichers, 1985; Siders, George, & Dharwadkar, 2001; Vandenberghe, Bentein, & Stinglhamber, 2004).

4 Researchers have generally neglected the fact that commitment to internal foci may have implications for intended and actual turnover. Among foci that might be of relevance for predicting withdrawal behavior, the supervisor appears particularly important.

5 Supervisors are formally responsible for monitoring the performance of employees on behalf of the organization, and as such have direct contact with employees in both day-to-day operations and during human resource events such as performance appraisals and promotion decisions.

6 Throughout these activities, supervisors often come to develop specific exchanges with employees, as is evidenced by research in the leader-member exchange (LMX) literature (e.g., Graen & Ulh-Bien, 1995; Liden, Sparrowe, & Wayne, 1997).

7 Both employee-supervisor and employee- organization relationships develop through social exchange processes and may thus have consequences for turnover decisions. However, affective commitment to the organization and to the supervisor have rarely been assessed as joint predictors of turnover.

8 Based on past research that has demonstrated a negative relationship between affective organizational commitment and intended and actual turnover (Cooper-Hakim & Viswesvaran, 2005; Mathieu & Zajac, 1990; Meyer et al., 2002; Tett & Meyer, 1993), we expect this relationship to hold in this study while we control for employees’ level of affective commitment to their supervisors.

9 Hypothesis 1a: Controlling for affective commitment to the supervisor, affective organizational commitment will be negatively related to turnover intentions. Hypothesis 1b: Controlling for affective commitment to the supervisor, affective organizational commitment will be negatively related to actual turnover.

10 Because the supervisor is an agent of the organization and is often the only representative of the organization with whom employees interact on an ongoing basis (Levinson, 1965; Tangirala, Green, & Ramanujam, 2007), s/he may be perceived by employees as particularly important.

11 Hypothesis 2a: Controlling for affective organizational commitment, affective commitment to the supervisor will be negatively related to turnover intentions. Hypothesis 2b: Controlling for affective organizational commitment, affective commitment to the supervisor will be negatively related to actual turnover.

12 By the very fact that they act on behalf of the organization, supervisors may become substitutes for it in cases where exchanges between employees and the organization are difficult to establish. In these cases, it will be difficult for employees to develop a commitment to their organization, but they could very well compensate for this by developing a commitment to their supervisor.

13 One can reasonably hypothesize that when exchanges between employees and organizations are not well established (i.e., affective organizational commitment is low), affective commitment to supervisors will be more strongly related to intended and actual turnover.

14 Hypothesis 3a: When affective organizational commitment is low, affective commitment to the supervisor will be more strongly (and negatively) related to turnover intentions. Hypothesis 3b: When affective organizational commitment is low, affective commitment to the supervisor will be more strongly (and negatively) related to actual turnover.

15 Method Sample 1: –N = 172 (pharmaceutical company) –Measures: affective organizational commitment (Meyer, Allen, & Smith, 1993); turnover intentions (2 items); age, sex, organizational tenure, and tenure with one’s supervisor

16 Sample 2: –N = 186 (hospital nurses) –Measures: affective organizational commitment (Meyer et al., 1993); turnover intentions (3 items); age, sex, and organizational tenure Sample 3: –N = 442 (university alumni) –Measures: affective organizational commitment (Meyer et al., 1993); actual turnover (6 months); age, sex, organizational tenure, tenure with one’s supervisor, organization size

17 Results: Correlations for Samples 1 and 2

18 Results: Moderated Linear Regressions for Samples 1 and 2

19 Results: Interaction for Sample 1

20 Results: Interaction for Sample 2

21 Results: Correlations for Sample 3

22 Results: Moderated Logistic Regression for Sample 3

23 Results: Interaction for Sample 3

24 Hypothesis testing results H1a: Controlling for affective commitment to the supervisor, affective organizational commitment will be negatively related to turnover intentions: SUPPORTED H1b: Controlling for affective commitment to the supervisor, affective organizational commitment will be negatively related to actual turnover: REJECTED

25 H2a: Controlling for affective organizational commitment, affective commitment to the supervisor will be negatively related to turnover intentions: SUPPORTED H2b: Controlling for affective organizational commitment, affective commitment to the supervisor will be negatively related to actual turnover: SUPPORTED

26 H3a: When affective organizational commitment is low, affective commitment to the supervisor will be more strongly (and negatively) related to turnover intentions: SUPPORTED H3b: When affective organizational commitment is low, affective commitment to the supervisor will be more strongly (and negatively) related to actual turnover: SUPPORTED

27 References Allen, N.J., & Meyer, J.P. (1996). Affective, continuance, and normative commitment to the organization: An examination of the construct validity. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 49, Becker, T.E. (1992). Foci and bases of commitment: Are they distinctions worth making? Academy of Management Journal, 35, Cooper-Hakim, A., & Viswesvaran, C. (2005). The construct of work commitment: Testing an integrative framework. Psychological Bulletin, 131, Graen, G.B., & Uhl-Bien, M. (1995). Development of leader-member exchange (LMX) theory of leadership over 25 years: Applying a multi-level multi-domain perspective. Leadership Quarterly, 6, Griffeth, R.W., Hom, P.W., & Gaertner, S. (2000). A meta-analysis of antecedents and correlates of employee turnover: Update, moderator tests, and research implications for the millennium. Journal of Management, 26, Levinson, H. (1965). Reciprocation: The relationship between man and organization. Administrative Science Quarterly, 9, Liden, R.C., Sparrowe, R.T., & Wayne, S.J. (1997). Leader-member exchange theory: The past and potential for the future. Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, 15, Mathieu, J.E., & Zajac, D.M. (1990). A review and meta-analysis of the antecedents, correlates, and consequences of organizational commitment. Psychological Bulletin, 108,

28 Meyer, J.P., Allen, N.J., & Smith, C.A. (1993). Commitment to organizations and occupations: Extension and test of a three-component conceptualization. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, Meyer, J. P., Stanley, D. J., Herscovitch, L., & Topolnytsky, L. (2002). Affective, continuance and normative commitment to the organization: A meta-analysis of antecedents, correlates, and consequences. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 61, Reichers, A.E. (1985). A review and reconceptualization of organizational commitment. Academy of Management Review, 10, Siders, M.A., George, G., & Dharwadkar, R. (2001). The relationship of internal and external commitment foci to objective job performance measures. Academy of Management Journal, 44, Tangirala, S., Green, S.G., & Ramanujam, R. (2007). In the shadow of the boss’s boss: Effects of supervisors’ upward exchange relationships on employees. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, Tett, R.P., & Meyer, J.P. (1993). Job satisfaction, organizational commitment, turnover intentions, and turnover: Path analyses based on meta-analytic findings. Personnel Psychology, 46, Vandenberghe, C., Bentein, K., & Stinglhamber, F. (2004). Affective commitment to the organization, supervisor, and work group: Antecedents and outcomes. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 64,


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