Workplace commitment as an exchange of commitments : exploring public employer commitment

Kouadio, Armand Brice (Haute école de gestion Arc, HES-SO // Haute Ecole Spécialisée de Suisse Occidentale) ; Emery, Yves (Université de Lausanne, Suisse)

While discussions on workplace commitment have a long history in the organization behaviour scholarship, the public management literature has largely treated the concept from the employee viewpoint. Employer commitment thus remains a perspective rarely adopted. Drawing on the social exchange theory, we suggest that workplace commitment is ultimately an exchange of commitments. Specifically, organizations might well express commitment unto their employees, mostly via the managerial translating of organizational policies on the shop floor. In fact, employees commit when employers commit. In the present theoretical note, we contribute to the organizational support debate in demonstrating why considering the other side of the workplace commitment coin makes sense for human resource management, and what role the managerial staff has therein. In that vein, we take stock of the previous advances made in theoretical frameworks such as the psychological contract, signalling theory, organizational support, and leader support to propose a renewed perspective of workplace commitment – a renewed perspective that could enlighten current and future human resource management models. Employers, just like their employees, exhibit commitment. The more employer commitment is salient, the more employees feel that their own commitment is reciprocated. This reciprocity heightens employees’ morale, boosts their performances, and thus reduces turnover and absenteeism. Specifically, we propose an analytical model of employer commitment made up of three pillars, and stretching the boundaries of organizational support to those of employer commitment: (Bundle 1) “Listen, Support and Defend”; (Bundle 2): “Consult, Communicate and Socialize” and (Bundle 3): “Empower, [supporting] Feedback, and Develop”. Our model has several implications for HR management practices, which implementation rests on managers – in fact the ultimate "representatives" of the employing organization. In sum, companies commit by recognizing their employees’ unique value and contribution, and being receptive to their demands for i–deals.

Article Type:
Economie et Services
Institut du Management et des Systèmes d'Information
21 p.
Published in:
Applied Management Journal
Numeration (vol. no.):
2019, vol. 20, pp. 81-101
Appears in Collection:

Note: The status of this file is: restricted

 Record created 2020-11-06, last modified 2020-11-11

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)