The purpose of this study was to examine how much organizational commitment, in all three forms, was influenced by leadership.
The sample involved all 96 employees in a petroleum products redistribution and services company and all 33 hedge-fund trading firm, both located in Houston, Texas. Sixty-five employees from the former returned surveys and 24 responded from the latter organization. Respondents completed the Leadership Practices Inventory (Observer) and the Organizational Commitment Scale (Meyer & Allen, 1991). The typical respondent was male (67%), between the ages of 35-44 (42%), with less than four years of tenure with the organization (61%), and with some college education (40%). Internal reliability coefficients in this study were quite strong: .92 Model, .93 Inspire, .91 Challenge, .90 Enable and, .96 Encourage.
There were statistically significant correlations between employees’ “affective commitment” and how frequently they viewed their supervisors engaging in each of the five leadership practices. The five leadership practices explained 49 percent of the variance in affective commitment.
There were statistically significant correlations between employees’ “normative commitment” and how frequently they viewed their supervisors engaging in each of the five leadership practices. The five leadership practices explained 25 percent of the variance in affective commitment.
There were no statistically significant correlations between employees’ “continuance commitment” and how frequently they viewed their supervisors engaging in each of the five leadership practices. The author suggests some caution on interpreting this finding as this scale “did not meet the established criteria for internal consistency” (p. 86).
Affective and normative commitment were significantly correlated with one another. Each was not correlated with continuance commitment.
The author observes:
The management practice of using the five leadership behaviors was more correlated with affective organizational commitment than to normative organizational commitment. This result suggests that the use of these five transformational leadership behaviors is effective a t generating a strong emotional attaché between the employee and the organization without causing the employee to feel an obligation to the organization. This distinction is important because affective organizational commitment shows the strongest correlated with desired employee behaviors (Meyer & Allen, 1997)….The research findings in this study showed that the quality of leadership practices within an organization has an effect on the organizational commitment of employees (p. 105).