Author(s), Title and Publication
Sutherland, J. (2018). Who commits? Who engages? Employee Relations, 40(1), 23-42.

Using an ordered-logit and regression model, this research extracted and analyzed retroactive data from the 1986, 1992, 1997, 2001, 2006 and 2012 Skills and Employment Surveys Series Data set pertaining to commitment and engagement. Commitment covered three components: (1) an individual identifying with the goals and values of the organization, (2) feeling loyalty toward the organization, and (3) feeling proud to work for the organization. Four components assessed engagement: (1) an individual’s willingness to supply extra effort beyond what is required, (2) an individual’s willingness to supply extra effort to make the organization succeed, (3) an individual’s willingness to take any job with the organization to remain employed with the organization, and (4) an individual’s willingness to turn down a better-paying job with an alternative organization, to remain with the organization.

Analysis produced generally consistent results across all three indicators of commitment as well as the four indicators of engagement. Specifically, managers, compared to administrative, and secretarial workers, are more likely to commit highly across indicators, irrespective of age, level of education, tenure, sector, and workplace size. Similarly, compared to the same groups, managers are more likely to engage highly across three of the four indicators; however, managers express unwillingness to take any job within the organization to remain employed. In contrast, individuals in skilled trades are more likely to be less committed and engaged with the organization. Individuals working in small workplaces (reference categories incl.; 25-99, 100-500, 500+) are more likely to report higher levels of commitment and engagement across indicators.

Relative to men, women are more likely to commit highly, expressing their loyalty, and to engage highly through willingness to work beyond requirements and to take any job to remain employed with the organization. Older individuals (50-60) are more likely to express commitment through sharing organizational values, and engagement by turning down better-paying employment with alternative organizations. Whereas 30-39-year-olds are least likely to express engagement through willingness to supply efforts beyond job demands, 50-60-year-olds are most likely to do so. Individuals’ expressions of pride in working for an organization and willingness to take any job with the organization to remain employed are less likely with higher presence of educational qualifications. Lastly, employees are more likely to be relatively committed and engaged in organizations where quality circles operate, management hosts meetings, and individuals receive training, and some form of performance appraisal.

Implications for Practice
Organizations should (1) recognize the central role of commitment and engagement for employees and employ strategic internal communication to help build and maintain healthy employee-organization relationships and (2) take into consideration of employees’ demographic characteristics (e.g., age, level of education, tenure, sector, and workplace size) when crafting communication and engagement strategies.

Location of Article
This article is available online at: (abstract free, purchase full article)

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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