The author of this report is asked to compare and contrast three articles relating to organizational commitment. The three articles in question are all heavy-hitters on the topic and all emanate from the academic and peer-reviewed scholarly spheres. The first was the 2002 treatise offered by Swailes. This more dominant offering relating to organizational commitment will be compared to the 2008 work or Rikettta and the 2006 work of Harrison et al. While there are definitely differences in the options and conclusions made by the three studies, they also share very strong corollaries.
Swailes started off by covering the early viewpoints of organizational commitment dating back to the work of Fayol in the 1940's. He also covered Weber's work in 1947 as well as other works through the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's. The earlier work that Swailes seized on and identified as pivotal when speaking of organizational commitment was the "four bases" of organizational commitment as identified by Etzioni in 1961. He pointed out the three primary means of involvement, those being moral, calculative and alienative, with the latter being something that would and should only be applied to things like prison and military settings. It does not belong in a normal business climate. He then notes the three main kind of involvement can be linked to three kinds of power, those being coercive, remunerative and normative (Swailes, 2002).
After covering a few other items, a major conclusion of Swailes is that there is not a lot of solid linkage between organizational commitment and any linked outcomes, but Swailes says this is because that the people are looking at the reasons for the commitment rather than the commitment itself. To combat this, Swailes suggests using metrics that span relational and transactional contracts while taking cultural variances and similarities into account. He also notes that the different perceived outcomes and what leads to the same are very complex and varied and that definitive linkages are not all that easy to bring together. He also notes that the factors "coalesce" into feelings and perceptions more than dry and impersonal factors. In short, the feelings and perceptions of people are inextricably linked with the outcomes that are being tracked and measured (Swailes, 2002).
As for Riketta, the results offered were a little definitive but not by much. As noted in the beginning of the results section, they note that there is a positive link between job satisfaction and organizational commitment but they note that while it's statistically significant, it's only "weakly" positive. They then quickly noted that the linkages between job attitudes and any resulting effect on performance is not easy to see or prove. The last section of the results took into account that there is a lag between the points in time in which efforts are applied to change organizational commitment results, if any come about at all. The discussion summarizes that the meta-analytic analysis shows a link, but a weak one, between job attitudes and job performance (Riketta, 2008).
As for Harrison et al., their report starts off by defining the terms and outcomes being analyzed and used. They start with the predictors, those being job satisfaction, organizational commitment and overall job attitude. Next up is the criteria, which refers to focal vs. contextual performance. Contextual performance is used against metrics like absenteeism, lateness, turnover, focal performance, and such. Other criteria include withdrawal behaviors general, those in which the employee starts to withdraw from organizational performance and commitment rather than embrace it. The study notes that they use the compatibility principle, as forwarded by people like Fisher (1980) and Hulin (1991), which states that the "meager" connections between job attitudes and job performance are strongly linkable to general social psychology principles. They go on to state that showing strong linkages like the ones done by the other authors mentioned in this report are hard to prove well because job attitudes do not predict job behavior well because they are at a different "level of abstraction" than "attitudinal predictors." The point made by Harrison was that portraying and enforcing a positive attitude is a catalyst in improving job performance (Harrison et al., 2006).