Volume 63, Issue 1 p. 1-18

The measurement and antecedents of affective, continuance and normative commitment to the organization

Natalie J. Allen

Corresponding Author

Natalie J. Allen

Department of Psychology, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2

Department of Psychology, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2Search for more papers by this author
John P. Meyer

John P. Meyer

Centre for Administrative and Information Studies, The University of Western Ontario

Search for more papers by this author
First published: March 1990
Citations: 5,613


Organizational commitment has been conceptualized and measured in various ways. The two studies reported here were conducted to test aspects of a three-component model of commitment which integrates these various conceptualizations. The affective component of organizational commitment, proposed by the model, refers to employees' emotional attachment to, identification with, and involvement in, the organization. The continuance component refers to commitment based on the costs that employees associate with leaving the organization. Finally, the normative component refers to employees' feelings of obligation to remain with the organization. In Study 1, scales were developed to measure these components. Relationships among the components of commitment and with variables considered their antecedents were examined in Study 2. Results of a canonical correlation analysis suggested that, as predicted by the model, the affective and continuance components of organizational commitment are empirically distinguishable constructs with different correlates. The affective and normative components, although distinguishable, appear to be somewhat related. The importance of differentiating the components of commitment, both in research and practice, is discussed.