A case study of organizational commitment
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This study looks at the concepts of organizational commitment and communication. Multiple methods of ethnography and interviews were used to study teacher commitment to their school. Specifically, I focused on teachers within private elementary and secondary schools. Meyer and Allen’s (1991) conceptualization of organizational commitment was used as the basis for understanding commitment. Questions were asked of participants during the interview that focused on their commitment as it related to their attachment or identification with the organization, the costs associated with leaving the organization, and their sense of duty or moral obligation to the organization. I found that teachers demonstrated a five stage process towards organizational commitment. The first stage for the teacher is the calling to the vocation and/or school. The calling was found to have confirmations, be dynamic, and sustain commitment. The second stage is the enactment of the calling in the form of action. A distinction was made between action that was aligned with the job description and action that was sacrificial and went beyond what was required in the job description. The third stage is the result of this action in the form of conflict. Conflict was seen as an iterative process that involved the elements of person, peers, administration, and policies. It is at the point of conflict that a teacher enters the fourth stage towards commitment. This stage is seen as the decision stage. The decision to remain with or leave the organization was also based on the elements of person, peers, administration, and policies. The final stage along the way to commitment is perseverance. It is in this stage that the individual decides to persevere or commit to the organization. This study also found that negative communication, in the form of complaining can be perceived as lacking commitment to the organization. Distinctions were made between complaining that was aimed at organizational change and complaining that appeared to be for the sake of complaining. Teachers who complained for the sake of complaining were viewed as lacking commitment to the organization. This paper concluded with implications for future research.