The role of human resource management systems in influencing organizational commitment: a study of an organization in the software industry
Organizational Commitment (OC) is of interest to both behavioural scientists and practicing managers as it is one of the important determinants of organizational performance. Committed employees are more likely to remain in the organization and work towards organizational goal attainment, OC has been conceptualized along three components in literature. The affective component of OC refers to an employee’s emotional attachment to, identification with, and involvement in the organization. The continuance component refers to the costs that an employee associates with leaving the organization. The normative component refers to an employee’s feelings of obligation to remain in the organization. Previous studies have largely focused on studying the influence of job-related variables and variables of individual characteristics on the affective component of OC. This study has conceptualized an HRM system which integrates the formal HRM practices. The HRM System has been conceptualized as comprising of three sub-systems, namely the input sub-system, the process sub-system, and the output sub-system. The ﬁrst one examines the perceived extent of the emphasis on, and regulation of the antecedent conditions of performance. The second sub-system is concerned with the extent to which help, encouragement, and feedback is extended to the employee to attain high standards of performance. The last one concerned with the extent to which rewards are considered to be just, performance based, and effective. The study has examined the influence of the three HRM sub-systems along with organization-context variables and variables of individual characteristics on the three components of OC. Given the important linkage of OC with employee turnover, it was decided to base the study in the software industry where there is a high employee turnover. Moreover, the software industry is knowledge based and the employees are the basic resource of the organizations in this industry. The research objectives were: (a) To identify the perceived characteristics of the HRM system in terms of the input, process, and output sub-system variables this would influence the affective (AC), normative (NC), and continuance commitment (CC) of employees in an organization in the software industry. (b) To identify a set of organization-context variables which would influence the affective, normative, and continuance commitment of employees in an organization in the software industry. (c) To identify a set of variables of individual characteristics which would influence the affective, normative, and continuance commitment of employees in an organization in the software industry. A triangulation technique was used to study the research problems. Both primary and secondary data was collected. A questionnaire survey was done in which the employees of an organization in the software industry were taken as respondents. In addition to it, interviews of key personnel of all functional areas and of a few past employees, records of exit interviews, and documents related to the HRM practices of the organization were used as further inputs. The scale developed by Allen and Meyer (1990) was used to measure the three components of commitment. The variables used in the study were identified from literature as well as pilot study. The HRM system variables were found to be important in explaining the commitment of an employee to the organization. The HRM system variables were signiﬁcant explanatory variables for all the three components of commitment, providing support for the framework studied. The HRM input sub-system variables were found to be more signiﬁcant in explaining AC and NC, but CC to a lesser extent. The HRM process sub-system variables were found to contribute towards all the three components of commitment. The HRM output sub-system variables were found to be signiﬁcant in explaining AC and CC. The organization-context variables and the variables of individual characteristics were found to influence the three components of commitment in varying degrees. The functional area in which the employee was working, and the institute from which the employee had graduated were found to moderate the influence of the other variables on the three components of commitment. Traditionally, organizations in this industry have focused their energies towards giving the software professionals more pay, perks and incentives with a view to motivate and retain them. The organizations therefore have paid attention to only the HRM output sub-system. This study, however, found that all the three HRM sub-systems contribute towards an employee’s-commitment to the organization. Hence, organizations in this industry need to pay attention to all the three HRM sub-systems in order to have a committed work force.
- Thesis and Dissertations