Moderator effects of organisational tenure on the relationship between psychological climate and affective commitment
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Faculty of Regional Professional Studies
Faculty Office (RPS) / Centre for Sustainable Regional Futures
Previous research is equivocal about: whether affective organizational commitment increases or decreases with increasing tenure; and which psychological climate variables correlated with affective commitment are important as tenure increases. The study’s purpose is to examine whether the relationship between psychological climate and affective commitment is moderated by tenure. The total workforce of a public sector agency in Western Australia (n = 1; 117) was surveyed with a response rate of 53 per cent. The moderating role of tenure was examined for employees with less than one year’s tenure (n = 87), one to nine years (n = 232) and more than nine years (n = 258). Affective commitment was found to be stronger for employees with longer tenure; however, perceptions of psychological climate appear to be less positive for these employees. The finding of a moderation effect for tenure appeared to be attributable to the importance of supervisor involvement to affective commitment for employees with one to nine years’ tenure. Building affective commitment is an important issue for managers as it is strongly related to withdrawal cognitions and employee turnover. The findings of the study suggest that the criteria against which an organization is assessed by employees tends to shift with time and impacts on affective commitment. The three-way relationship between tenure, psychological climate and affective commitment has received little attention. The findings of the study suggest that the strength of affective commitment may depend on the extent to which the specific interests and capabilities of individual employees at different stages of tenure are met.