Workgroup and Organizational Commitment as Predictors of Discretionary Behavior on the Team-Level
Sammanfattning: Background: Today, it is crucial for many organizations to use workgroups for solving complex problems and tasks. In order to make teams perform well, one can investigate what drives participants to engage in discretionary behavior. Commitment is identified as a key antecedent of discretionary behavior and of other employee outcomes in the professional environment. Even though plenty of theory on commitment exists today, it is not clear how commitment focused towards different entities affects discretionary behavior in workgroups. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine and compare how commitment among workgroup members, directed towards the workgroup and organization respectively, influences discretionary work behavior. Method: A deductive and quantitative method is used that was translated into a descriptive cross-sectional study of 138 individuals in 33 different workgroups operating in a professional environment. A survey gauging OCB, as a measurement of discretionary behavior, was sent out to members of work teams in 19 companies across Sweden and Germany. Various statistical methods including regression analysis was used to test the drafted hypotheses. Conclusion: The conclusion of this paper is that, in general, commitment among workgroup participants, both directed towards the organization and workgroup, appears to be positively related to OCB. Also, Commitment directed towards the workgroup is observed to be a stronger predictor of OCB, and in turn discretionary behavior, than commitment focused towards the organization. Contribution: This thesis contributes to existing research by indicating the importance of building attachment towards workgroups. Moreover, it shows that it is more important to build attachment towards the workgroup than building employee commitment that is directed towards the organization. In addition, this thesis provides theoretical contributions on the sub-dimensions of commitment and their respective relationships with discretionary behavior in workgroups.
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