Generational Impacts on Organizational Commitment: An Table 5.8 - Differences in organizational commitment

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  • Generational Impacts on Organizational Commitment: An examination of the Baby Boom Generation

    and Generation X at work

    Kelley Love B.Com (Honours), Carleton University

    Submitted to The Faculty o f Graduate Studies and Research

    In partial fulfillment o f the requirements for the degree o f

    Master of Business Administration

    Sprott School o f Business Carleton University Ottawa, Ontario © copyright K elley Love, 2005

    Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

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  • Abstract

    The concept of differences between the generations is often explored in the popular press and in practitioners’ journals. This is particularly true when discussing organizational commitment. This study examines whether there is an actual difference between Generation X and the Baby Boom Generation on levels of organizational commitment. An effort was made to control for potential confounds in the relationship such as gender, tenure, life cycle stage, industry sector, job type and organization of employment.

    The results indicated that the perceived differences in organizational commitment between the generation have no empirical basis. It was concluded that generation cannot be used to accurately determine the level o f an individual’s organizational commitment.

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  • Acknowledgements

    I would like to thank, first and foremost, my supervisor, Dr. Linda Duxbury for her help, guidance and patience through this process. Also, I would like to say thank you to my committee, Dr. Shaobo Ji, Dr. Judith Madill, Dr. Barbara Orser and Dr. Shibu Pal for supporting me. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Roland Thomas, Dr. Chris Higgins, Dr. George Haines Jr. and Professor Ann Woodside for their advice throughout the process.

    I would particularly like to thank my family, without whom I could never have completed this process, in particular my parents, David and Elaine Love.

    I would also like to thank my husband, Lee Goulet for his support in everything I do, for his love and for doing much more than his share of the daily chores while I worked.

    To all the others who have helped me along the way, I am sincerely grateful that I have had so much assistance in my journey.

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  • Table of Contents A b stra c t___________________________________________________________________________________ ii

    Acknowledgem ents________________________________________________________________________ iii

    Table o f Contents___________________________________________________________________________ iv

    List o f Tables______________________________________________________________________________ vi

    List o f F igures_____________________________________________________________________________vii

    List o f F igures_____________________________________________________________________________vii

    List o f Appendices_________________________________________________________________________ viii

    1 Introduction___________________________________________________________________________ 1

    1.1 Research Objective......................................................................................................................... 4

    1.2 Significance of This Study............................................................................................................ 5

    2 Literature R eview ______________________________________________________________________ 8

    2.1 Organizational Commitment....................................................................................................... 9 2.1.1 Defining Organizational Commitment................................................................................... 9 2.1.2 The Importance of Organizational Commitment................................................................16 2.1.3 The Commitment Process...................................................................................................... 18 2.1.4 Variables Related to Organizational Commitment............................................................26 2.1.5 Antecedents o f Organizational Commitment......................................................................26 2.1.6 Models of Organizational Commitment..............................................................................29 2.1.7 Measurements of Organizational Commitment................................................................. 49

    2.2 Generations.....................................................................................................................................52 2.2.1 What is a cohort?.................................................................................................................... 53 2.2.2 Generations in today’s workforce.........................................................................................58 2.2.3 The Baby Boom Generation..................................................................................................63 2.2.4 Generation X ............................................................................................................................ 73 2.2.5 Empirical studies..................................................................................................................... 94

    2.3 Critique of Literature.................................................................................................................. 95 2.3.1 Critique of Organizational Commitment Literature........................................................... 95 2.3.2 Critique of Generation Literature.......................................................................................... 99

    3 Theoretical Fram ework________________________________________________________________ 104

    3.1 Research Questions.....................................................................................................................104

    3.2 The Research Framework.........................................................................................................105

    3.3 Variables........................................................................................................................................107 3.3.1 Independent Variable............................................................................................................ 107 3.3.2 Explanatory Variable............................................................................................................ 108 3.3.3 Covariates............................................................................................................................... 109

    4 M ethodology_________________________________________________________________________ 12 7

    4.1 Sample.......................................................................................................................................... 127

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  • 4.1.1 Variable Measurement......................................................................................................... 130 4.1.2 Non-response A nalysi