Employee Commitment and Firefighters: It’s My Job


Seok–Hwan Lee Lee.Seok–Hwan@uis.edu Dorothy Olshfski olshfski@andromeda.rutgers.edu


The events of September 11, 2001, have led us to rethink the importance of public service and public–sector employees’ commitment. In previous research, we argued that employee commitment is a construct comprising three dimensions: commitment to the boss, to the work group, and to the organization. However, this characterization cannot explain the behavior of public employees on September 11. For this article, we argue that employee commitment is a construct that comprises four dimensions: With the help of identity theory, there is reason to include commitment to a job as part of the commitment construct. Based on an analysis of an existing data set, we find that firefighters identified themselves as committed to their job, which they viewed as an honorable profession that performs a valuable service to the community.