Get access

Deconstructing Organizational Commitment: Associations Among Its Affective and Cognitive Components, Personality Antecedents, and Behavioral Outcomes


  • Harrison J. Kell is now at Vanderbilt University.

Harrison J. Kell, 230 Appleton Place, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37203. E-mail:


This study tests whether measurement of the cognitive aspect of organizational commitment can explain variance in behavioral expressions of commitment beyond Allen & Meyer's (1990) measure of the affective component of commitment. This cognitive component was measured by an index of belief accentuation. Undergraduates (N = 110) completed a questionnaire that measured all variables. Results show that students who polarize their judgments about the appropriateness of behavior at the university support the university more by defending it from criticism and praising it. This effect holds even after controlling for personality and demographic variables. Results also show that extraversion and agreeableness explain variance in the affective element of commitment and that conscientiousness explains variance in the cognitive element of commitment.