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Predictors of organizational involvement : a test of the generality of Etzioni's (1961) compliance relations




Meilak, John Vincent

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The primary aim of this study was to test the generality of Etzioni' s (1961) compliance relations (between particular kinds of organizational power and involvement) over different ranks of a variety of organizations whose members were relatively free to stay or leave. A secondary aim was to compare organizational power to other predictors of involvement suggested in the literature. Four hundred and sixty-six members of 85 groups were solicited from 27 local business, health, welfare, and educational organizations. In addition, for each group, to provide a check on members' replies to some questions, the researcher and (most often) two administrators and two outsiders familiar with the group provided their own ratings of group-level variables. The organization measures used in the analyses were administrator-reponed organizational power (coercive, remunerative, and normative) and organization size. Group measures included observers' reports of the group's cohesion and its members' self-assertiveness, member-reponed group goals (relational and altruistic), and group size. Individual characteristics included age, sex, education level, plans for future education, time in the organization, opportunity for advancement, opportunities elsewhere, union membership, achievement motivation, personal autonomy, and liking for change. Alienative and moral involvement were confounded but their composite (net commitment) was distinct from calculative involvement Hierarchical regression analyses were carried out with the two kinds of involvement as dependent variables, at both the group and individual levels of analysis. The relevant kind of organizational power was entered first, followed by other organization, group, and individual characteristics. Finally, interactions between each kind of organizational power and members' achievement motivation were investigated. The individual-level analyses were the most infonnative because all appropriate variables were considered. Remunerative power tended to increase calculative involvement among low achievers, and this was secondary only to the overall negative effect of achievement motivation at high levels of total power. Also tending to reduce calculative involvement were high altruistic group goals, a liking for change, age, high normative power exercised over high achievers, small organization size,low personal autonomy, and low coercive power. Net commitment tended to be increased most by a conjunction of low coercive and high normative power, followed by age, opportunities elsewhere, low personal autonomy, opportunity for advancement, small organization size, and high achievement motivation.






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