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Comparing affective commitment in the public and private sectors: A comprehensive test of multiple mediation effects

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Employees’ organizational commitment is associated with a number of positive outcomes, such as employee motivation, job satisfaction, productivity, and retention. But previous research has suggested that there may be important sector differences in both commitment and its explanations, yet results are very mixed. We study sector differences in affective organizational commitment among 1,043 public and private office workers who perform very similar tasks across sectors, testing the influence of factors thought to explain commitment and expected to vary between the sectors. We propose that the mixed results are due to different variables mediating the relationship between sector and organizational commitment. Conducting a multiple mediation analysis, we find that more hierarchy negatively mediates the relationship between public sector employment and organizational commitment. On the other hand, the relationship between public sector employment and organizational commitment is positively mediated by public service motivation and participatory management. This highlights the importance of not only studying simple sector differences, but also including relevant individual and organizational-level variables that can explain the mechanisms behind such differences.

TidsskriftInternational Public Management Journal
Sider (fra-til)558-588
Antal sider31
StatusUdgivet - 2018

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