Too Smart to Commit? Effects of Personal Characteristics on Organisational Commitment and Job Satisfaction: Evidence From a High-IQ Network
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This research project aims to investigate how the personal attribute of intelligence influences the development of individual levels of commitment to the organisation, and how this relationship is affected by overall job satisfaction. How to increase employees’ commitment to the organisation is of central importance to the ongoing policy debate on the development and especially the retention of the workforce, which this study aims to contribute to. The concept of organisational commitment (OC) and its three components, affective commitment, continuance commitment and normative commitment, are presented. The personal characteristic of intelligence is outlined and defined for the purpose of this study. Further, job satisfaction was introduced as a correlate of organisation commitment. The proposed relationship between OC, job satisfaction and intelligence was outlined. To complete the understanding of commitment, motivational aspects that influence the development of OC were presented. Finally, concepts related to organisational commitment were outlined to illustrate how they differ from OC and why OC has been chosen as the concept for analysis in this study. For the analysis of the data from the online survey, exploratory factor analysis using the principal component method was conducted to test the significance of the four factors that have been used to measure the four underlying concepts (affective commitment, continuance commitment, normative commitment and job satisfaction). Confirmatory factor analysis tested the fitness of the structures and evaluated the discriminant validity of the four latent concepts that developed from the exploratory factor analysis. Stepwise hierarchical multiple regression analyses was then carried out to test the hypotheses and determine interactions among different independent variables. Further, qualitative results drawn from focus group discussions were added to validate the findings from the quantitative research. Secondary data was then analysed to compare findings from previous studies with the expected results of this research project. The findings suggest that with the given sample, differences between the high-IQ group and the control group have been observed on the levels of commitment that were reported. While these differences could not all be confirmed at a statistical significance of 95%, levels of affective commitment, of continuance commitment and of normative commitment could be found to be lower among employees in the right tail of the IQ bell curve. Higher self-efficacy among high-IQ members could explain some parts of these differences. A positive relationship between job satisfaction and organisational commitment overall, as well as a positive relationship between high IQ and job satisfaction, indicates that (extrinsic) job satisfaction would have a moderating effect on the (negative) relationship between high IQ and organisational commitment. Further, findings specific to the high IQ group are discussed. The findings from this research and their interpretations can inform management practitioners and individuals employed in organisations. To the knowledge of the author, this is the first study that tested all three components of organisational commitment for intelligence as a determinant of commitment. Beyond confirming the reliability of the concept of organisational commitment through factor analysis, this study also contributes to the understanding of how individual differences such as cognitive ability, but also age and gender, help develop different components of commitment to the organisation. Additionally, this research project illustrates how theories on motivational states such as self-efficacy and self-determination theory can be linked to the different components of organisational commitment and intelligence. It is also the first study with a comparable sample size to analyse the relationship between intelligence and job satisfaction. Further, the findings expand the existing understanding of the relationship between job satisfaction and the three components of organisational commitment.