Gender and emotions at work: A reconceptualization of organizational commitment
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In this paper we propose a reconceptualization of organizational commitment utilizing current theoretical developments on gender and emotions in the workplace. We contend that, as organizational commitment has been studied mainly from a functionalist and positivist approach, that an interpretive methodological approach should be utilized to further develop the concept of organizational commitment. The reasons for this reconceptualization are related to the fact that commitment has been predominantly studied from a psychological perspective with a focus on affective and behavioral aspects of commitment. Current approaches focus on measurement rather than on the meaning of commitment itself. Important issues such as emotions and gender are not considered. As a consequence, the commitment of women, and some men, is not accurately and clearly understood in the context of the modern workplace. This leads to the perception that women, and some men, are lacking in commitment to their organizations. We discuss preliminary themes that have emerged from early analysis of how university academics conceptualize commitment. These themes reflect gender-biased and emotion-laden indicators of levels of commitment.
18th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management
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