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ERIC Number: ED321316
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Feb
Pages: 36
Abstractor: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Organizational Commitment in Times of Change: An Alternative Research Approach.
Larkey, Linda Kathryn
A study illustrated an interpretive approach to investigating personal commitment during radical organizational transition by examining how people talk metaphorically about commitment and identification as a process. A questionnaire was constructed to be used in phone interviews with six employee assistance program (EAP) counselors who contract with companies currently going through changes. Data were gathered from nine companies and were organized by recurring metaphorical themes. Relative to each theme was a set of dynamics (interpreted and labeled by the researcher), and statements or phrases that reflected those dynamics. Results revealed that family themes were the most frequently mentioned. Reports of changes in identity were emphasized, from a family identity of belonging, closeness and support, to a business identity leaving employees feeling used, abandoned, deceived. Additionally, vehicle and lover metaphors were also used frequently, but indirectly. Employees never used the words "vehicle" or "lover," but made implications for these types of relationships. Most of these themes reflected the past condition in contrast to the present as states of conflict, but they also reflected combinations of identities beyond a simple commitment to the organization as a whole. A more complete study of an organization in transition using direct collection of data, particularly on-line discourse, is called for. (One table of thematic phrases is included; one appendix containing phone interview questions and 36 references are attached.) (KEH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A