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Date of Award

Spring 1992


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Document Type

Thesis: EWU Only

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Master of Public Administration


This exploratory study examines the relationship between organizational com- mitment and environmental variability. In an in-depth survey of 65 nurses, three types of organizational commitment-- attitudinal, calculative, and integrative-- are measured. Subsequently, each of these three types is correlated to environmental variability. All employees surveyed were found to be committed to their organization, but the type of commitment varied. Ninety percent of the respondents reported a high degree of attitudinal commitment. Fewer respondents (77%) received positive scores on the calculative commitment instrument. The integrative score of 88% of the respondents indicated a high degree of commitment. When correlated to environmental variability, two of the three measures of organizational commitment were statistically significant. A Spearman Rho Correlation Coefficient of 0.36 (.12 <0.004) was found for attitudinal commitment. The correlation coefficient for integrative commitment was 0.29 (.12 <0.03). These findings have important implications for public administrators. First, in organizations with high levels of environmental variability, encouragement of measures to strengthen the employee's attitudinal ties to the organization may help an organization to adapt to environmental change. Second, integration of attitudinal and calculative commitment approaches into one approach may broaden the under- standing of the relationship between the individual and the organization. Third, these preliminary findings indicate that additional study of the relationship between organizational commitment and environmental variability may prove useful.