The relationship between affective and normative commitment: review and research agenda
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Meyer and Alien's (1991, 1997) three component conceptualization of organizational commitment (OC) includes affective (AC), continuance (CC), and normative (NC) commitment. However, AC and NC have not been as empirically differentiated as theoretically expected. Drawing on the extant literature, I review, integrate, and expand on arguments and evidence about the lack of AC-NC differentiation. I also propose several avenues for research that could help commitment scholars attain a clearer picture of the true relationship between AC and NC, as the extant literature has inadequately addressed many issues regarding construct differentiation. Specific, testable propositions address a variety of facets of the commitment literature, including construct definition and measurement, developmental processes, relationships among the components and their unique and joint effects on outcomes, and potential moderators of the AC-NC relationship. The goal of this paper is to spur future research into the AC-NC relationship in order to gain greater construct clarity. Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.