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Employee Investment and Commitment: The Ties That Bind

Barbara S. Romzek
Public Administration Review
Vol. 50, No. 3 (May - Jun., 1990), pp. 374-382
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Society for Public Administration
DOI: 10.2307/976619
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/976619
Page Count: 9
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Abstract

This article explores an important factor in retaining high quality employees: giving employees reasons to stay with their current work organizations. Employees who feel psychological ties to their workplaces are likely to remain in them. Employees' psychological ties to employers can be based on investments they have made in the workplace and/or on feelings of commitment to an agency. Investment ties are not difficult for agencies to sustain among their employees, but they can be expensive. Eliciting employee commitment based on shared values is a much more complex challenge for agencies. Public agencies and supervisors have little influence over the development of ties based on investments because most investment opportunities are established by legislative mandate. And given public sector fiscal constraints, investment ties are likely to be inadequate to sustain long-term employee retention. Employee commitment is another matter. An agency's culture, socialization processes, and ability to fulfill employees' expectations about work can influence the employee commitment process. These are factors that agency managers can influence, and they warrant managers' attention.

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