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Organizational And Occupational Commitment: Knowledge Workers In Large Corporations

  • TAM YEUK-MUI MAY
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    Previous discussion of knowledge work and workers tends to overlook the importance of contextual knowledge in shaping the organizational form of knowledge workers who are employees in large corporations. This paper proposes a model to understand the way knowledge base and organizational form are related to the work commitment, effort and job satisfaction of knowledge workers. The model is derived from (1) a critical examination of the market model of knowledge work organization, and (2) the results of empirical research conducted in two large corporations. We argue that contextual knowledge is important in the relationships between the corporation and knowledge workers. A dualistic model and an enclave organizational form are suggested to examine the relationships between the commitment, work effort and job satisfaction of knowledge workers. We noted from our empirical cases that enclave-like work teams enhanced the expertise and job autonomy of knowledge workers vis-à-vis management. These work teams together with the performance-based pay system, however, led to unmet job expectations including limited employee influence over decision-making and careers, and communication gaps with senior management. Under these circumstances, and in contrast to the impact of occupational commitment, organizational commitment did not contribute to work effort. The study highlights the importance of management's strategy in shaping the organizational form of knowledge work. The paper concludes by noting general implications of our study for the management of expertise and for further research. Copyright 2002 Blackwell Publishers Ltd..

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    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Management Studies.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 6 (09)
    Pages: 775-801

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:39:y:2002:i:6:p:775-801
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