Title page for ETD etd-10212001-152609


Type of Document Dissertation
Author DeLoria, Julie Elizabeth
URN etd-10212001-152609
Title A Comparative Study of Employee Commitment: Core and Contract Employees in a Federal Agency
Degree PhD
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Wiswell, Albert K. Committee Chair
Callahan, Jamie L. Committee Member
Cline, Marvin Gerald Committee Member
Hardy, Christopher R. Committee Member
Pearson, Judy Committee Member
Keywords
  • core government employees
  • socialization-related learning
  • contingent
  • outsourcing
  • contract employees
  • commitment
Date of Defense 2001-10-04
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This study examined commitment levels of two groups of employees: core government employees and contract employees who directly supported the Federal Government. The sample included 85 government employees and 131 contract employees. The research identified each group's level of commitment to various work entities. These included: immediate government office, government organization, employer, and occupation. The focus was on affective commitment, i.e., an employee's emotional attachment to, and desire to maintain membership with, a work entity. A measure was also taken for socialization-related learning.

The purpose was to determine if there were: (1) differing levels of affective commitment among the immediate government office, government organization, the employer, and the occupation within each group, (2) differences in work entity affective commitment levels between the two groups, (3) differences in levels of socialization-related learning between the two groups (4) relationships between socialization-related learning levels and work entity affective commitment levels for each group, (5) differences in work entity affective commitment levels in relation to certain demographic variables, and (6) relationships between certain demographic variables and work entity affective commitment levels for each group.

Findings indicated that both groups of employees did vary in commitment levels to various work entities. Government employees displayed the most commitment to the occupation and least to the immediate office. Contract employees also displayed the most commitment to the occupation but the least to the government organization. Between the two groups, commitment level to the employer differed significantly with contractors displaying a higher level to the employing firm than government employees recorded to the Federal Service. Work entity had a significant effect and a significant employee group-by-work entity interaction was found. Differences in socialization-related learning levels and a relationship between socialization-related learning and work entity affective commitment levels were found for both groups. Several relationships between demographic variables and work entity affective commitment levels were also found for both groups.

Formal and informal interventions and work delegation strategies are recommended for organizations involved in employment relationships involving core and contract employees. Areas for future research are also presented.

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