Camilla Denager Staniok

Work Commitment in Public Organizations

This dissertation advances existing knowledge about the relationship between public management, employees’ work commitment and organizational performance. It focuses on two types of work-related commitment namely organizational commitment and goal commitment. Public employees’ commitment to the organization and its goals is important because it may have great implications for whether employees choose to uphold their organizational membership and pursue the politically determined goals of the organization. The analyses build on data from higher secondary education in Denmark and combine different data sources such as surveys of principals and teachers, objective and external indicators of organizational performance outcomes, and qualitative interviews with principals as well as teachers. Overall the results show that public managers can affect their employees’ work commitment, but that this relationship is much more complex than often assumed. Employees’ perceptions of co-determination, goal conflict and managers’ leadership style are all found to play an important role. Also, the results show that public managers’ goal prioritization has positive implications for some types of organizational performance. The dissertation is highly relevant for practitioners in higher secondary education, but also more generally for everyone who is interested in the potential advantages and disadvantages of public employees’ work commitment or more broadly in the question of how internal managerial efforts to accentuate organizational goals and values are related to public service performance.

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