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Role of HRD Practices in

Building Organizational Commitment

N.Ram Kumar* - Dr. R. Krishnaveni**

Organizations are striving hard to retain the employees in this highly competitive scenario.
Human resource professionals are developing new interventions in order to lock in their
individuals. One of the retention strategies would be to build up the commitment in the minds
of the individuals towards the organization. The human resource development (HRD) practices
have the ability to influence individuals attitudes and behaviors for increased individual and
organizational efficiency. To examine whether the HRD practices makes an impact on the
individuals commitment towards the organization, the present study was carried out. About
sixty middle level managers from 3 auto component manufacturing units in Coimbatore were
selected for the study. Questionnaires were used to elicit the responses relating to the
effectiveness of human resource development practices in the organization and the individuals
organizational commitment. The statistical analysis revealed that, there exists a good positive
association between HRD practices and organizational commitment. Further it is notable that
all the HRD practices considered in the present study found associating with the commitment
level. More specifically, based on the regression analysis results, role analysis and potential
appraisal were found to the more significant influence of organizational commitment. The
necessary implications were discussed and thus, the present work supports the fact that the
HRD practices mould the individual for increased organizational membership.

In the face of current economic
realities, Indian business organizations
are in search of ways to remain
competitive. This competitive scenario
demands increased recognition to the
people in the organizations, as it is an
inimitable source of competitive advantage
(Pfeffer 1994). They need to retain them
and create a lock-in strategy in order to
enjoy their continued services. One of the
practically implemented tools would be to
cre ate the sense of bel ongi ng and

commitment in the minds of organization

in divi dual s.
A ll
establishmen ts
irrespective of its nature (profit or notpro fit) wan t th eir empl oyee s to be
th eir
respecti ve
organi zati ons. The commitment of
employees has become an important issue
in the rece nt y ears because of the
perceived benefits (i.e ., i n te rms of
improved performance and reduced labour
turnover) that are assumed to flow from it
(Guest 1995).

* Research Scholar, Department of Management Sciences, PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore

** Professor, PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore

Journal of Contemporary Research in Management, April - June 2008


Organizational Commitment (OCT)

emerged in 1970s and 1980s as a key
factor of the relationship betw een
individual and the organizations (Mowday
et al 1982). Today, the aspect of OC is even
more important since it is considered as
the driving force behind organizational
performance. It is also an important
variable that expl ain s wo rk related
behavior and its impact on performance
(Benkh off 1997). The concept of
commitment has been defined in different
way s in the literatures by vari ous
researchers. Organizational Commitment
is an affective attachment to the
organi zati on ( Buchanan 1974) or
identification with the organization (Lee
1971). Stee rs ( 1977) de fine s as an
identification with and involvement in the
organization. Commitment generally
compo nents;
ide ntification (Val ue congruency),
involvement (absorption in activities and
willingness to exert considerable effort) and
loyalty (attachment to the organization and
a desire to stay in membership) (Buchanan
1974 and Mowday et al 1982).
Later on, Meyer and Allen (1991)
suggest that OC is multidimensional and
has three disti nct face ts: affe ctive,
normative and continuance commitment.
According to their mo del, affecti ve
commitment refe rs to an emo tion al
attachment to an organi zati on and
identification with that organization
because they w ant to. Con tinuance
commitment refers to the perceived costs
associated with leaving an organization
because they has to, owing to the costs and
opportunities of l eaving. Normati ve


commitment reflects a persons desire to

stay with an organization because they feel
obligated; the individual feels that they
ought to stay.
Much of the theoretical and empirical
work on commitment has explored its
possible antecedents. Mostly the personal
characteristics have been examined in
conjunction with commitment. There
exists a positive relationship between
commitment and ag e (Ste ers 1971),
education (Morris and Sherman 1981),
income (Morrow 1983) and the degree of
lifestyle (Dubin, Champ well and Porter
1975). Organization related variables like
on-the-job relationships (Buchanan 1974),
job characteristics (Hackman and Lawler
1971) and supervisory styles and behavior
(Katz and Khan 1975) encourages the
development of a positive identification
with the organization and there by a degree
of personal commitment. Researches have
been extended by considering HR practices
as one of the antecedents of organizational
commitment. The following section of the
paper provides a deeper understanding on
the relationship between human resource
practices and organizational commitment.

Evidence for HR practices and

Commitment Relationship:
Organizational Commitment is the
heart of HRM which help to explain a range
of human attitudes and behaviors at work.
It is the central feature that distinguishes
HRM fro m traditional pe rson nel
management (Guest 1995). However, the
potential impact of HR practices on
commitment has received little attention
than it deserves (Meyer & Allen 1997).

Journal of Contemporary Research in Management, April - June 2008

Researchers have empirically proved the

positive effects of HR practices on the
commitment aspect of individuals in the
organizational setup. They also have
delineated the effects of individual HR
practices (training, performance appraisal,
career development etc.) on different
constructs of organizational commitment
namely affe ctive, conti nuan ce and
normative commitment.

an individual to develop their full potential

and thi s increase s th e commitment
towards the organization (Meyer and Smith
2000). Taking interest on the employees
career development or advancement
creates a sense of compulsion among the
employees to stay in their organization
(Nawi and A hmed 2002). Care er
development practices were the best
predictor of affective and normative
commitment (Meyer and Smith 2000).

The introduction of innovative human

re source practices increases the
commitment of the individuals and helps
in achieving the goals of the organization
(A garw ala 2003). Human re source
practices contribute to the economic
success of an organization by enhancing
the employee commitment and satisfaction
(Zornitsky 1995). They have a strong sense
of positive relationship between them
(Moynihan et al 2001). In other words, the
satisfaction of the employees with the
human resource practices elicits the
commitment of the individuals towards the
organization (Bergmann et al 2000). The
perception of the employees on HRM
practices such as fairness of promotion
practices, accuracy of merit system,
su pervisory
be havior
infl uences
organization commitment (Ogilvie 1986).

The above discussion clearly brings out

the relationship between human resource
practices and organizational commitment
in the global context. Very few studies
conducted in Indian scenario based on this
con cept whi ch also proves that the
implementation and practice of various HR
practices in the organization were capable
producers or influencers of the individuals
commitment towards the organization. To
strengthen the Indian literature on HRCommitment linkage, present study was
co nducted in the auto compone nt
manufacturers in India with the following
hypothesis that a positive association
exists between the HRD practices and
Organizational Commitment.

The availability and adequacy of

training provided to the individuals in the
organization in a more systematic way
makes a co ncre te e ffect on the ir
satisfaction and commitment (Lowry et al
2002). Performance appraisal, benefits and
co mpen sati on act as an important
in gredient to the deve lopment of
commitment (Meyer and Smith 2000; Paul
and Anantharaman 2003). The formulation
of career plan provides the opportunity to

This empirical study was conducted to
satisfy the following objectives;

To examine the nature of relationship

that exists between human resource
development activities and the
organizational commitment in the

To ide ntify th e i mpact th at the

individual HRD practices would have
on the commitment level.

Journal of Contemporary Research in Management, April - June 2008


The auto component manufacturers
situated in Coimbatore was selected for
testing the hypothesis. The sample was
drawn from the member list of ACMA-Auto
Component Manufacturers Association.
About sixty middle level managers were
randomly selected from 3 auto component
manufacturing units. They include general
manage rs, departme ntal heads and
man agerial executives belon ging to
various departments. Out of the individuals
contacted, 52 of them returned the filled
in questionnaires i.e., with a good strike
rate of 86.67 percent. The data thus arrived
were used for the current analysis.
The responses were collected by
floating a questionnaire and through
personal discussions with the respondents.
The instrument has two parts which probes
into the effectiveness of HRD practices and
the level of organizational commitment of
the individuals.
1. HRDEQ (Human Resource Develop
ment Effectiveness Questionnaire). A self
developed questionnaire was floated among
the respondents in the organization. The

responses were measured using Likerts

five point scale ranging from Strongly
Agree to Strongly disagree. It has 60 items
divided along ten dimensions or subsystems that commonly reflect the Human
Resource Development (HRD) activities.
They are Role Analysis, Performance
Pl anni ng, Performance Appraisal,
Pe rformance Re view and Fee dback,
Potenti al appraisal and Succession
Plannin g, I nduction , Traini ng Need
Analysis, Training Program, Training
Evaluation and Career planning and
The instrument has been checked for
its reliability and validity using Visual PLS
software. The reliability (internal consistency)
of the items comprising each dimension was
examined using Cronbachs alpha (a). It can
be observed from the table 1 that the reliability
score for all the constructs ranges between
0.72 and 0.90. This proves that the instrument
is highly reliable (Nunnally 1978). The
convergent validity has been proved by
calculating the average variance extracted
(AVE). Here the AVE scores were 0.5 and above
thus proving the convergent validity (Fornell
and Larcker 1981).

Table 1: Reliability and Validity of HRD Constructs




Construct Cronbach AVE

Role Analysis
Performance Planning
Performance Appraisal
Performance Review and Feedback
Potential appraisal and Succession Planning
Training Need Analysis
Training Program
Training Evaluation
Career planning & Development




Journal of Contemporary Research in Management, April - June 2008

2) OCQ (Organizational Commitment

of this instrument in the present context

Questionnaire). Meyer and Allens three

was calculated (Table 2).

compon ent scale ( 1991) to measure

It was found that the instrument was

highly reliable as the alpha value for each
construct was 0.8 and above. Similarly, the
validity of each construct was explained
using AVE scores.

Organizational Commitment was applied

here. It has three distinct facets namely
affective, normative and continuance
commitment. The reliability and validity

Table 2 : Reliability and Validity of OC Constructs






Affective Commitment








Continuance Commitment





For all the three constructs of commit

ment, the average variance extracted
score was 0.5 and above. This shows that
it has convergent validity.





Correlation (r)


Sig. (2-tailed)


Relationship between HRD and OCT

The primary objective behind the
current work was to identify the nature of
relationship that exists between human
resource development activities (HRD) and
the organizational commitment (OCT). To
satisfy the same, correlation analysis was
carried out. It can be noted from the table
3 that there exists a positive correlation
(.537) between the two variables under

** Correlation is significant at the 0.01

Table - 3
Showing HRD and OCT relationship

predict about 29 percent of the changes in

level (2-tailed).
As the positive association has been

usi ng Pearson

Corre lati on

Coefficient, in order to know the strength

of association or amount of influence of
HRD on OCT, regression analysis was
carried out. From the table 4, it can be
interpreted that HRD practices can able to
the commitment level.

Journal of Contemporary Research in Management, April - June 2008


Table 4 : Showing strength of relationship




Std. Error








Std. Error





Dependent Variable: OCT, Adjusted R Square = 0.29 F Value = 19.810 significant at 0.00

Individual HRD Practices and OCT

He re, the existen ce o f po siti ve
correlation between the individual HRD
practices and the overall commitment was
examine d. Corre lati on analy sis was

performed with organizational commitment

and the ten individual sub-systems of HRD.
The coefficient value was found to be
around 0.4 and above which proves
existence of a positive association among
them (Table 5).

Table 5 : Showing Correlation between HRD Variables and OCT






.593(**) .393(**) .409(**) .360(**)








.427(**) .417(**) .478(**)











** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

It can be noted from the table 5 that,
all the variables of HRD except Career
Plannin g (CP) were fou nd to have
correlation with the commitment of the
in divi dual . Ro le analy sis, potenti al
appraisal, and training program show a
comparatively high correlation amongst the
variables. Further to know the significant
amount of influence of individual HRD
practices on organizational commitment,

forward regression was carried out. It is to

be noted that two HRD variables would
make a specific amount of influence on
commitment. Regression models were
generated and tested using SPSS and Model
2 came out as the best (Table 6 and 7). It
shows that role analysis and potential
appraisal makes a significant impact on
the level of organizational commitment.
They could explain nearly 40 percent of the
changes in commitment.

Table 6 : Forward Regression Analysis-Model Summary


R Square

Adj.R Std.Error
Square of the

Change Statistics


R Sqre

F Change df1


Sig. F

R Square




















F Value = 17.992 significant at 0.00 level


Journal of Contemporary Research in Management, April - June 2008

Table 7 : Forward Regression Analysis - Coefficients




Std. Error


Discussion and Implications

The fin ding s of thi s study was
generally consistent with those of the
previous researches (Meyer and Smith
2000; Carl and Ingmar 2001) demonstrating
the relationships between HRD practices
and organizational commitment. Here, the
HRD practi ces and organization al
commitment has a positive association
between them (r = 0.537 Table 3). In
addition, it can be noted that the role
analysi s me chan ism adopted in the
organization makes a considerably higher
impact on the individuals commitment (r
= 0.593 Table 5) than the other HRD
subsystems. Appraising the potential of an
individual for higher responsibility by the
HRD de partment wil l pave w ay for
increasing the commitment level as it has
a significant association (r = 0.501). The
next best associated variable is the training
program (r = 0.452). This hel ps the
individual to discover and match the skill
level required for effective functioning of
the current job and for hig her
responsibilities. The organization should
take utmost care in inducting the new
employe es as th e in itial le vel of
commitment starts during this process.





Std. Error





This is so because, there exists a positive

association between role analysis and
commitment (r = 0.427). It can be noted
that all the HRD sub-systems do have the
potential to increase the commitment in
a positive direction. They had to be well
pl anne d in advance and had to be
implemented efficiently for fruitful results.
Every single HRD intervention has the
potential to make an impact on the
employees behavior. However, amongst
the ten sub-systems considered here, two
interventions namely role analysis and
potential appraisal activities make a
significant impact on the commitment
level (Table 6 and 7). Further discussion
focuses on those variables.
The most important contributing factor
to the organizational commitment was the
role analysis performed by the human
resource development department (B =
0.487 Sig. = 0.00). The role analysis
provides the right di rection to the
employees by defining the key areas to the
performed in the organization. It reduces
th e fe elin g th at o nes rol e is bei ng
performed by another individual in the
organization. When the role to be played

Journal of Contemporary Research in Management, April - June 2008


by the individual in the organization was

made clear, his/her identification with the
organization increases leading to an
increase in the commitment level. Once
he/she has the clarity in work, the level
of involvement increases at the steadier
phase that leads to commitment. Further,
appraising the potential of the individuals
creates the confidence to handle higher
responsi bilities. As th e individu als
prospects are well visualized, the employees
intend to remain in the organization for a
comparatively longer time. The obligation
to remain in the same organization was
l eadi ng
in creased
organizational longevity. Hence it is clear
that proper implementation of HRD subsystem would make a definite impact on
the individuals behavior.


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So to conclude, it can be convincingly
said that the effect of HRD practices on the
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individuals has been proved based on this
empirical work. This work adds value to the
existing literatures. This tries to reinforce
the HRD-Commitment linkage in Indian
context with special reference to auto
industry. Here, two HRD mechanisms
namely role analysi s an d po tential
appraisal were found to have significant
impact on commitment. HR practitioners
need to pay more attention on these
interventions. HR researchers can conduct
similar studies in different organizational
settings to test the nature of linkage.
Human resource professionals can adopt
this linkage to lock-in their appreciating
assets and retain the core value of the


Journal of Contemporary Research in Management, April - June 2008

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