The competency of ‘Commitment to the Organisation’ in civil services has multiple facets involving the ‘organisation’ and the ‘employee (civil servant)’ coupled with ‘goals of the organisation’ and ‘commitment of the employee (civil servant)’. In the theory of management science, ‘the commitment to the organisation’ is better understood as ‘organisational commitment’.
Organisational commitment is the individual’s psychological attachment to an organisation. It is the relationship or bond that employees (civil servants) have with their organisation. Organisational commitment is crucial in deciding if a public servant will work tirelessly to achieve the organisation's goals. When an individual has a strong feeling of organisational commitment, they buy into the organisation's heart and future vision on a professional as well as personal level. This is likely to boost efficiency, engagement, commitment, and morale. Civil servants who are committed exhibit more positive behaviour, determination, and motivation.
Author: Brigadier T Rajesh Bhanu
The paper as structured below will explain the topic of Organisational Commitment as part of the desired competencies in Indian civil services.
ANCIENT INDIAN SCRIPTURES & ORGANISATIONAL COMMITMENT
The ancient Indian scriptures are the primary sources of numerous management ideas, which are regarded as a complete guide to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation in order to achieve its desired goals. The values of dharma (duty), karma (work) and bhakti (devotion) are well embedded in the Indian culture, so to offer selfless service to the organisation.
The concept of national governance in India is strongly influenced by Indian ancient scriptures. The epics Ramayana and Mahabharata have had a significant impact on Indian national and corporate governance. The Arthashasthra and Manu Smriti is considered to be one of the first and most important sources in the construction of ideas of national governance in India. Each of India's ancient scriptures serves as a guide for organisational commitment and devotion to duty.
The epic Ramayana has been as a source of inspiration, symbolising everyone's dedication and commitment to a societal state. The epic preaches that “governance should promote commitment to duty and doing the duty properly gives ultimate happiness”.
The epic of Mahabharata has the most thorough discourses on all elements of life, including society, management, governance, and administration, particularly the Bhagvad Gita on Commitment to Work. The famous sloka of the Bhagvad Gita “Karmanye vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana, Ma Karmaphalaheturbhurma Te Sangostvakarmani” advises ‘detachment from the fruits/results of actions or karma performed in the course of duty and also detach oneself from the end rewards and focus on the work. This is the basis of Dharma, where the person performing the duty is firm and committed to the duty.
One of the ancient Indian discourses on statecraft, economic policy, and military strategy is Kautilya's Arthashastra. According to Arthashastra, the King bears a significant amount of responsibility for building a robust government structure. The average worker is committed to the attainment of organisational goals when inspired by strong virtuous leadership. According to Kautilya, "when the king is active the servants become active following his example. If he is remiss, they too become remiss along with him”
Vidur, King Dhritarashtra's half-brother, was the minister of the Hastinapur Kingdom. Vidur, a great scholar who exemplified integrity and impartial judgement, was dedicated to duty and the principles of Dharma. He was well-known for always giving the King sincere and sound advice. Some of the important attributes which a wise ‘civil servant’ should possess can be sourced from his words in the Vidur Niti.
While upholding accountability and responsibility, the contemporary ‘Indian civil servant’ is well advised to function fearlessly and without expecting any reward. It is this commitment, accountability and responsibility imbibed from ancient scriptures that sets an ‘Indian civil servant’ a cut above the rest.
DEVELOPMENT STAGES OF ORGANISATIONAL COMMITMENT
Dr. John Meyer and Dr. Natalie J Allen were pioneers in the fields of workplace commitments, work motivation, leadership, and employee well-being. Both have collaborated to create the three-component model (TCM) of commitment, as well as a set of measures for use in research and practise. As per them, ‘organisational commitment’ is defined as “a psychological state that characterises the employee’s relationship with the organisation, and has implications for the decision to continue or discontinue membership in the organisation.
The term ‘employee engagement’ is often confused with ‘employee commitment’. ‘Engagement’ refers to how happy an employee is in their job, while ‘commitment’ refers to how much effort an employee puts into their job. There is one important distinction: an engaged employee is not necessarily a committed employee. A dedicated employee is not always an engaged employee. The best thing an organisation can do is strike a careful balance between engagement and commitment.
Meyer and Allen proposed the Three Component Model (TCM) in 1991, which consisted of three components, each of which corresponded to a particular psychological state. The three stages are:
(a)Affection for your organisation (Affective Commitment).
(b)Fear of loss (Continuance Commitment).
(c)Sense of obligation to stay (Normative Commitment).
‘Affective Commitment’ is the desire component of organisational commitment. An employee in this state exhibits a high level of active commitment to the organisation. They are pleased, engaged, participate, and provide significant inputs and suggestions. They do all of this because they want to be a part of the organisation and want to be an integral part of it. Affective commitment occurs when an employee has an emotional connection to the organisation.
A 'Continuance Commitment' occurs when an employee assesses the benefits and drawbacks of staying or leaving the organisation. There is a fear of loss at work, and their initial affection has turned into necessity. They want to stay because they believe leaving would be costly, and they've already invested a significant amount of time and energy in it. They are emotionally and mentally attached to the organisation.
During the 'Normative Commitment', the employee feels obligated to stay with the organisation. Whether they are unhappy or want to pursue new opportunities, they believe they have a duty to stay since it is the 'right' thing to do. They consider the time and resources that the organisation has put in them, or the organisation frequently rewards continuing commitment. The final step of organisational commitment is normative commitment, when a person feels obligated to stay for whatever reason. Typically, this is due to a sense of commitment to the organisation.
More recently, a five-component model of commitment has been proposed. The two additional stages are (a) Habitual Commitment (b) Forced Commitment. Habitual Commitment refers to the routines and processes employees become used to, which causes them to develop a latent commitment to the organisation. Forced Commitment occurs when an employee believes they have no choice but to stay with their company, either because they are financially dependent on it or believe they have no other options.
IMPORTANCE OF ORGANISATIONAL COMMITMENT
Organisational commitment, has multiple benefits for both public servant and their organisations (a) Efficiency (b) Improved Organisational Performance (c) Advocacy.
Efficiency. When a person is committed to their organisation, they believe in the company's shared goals, vision, and mission, which leads to increased motivation and productivity. They make a larger effort to be self-sufficient, set more ambitious goals, and accomplish more. Productivity is increased through organisational commitment. Furthermore, committed persons have a positive impact on the productivity of their co-workers and team members. They want everyone to give their best in order to attain common goals.
Improved Organisational Performance. When a person is deeply invested in an organisation, they are more likely to be cooperative, engaged in cooperation, and working in teams. This, once again, promotes team morale and productivity.
Advocacy. A committed public servant is more likely to advocate for their organisation because they believe in the larger vision. On both a professional and personal level, they have embraced the organisation's goals and values.
FACTORS INFLUENCING ORGANISATIONAL COMMITMENT
Several factors can influence organisational commitment within a civil servant (a) Job Satisfaction (b) Leadership Support (c) Stress and Ambiguity (d) Empowerment (e) Insecurity and Employability.
Job Satisfaction. Job satisfaction refers to how much a civil servant enjoys their work. A civil servant who enjoy their jobs are more likely to establish a deep attachment to their organisation. A civil servant’s happiness and enjoyment at work should be a key goal in all organisations.
Leadership Support. Enhanced leadership support and cohesion resulted in increased organisational commitment. The civil servants who are adequately supported are more likely to be pleased at work, which leads to higher levels of motivation and productivity.
Stress and Ambiguity. When an a civil servant receives conflicting instructions from leadership (role conflict) or is unable to accomplish a task due to a lack of information (role ambiguity), this is likely to generate role stress. Stress can reduce performance, productivity, and satisfaction of a civil servant. Role stress and ambiguity almost always have a negative impact organisational commitment.
Empowerment. In an organisation, empowerment refers to encouraging and energising civil servants to achieve goals, boosting self-efficacy by minimising powerlessness, and increasing motivation and commitment. Empowerment is possible by structural empowerment: the ability to accomplish tasks and mobilise resources and psychological empowerment: civil servants’ psychological perceptions/attitudes towards their job and organisational positions.
Insecurity and Employability. Insecurity is associated with lower levels of job satisfaction and affective organisational commitment. When a civil servant believes their job is secure for the long-term, they are more likely to become invested in their role and the organisation.
IMPROVEMENT OF ORGANISATIONAL COMMITMENT
Encourage Transparency and Clarity in Communication. To align with an organisation's goals and vision, a civil servant must understand how they fit into the picture, how they can contribute, and their role today and in the future. Allowing a civil servant to participate in the growth of the organisation helps them feel more invested and a part of the larger mission. Furthermore, when goals and objectives are clear, individuals can make better day-to-day decisions and collaborate more effectively within their team. Holding monthly meetings, sending out circulars to staff with important updates are the ways to accomplish.
Improve Job Satisfaction by Using Job Design Strategies. Job design is the process of developing a job that allows the organisation to fulfil its goals while also motivating and rewarding. A well-designed job will result in higher job satisfaction and organisational commitment. Job design strategies include (a) job rotation: providing more variety and allowing a civil servant to experience different roles within the organisation (b) job simplification: simplifying complex tasks and streamlining processes (c) job enlargement: broadening the scope of responsibilities and opportunities for development and progression (d) job enrichment: investing in training and team bonding
Encourage an Inclusive Workplace Environment. The larger an organisation, the more likely it will have certain majority and minority groups, where minorities are inadvertently made to feel alienated. Civil servants who lack a sense of belonging are less likely to be engaged, satisfied in their jobs, and committed to the firm. A civil servant who feel included, valued, and heard are much more likely to succeed and be committed at work. Some ideas for fostering an inclusive workplace environment (a) conduct a survey and act on the results (b) review incentivising practises (c) make inclusiveness a part of the system.
Showcase Commitment to Welfare. The civil servants’ well-being should include more than just working conditions and job security. Consider how you may increase the well-being. A good start would be to conduct a survey to gather direct feedback and act. When you show a real concern for the well-being, they will feel cared for, and their job happiness will certainly increase.
Emphasis on Civil Servants’ Development. Ensure that you provide internal promotion chances as well as adequate training and development to assist a civil servant in progressing to the next stage in their careers. Provide continuous opportunities for skill development so that a civil servant can feel more competent and confident in their roles at work, increasing efficiency.
Assess Organisational Commitment. Organisational commitment is assessed through Organisational Commitment Questionnaires (OCQ). Alan and Meyer's 24-item questionnaire (1990) is the most extensively used technique for measuring organisational commitment. Each level of organisational commitment (Affective, Continuance and Normative) has eight items as at Appendix. It would be prudent to undertake such assessment of each government department through a structured and scientific method.
Organisational Commitment is the ability and willingness to align one’s own behaviour with the needs, priorities, and goals of the organisation, and to act in ways that promote the organisation’s goals or meet organisational needs. Organisational commitment from civil servants means focusing on the government’s mission before one's own preferences or professional priorities.
ASSESSMENT OF ORGANISATIONAL COMMITMENT BY ALLEN AND MEYER, 1990