Organizational Commitment & Career Satisfaction among Women Employees.

AuthorAgrawal, Swati


In the present business environment, diversity has been considered as one of the key success factors in the organization. It brings different perspectives and facilitates innovation in the organization. Innovation is considered as a source of competitive advantage. Globally, the number of women in the work place is increasing. The increasing percentage of women employees in the workplace is also because of the fact that career growth has taken a central role in the lives of many working women. This results in higher productivity at workplace. Organiztaions therefore are positively looking at the career advancement of women employees for increasing the competitiveness of the organization.

The career progression of women employees in India is gradually on the ascent, however, the percentages as compared to rest of the world are still very low. In recent times, the perception of women has been shifting towards their career growth and status in the society. Still, their representation is less in the management of the organization. It has been an established and common fact that career progress of women in the organization is slower (Catalyst, 2014; Ceci and Williams, 2011). The overall percentage of women participation in the workforce has increased in all the sectors such as private, public and government including armed forces and police. But the percentage of women representation varies significantly at different levels in the organizations. Most of the time it is evident that the percentage of women employee's decreases as they climb up the corporate ladder. A vast percentage of them is at the entry level. This means that career progression is less for women employees. In a study on the female gender. Angeline et al (2017) stated that women are less represented in comparison to men in management positions. One reason could be low career satisfaction among women employees. Most of the time women withdraw from their career due to various barriers to career progression. Retaining women employees and ensuring high career satisfaction will have asignificant outcome for the organization and is strategically important. For organizations it's of strategic importance to retain women employees and ensure high career satisfaction among them. This would ensure that part of the workforce should not remain dissatisfied resulting in low performance and women in workforce bring diversity, foster innovation and bring a higher level of group performance. Different factors may be reasons for the dissatisfaction and choosing to withdraw from a career. The purpose of the paper is to explore the relationship of career satisfaction with women empowerment and organizational commitment.

Many researchers have earlier studied the impact of organizational commitment on job satisfaction (Begley, Chaka & Joseph, 1993; AL-Hussami, 2008). However, the relationship between organizational commitment and career satisfaction has not been studied much. The research which has been done is gender neutral. Gender specific research has mainly been focused on the rights, conditions, and arrangements. Today, across the world, deliberations on women empowerment and implementation of women related policies are gaining momentum (Cornwall& Althea, 2015). Empowerment has also been studied as an important dimension of motivating employees for high performance. However, other than the study by Arogundade & Arogundade (2015) which examined the impact of psychological empowerment on career satisfaction, no other research has specifically studied the relationship between psychological empowerment and career satisfaction. Some of the studies in this area are not specific to gender. Therefore, it's important to study the relationship between psychological empowerment and career satisfaction. This paper discusses the literature and establishes a theoretical framework leading to analysis of the data obtained from female employees working in India. The result establishes a relationship between organizational commitment, women empowerment and career satisfaction of women employees. The effect of empowerment on career satisfaction on female employees brings insights in policies and practices which may facilitate higher empowerment to promote the women employees in the workplace.

Career Satisfaction

Career has been an important area of research as it has high implication for practitioners and important for employees as well. It's evident that mostly everyone working in the organization strives in their work environment for career success. The career of an employee is built on many personality related behaviors and on organizational practices. Organizational learning, mentoring, innovation, decision making, networking, performance management and training all impact the career. In one primary research on career, Greenhaus et al (1990) is one of the widely referred work according to which career is a series of jobs held during an individual's lifetime. Career satisfaction has been defined in the literature as the success and achievements with positive outcomes which results from an individual's work experiences (Kramer et al, 1995). Some of the positive outcomes of career satisfaction are evident in health, well-being, and longevity of employees in the organization (Leung et al., 2011). The classical research (Greenhaus, et. al, 1990) states that career satisfaction is a subjective measure. According to them, the perception of employees about their overall career goals, income goals and career advancements results on subjective career satisfaction. It's one's internal assessment of his/her career and feeling of professional achievement (Hennequin, 2007). Employees with high career satisfaction are more engaged with the organization and contribute more to its growth. Such employees would be an asset to the organization.

Spurk& Abele (2009) in their research to measure subjective career success asked respondents questions with a focus on job satisfaction like "All in all, how satisfied are you with your job at the moment". Heflin (2005) in his work related subjective career success with sense of purpose and work-life balance. Therefore, subjective career success is about satisfaction for a longer period, whereas job satisfaction is limited to the present job of employees. The instrument developed by Greenhaus et al (1990) has been popularly used in the study of career satisfaction.

Organizational Commitment

The second variable of the study, organizational commitment, can be defined as "the strength of an individual's identification with an involvement in a particular organization" (Allen& Meyer, 1990). Mowday et al (1982) in their research have defined organizational commitment as "willingness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the organization, and a strong desire to keep up membership in the organization". Allen & Meyer (1990) developed the three component model of organizational commitment which has been widely researched further by researchers in this area. In the three-component model organizational commitment has been classified as affective commitment, continuance commitment, and normative commitment. The difference among the three can be understood as in affective commitment employees want to work in the present organization. It is different from continuance commitment in which employees stay in the organization because of the need to stay and not because of wanting to stay. Employees with strong normative commitment remain with the organization because they feel they ought to do...

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