Mismatch in working hours and affective commitment

I.J. Hetty van Emmerik (Department of Sociology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Karin Sanders (Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Publication date: 1 December 2005



This study examined the relationship between two types of mismatch (i.e. non‐correspondence between preferred and actual number of hours), and affective commitment. It was argued that specific groups of employees, i.e. women and part‐time working employees, attach more importance to their working hours and, therefore, are less likely to show affective commitment when they experience a mismatch.


Using data from 222 employees of a Dutch Ministry, hypotheses were tested using regression analyses.


It was shown that a mismatch of working more hours was differentially related to the affective commitment of employees who wanted to work more and who wanted to work fewer hours. Moreover, gender and full‐time status were found to moderate the negative relationship between a mismatch and the affective commitment of employees who wants to work less.

Research limitations/implications

The focus is on affective commitment; however, it is possible that other types of commitment are also associated with perceptions of psychological contract breach.

Practical implications

Tailored HRM is needed: assisting employees with a mismatch wanting to work fewer hours can be achieved by allowing them more flexibility in their working schedules. Employees with a mismatch of wanting to work more hours can be assisted with additional support, e.g. shopping services.


HRM practices can be tailored to different preferences: the value of this paper is the examination of different types of mismatch for different group of employees.



Hetty van Emmerik, I. and Sanders, K. (2005), "Mismatch in working hours and affective commitment", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 20 No. 8, pp. 712-726. https://doi.org/10.1108/02683940510631462

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