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The relationship between empowerment and the three-component model of organisational commitment: an empirical study of Thai employees working in Thai and American airlines

Thanawut Limpanitgul (Thammasat Business School, Thammasat University, Pranakorn, Thailand)
Pattana Boonchoo (Department of Marketing, Thammasat Business School, Thammasat University, Pranakorn, Thailand)
Somboon Kulviseachana (Thammasat Business School, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand)
Supawadee Photiyarach (Division of Target Research, The Thailand Research Fund (TRF), Bangkok, Thailand)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Publication date: 5 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the moderating role of organisational culture on the relationship between empowerment and the three dimensions of organisational commitment amongst flight attendants working in a collectivist organisation and an individualist organisation.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from a sample of 439 Thai cabin service attendants from two major flag-carrier airlines (one based in Thailand and the other based in the USA) using self-administered questionnaires. Structural equation modelling was utilised to examine the hypotheses.

Findings

Overall, the findings revealed associations between empowerment and organisational commitment in both sample groups. Nonetheless, the extent and direction to which empowerment influenced the different dimensions of organisational commitment differed significantly.

Research limitations/implications

Cross-sectional study of Thai employees may limit generalisability of the findings to other contexts.

Practical implications

In use of empowerment for developing employee commitment to organisation, practitioners should take organisational culture into consideration. As such, relationship is weakened or strengthened based on whether the organisation is more individualist- or collectivist-oriented in its organisational culture. In an individualistic context, organisations can foster affective commitment through empowerment more easily than in a collectivist context. On the contrary, in a collectivist organisational context, it is easier to build normative commitment among employees through empowerment than to do it in an individualist context.

Originality value

Provide empirical evidence in regards to the role of organisational culture in conditioning the relationship between empowerment and organisational commitment in a non-Western context.

Keywords

Citation

Limpanitgul, T., Boonchoo, P., Kulviseachana, S. and Photiyarach, S. (2017), "The relationship between empowerment and the three-component model of organisational commitment: an empirical study of Thai employees working in Thai and American airlines", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 227-242. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCTHR-07-2015-0069

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited